The President of the Supreme Court, Ms. Shpresa Beçaj, attended the Conference of the Presidents of Supreme Courts of Central and Eastern Europe, organized by CEELI Institute from 7 - 9 July 2011, in Prague.

12.07.2011

The President of the Supreme Court, Ms. Shpresa Beçaj, attended the Conference of the Presidents of Supreme Courts of Central and Eastern Europe, organized by CEELI Institute from 7 - 9 July 2011, in Prague.

15 Supreme Courts Presidents from Central and Eastern Europe countries attended this important conference where amongst other U.S. judges, Judge John G. Roberts JR President of the Supreme Court of the United States Of America also attended as a guest of honor.

This conference was envisaged as a discussion forum, focused on topics such as the relationship between the judiciary and other powers, quality and time of the released judicial decisions, the fight against corruption and the improvement of court's transparency, relations with the media, the methods of reducing the number of delays and backlog, the role and responsibility of the President of the Supreme Court as well as discussions on the modalities of future conferences.

The Supreme Court presidents extensively discussed regarding the relationship between judicial, executive and legislative powers, taking under consideration even the legal features of the respective judicial systems of the different countries. Despite differences, participants expressed great interest on the topic, given that it emerged that despite the different organizations of the judiciary, when it comes to the matter of guarantying the independence of the third power, almost all the countries experienced similar dynamics in terms of relations with the executive and legislative.

The President of the Supreme Court Ms. Shpresa Beçaj outlined the achievements and challenges the Albanian judiciary is currently faced with, placing a particular accent on the necessity of improving the cooperation between the three powers, while giving an impetus to the progression of both legislative and institutional measure to reform the Albanian judiciary. "Albania has drafted a qualitative and modern legal framework, which is in line with European standards. However in order to guarantee an effective justice, an adequate enforcement of these laws is required"- said Mrs. Beçaj. "On the other hand, an important aspect of the judicial reform is the improvement of the current legal framework which has established the organization and functioning of Supreme Court. The increasing demands for providing a quick and effective justice present us with the need to reorganize the Colleges of the Supreme Court and reassess the role of its President with regard to its administrative and judicial responsibilities"- added Mrs. Beçaj.

Another topic which was tackled in the conference was the increased number of delays and backlogs in the courts. It was noted that the latter requires additional provisions in the codes of procedure which offer immediate and effective solutions in easing the procedural steps leading to a judicial review and courtçs management of the cases. Judge Clifford Wallace, presented two ways of handling this problem: resolving cases through mediation or arbitration and/or handle case management according to an individual schedule for each judge, making thus possible the reduction of backlogs while respecting the right of individuals for a fair and well-timed trial.

With regard to the measures needed to ensure transparency and fight corruption, the President of the Court of Appeals of the Second District in U.S.A Judge John Walker and Judge Nancy Gertner, addressed in details the phenomenon of active and passive corruption, the political will to fight corruption, the implementation of a code of ethics, as well as additional measures which would aid in the prevention of the given phenomenon. The discussion of the participants also tackled the criteria for the selection of the judges, the possible types of training, the transparency of the judicial processes, the publication of the judicial reasoning, the declaration of judgesç wealth which must be publicly accessible, etc.

The improvement of courts infrastructure and publication of all judicial decisions within the legal deadlines, were put forth as fundamental means to increase the confidence of the public towards the judiciary.

The conferenceçs talks were concluded with participantsç remarks appraising the importance and contribution this conference brings with regard to opinion and experience sharing between the supreme courts presidents. All the participants concurred with the idea of meeting every year in this conference which ought to be organized respectively in one of the participating countries.

Albania will be the next country to hold the 2011 proceedings of the Conference of the Supreme Courts Presidents of Central and Eastern Europe.

 

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