The Institute for Policy and Legal Studies (IPLS) is an Albanian non-profit, non- governmental organization, registered as a Foundation in May 1999, and located in Tirana, Albania. The idea of the founders to establish an institute with a view to pool high quality resources and work for the purpose of writing laws and recommending policy standards started in 1997, after the turmoil caused by the pyramid schemes, and was already maturing in 1998.  At the time, the founders, most of them working for the Ministry of legislative Reform and thereby having the opportunity to clearly see the deficiencies of the system, came to believe that strong professional resources could be more easily pooled and managed and ideas more objectively developed outside of the government in the areas of legal writing and policy analysis. That idea was embraced by the East West Management Institute (EWMI), an American NGO based in New York, which then assisted in the foundation of
IPLS.

As decided by its founders the IPLS has to pursue a mission with two main emphases:

  1. Legal – to provide non-partisan legal assistance and where appropriate training to government, non-government, and international organizations working in Albania, and;
  2. Policy – to provide non-partisan analyses and recommendations concerning the policy concepts and steps leading to the implementation of laws and their impact on the public.

IPLS started its activity with the ambition to become a successful Albanian think tank that would provide Albanian society with objective and profound insights in legal and public policy matters.

In its legal program the Institute has focussed on law drafting as well as legal education and training. IPLS has been aware during this time that the legal drafting should involve prior research on the topics involved and a process of awareness after its adoption so that the laws passed have a real opportunity to be enforced. As to the implementation of laws IPLS has generally chosen to work in the direction of introducing adequate procedures and other implementation mechanisms that help turn the law into reality.

In its public policy dimension, the Institute has been open to a free selection of issues based on its own judgement upon the value of such topics to Albanian society. IPLS remains firm on its criteria that projects developed under this program should be characterized by a high degree of importance to the governance and society, the urgency of the issue and the overall weight of the issues selected among public opinion. Statistically, the Institute has privileged here the institutional building exercises for public institutions through needs assessments and action plans or organizational strategies.