Specific Objective 2.3

Specific Objective 2.3

Enhanced efficiency and professionalism of the legal training system which ensures the move towards European practices and quality in the legal field, by providing an adequate number of magistrates and legal advisors trained for the judiciary and prosecution in the justice system in Albania”.

Specific Objective 2.3 meets one of the requirements of Policy Goal 2, that of improving the professional capacity of the judiciary and also defining the ways in which this will be achieved. Specifically, the Specific Objective requires, firstly, an enhanced efficiency of the training system and, secondly, improved professional ability of the School of Magistrates in providing training for magistrates. The aim of the objective is to train magistrates (judges and prosecutors) and legal advisors in a quality manner and guide them towards European practices.

The objective should have explicitly provided for the training of judicial civil servants for two reasons: first, because civil servants have a direct impact on the performance of the court or the prosecution office, and second, because it is precisely the justice reform which placed increased importance to the category of employees working in courts and prosecution offices, where in addition to the new status as judicial civil servants, a new system of recruitment and training was set up for some employees. We are referring here to the chancellors of courts and prosecution offices, who will take the exam at the School of Magistrates to enter the system and will attend the Initial and Continuing Education Program (on-the-job training) at the School.

This objective is current and extremely important to be met as it has a tremendous impact on the quality of justice for the coming years. Here we have in mind the fact that the judiciary is being renewed for the most part of it and in a short time at that, due to the departure from the system of judges and prosecutors as a result of vetting and the filling of vacancies by the School of Magistrates. At the same time, Albania’s steps towards the EU promise of a new position for Albania, one that is closer to the EU. This would impose not only harmonization of the law, but also its approximated understanding and implementation. The Albanian magistrates will have to start thinking like European magistrates in order to be in coherence with all social and economic developments of the country.

If we look at the outcomes that are intended to be achieved in CJS II, we see that they are in line with what the Objective provides. Specifically, the first outcome is related to the improvement of curricula for incumbent magistrates, thus aiming to make them more efficient and qualitative, whereas the second outcome is related to the study and research on EU legislation and in the field of human rights.

CJS I also provided a series of measures related to the School of Magistrates, generally focused on a needs analysis and review of curricula, but also expanding studies and research at the school and strengthening of School capacities. So, the Justice Strategy has not changed much from its first phase (CJS I) to the next (CJS II), but this should not be seen as a lack of development. Rather, it is the sustainable development of this component that requires an extension of its timeframe. Here we have to consider the fact that Law 115/2016 has vested a large part of the responsibility regarding the training system to the justice system governing bodies (HJC and HPC), the School of Magistrates and the General Prosecution Office. Specifically, these bodies should interact in the process of identifying training needs and further approving the activities and participation of judges and prosecutors in these activities.

At the same time, this objective is in line with the School of Magistrates’ Strategy and the Anti-Corruption Strategy, as well as in coherence with IPA III requirements, which extends its implementation until 2027.

Conclusion: The objective is in line with Policy Goal 2 and the School of Magistrates Strategy; it is also harmonized with other strategic acts related to the quality of justice. This is a current objective and success in achieving it will affect future justice. It is estimated that if this objective included judicial civil servants, it would have been more complete in terms of justice system quality and performance.