About Us


Mission Statement

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:
  • Legal – to provide non-partisan legal assistance and where appropriate training to government, non-government, and international organizations working in Albania, and;
  • 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.

    Primary Research & Policy Interests

    Legal Issues
  • Training of judges and legislators on various legal issues.
  • Providing the government with independent analysis of proposed legislation.
  • Assisting the government in the drafting of laws.
  • Providing technical expertise to the Association of Judges, public and private attorneys and legal scholars.
  • Creating and maintaining a Web Site page and a database with the current and proposed legislation.
  • Providing a professional legal research environment for government and non-governmental organisations/institutions.
  • Providing a non-partisan environment where drafts of laws can be discussed by the legislators, Western and local scholars and local interest groups.
  • Policy Issues
  • Mobilising Albanian professionals to address the country’s pressing issues.
  • Providing a professional environment and institution for research and development of Albanian professionals with an emphasis on the younger generation.
  • Creating opportunities for research, development and analysis through collaboration with Albanian and international research institutions, publications, educational organisations, and universities.
  • Supporting independent critical thinking and promoting a pro-active approach towards public affairs and public policy.
  • Initiating interest of Albanian citizens through regular public discussions, workshops, lectures, and regional discussion forums.
  • Providing analysis and solutions.
  • Reviewing current and proposed laws and their impact on the further development of Albania.
  • Publishing periodicals and positions papers either independently or in collaboration with other institutions.
  • Publishing a monthly/quarterly journal that would describe IPLS activities, calendar of events, articles on relevant issues, and include a summary of IPLS policy/legal papers.
  • Creating and maintaining a database for the distribution of IPLS information to domestic and international organizations and institutions.

    The Board and Staff

    Since 1998, the founders were responsible for the drafting of the current Albanian constitution and authored more than twenty (20) post-Constitutional reform laws. All of the drafted laws have already have been passed into law by Parliament.

    B-A Board of Directors manages IPLS. The Board of Directors is comprised of five (5) members with reputation, knowledge and working experience in Albania, in legal and other fields.

    The Board is responsible for determining the overall strategies, programs and budget of IPLS as well as make the evaluation of its activities on an annual basis. It also assumes the appointment of the Executive Director for IPLS. The Executive Director of IPLS is responsible for the daily management of the Institute including the oversight of the staff, the proper implementation of the projects and of the Board’s decisions. The Executive Director may not serve on the Board.

    IPLS intends to create an Advisory Board comprised of nine people from Albania, in such areas of expertise such as law, policy, media, business, financing, statistics, public administration, media, and education. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to keep IPLS abreast to new and developing legal and policy issues, propose projects, and provide feed back on the work of IPLS.

    C- Full-time staff composition

    The structure of IPLS for the time being is light and flexible. The staffing is, of course, far from the initial planning because of insufficient funds. Currently, four full time staff are hired and operational. The positions currently held are as follows: Executive Director, Policy Program Director, Legal Program Director, Financier/ Secretary.
    IPLS is planning to recruit appropriate candidates as the volume of work increases.

    D-Associated staff, part-time staff and consultants

    Besides its full-time staff, IPLS has striven to identify and attract professionals on an ad hoc basis. Such policy has the advantage of keeping the administrative expenses at a minimum while, at the same time, allowing for a free hand on allocating the right person to the right project. Among its closest team of collaborators IPLS counts at least ten of them, mostly young professionals who have made valuable contribution in the areas of constitutional, administrative and commercial law, public procurement policies, economic development, NGO management etc. They mainly come from public administration offices, university and civil society organisations in Albania.