Coalition Issues Joint Statement on Justice Reform

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Albanian civil society groups issued a joint statement expressing concern over justice reform's slow progress.
Justice for All Coalition

The "Justice for All" coalition of civil society organizations (a USAID initiative, along with 14 other civil society groups, issued a joint statement last week expressing concern over justice reform's slow progress to date, despite commitments by the political parties in July to hasten reform's implementation. The coalition asked the Constitutional Court to expedite review of the vetting law, following publication of the Venice Commission's opinion last week. The statement acknowledged the Court's right to undertake an unbiased review of the vetting law, but urged the justices to render their decision as soon as possible. The statement also emphasized that the Court should take note of the Venice Commission's opinion.

STATEMENT

We, as representatives of the civil society engaged with the protection of human rights, empowerment of the rule of law, and safeguard of legitimate citizens’ interests, hereby express our concern with the slow progress in the implementation of the reform agreed by all members of the Albanian Assembly on July 22, 2016. The Venice Commission has officially answered to the questions raised by the Constitutional Court and the latter should address with priority the case of the Vetting Law! In addition to realizing citizens’ interests, the implementation of this reform is a precondition for our future in the European Union.

We are fully aware that any constitutional complaint is entitled to an unbiased legal review by the Constitutional Court, but at the same time, we believe that in this case the Court should make a decision in as timely a manner as possible.

We are certain that the Constitutional Court will take into account with the highest responsibility the opinion of the Venice Commission, as the wisest and most widely recognized authority, and we will closely follow every step in the review of this case, including the implementation of the reform in general, to ensure that the citizens’ interests are safeguarded!

Albanian citizens are in favor of the justice reform. The time to act is now!

THE “JUSTICE FOR ALL” COALITION, REPRESENTED BY:

1. Albanian Legal and Territorial Research Institute – ALTRI
2. Tirana Free Legal Aid Service – TLAS
3. Albanian Women Empowerment Network – AWEN 
4. “Vatra” Psycho-Social Center, Vlora
5. Albanian Disability Rights Foundation – ADRF
6. National Coalition of Anti-Trafficking Shelters – KKSAT 
7. Balkan Youth Link Albania – BYL-A
8. Institute of Romani Culture in Albania – IRCA
9. Women for Democracy Network – WDN Al
10. “Eye of the New Media” Foundation, Gjirokastra 
11. Center for Integrated Legal Services and Practices 
12. “Res Publica” Center
13. American Chamber of Commerce in Albania – AmCham
14. “Another Vision” Association, Elbasan
15. “Different and Equal” Organization
16. European Center 
17. “Together for Life” Association

AND OTHER CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS, AS FOLLOWS:

1. Civil Rights Defenders
2. Egyptian Roma Youth Movement 
3. “Ushten” Organization
4. Albanian Innovation Accelerator – AIA 
5. Civil Society Development Center, Durrës – CSDC 
6. South East Europe Social Contract Institute – SSCI
7. Voice of Integration
8. Albanian National Training and Technical Assistance Resource Center – ANTTARC
9. Institute for Promotion of Social and Economic Development – IPSED
10. Institute for Democracy and Mediation – IDM
11. Albanian Institute for Policy Development
12. INFOCIP
13. Institute for Democracy and Development
14. Women and the Media

Last updated: December 22, 2016

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