“Development of continued training programs in compliance with European standards”.
This measure is about developing continued education programs. From the way this measure is written it is not clear whether it refers to the continued education program as the set of trainings provided in an academic year, or the program of each training separately. This is an important definition and should be quite clear, as the requirements, methodology and process of how the annual program is designed is completely different from the requirements and methodology used in special training.
The only element that can be used in this case to explain the measure in favor of the first option, according to which this measure refers to the full 1-year program of continued education, is the inclusion of the HJC, HPC and GPO as participating institutions. These bodies are required to actively cooperate with the School of Magistrates in order to draft the continued education program (calendar) for every academic year, giving their opinion on certain topics of special interest to be included in the continued education program. Taking into account this option we can proceed with the analysis of this measure.
The development of the continued education program is one of the most important processes carried out by the School of Magistrates, both in terms of time devoted to it (the process starts in April and ends in September of each year), the subjects involved to provide their opinions and consultation (all participants in the activity of the continued education program, international and national partners, HJC, HPC, GPO), discussion of the draft-program (School Pedagogical Council) up to the formality in its finalization and any changes that may be made to the program during the academic year (every decision is made by the Steering Committee of the School of Magistrates, both for the planned activities and for the appointment of experts). Because this program directly affects the continued training of incumbent magistrates, it must be very effective and ensure that the addressed issues are valuable to the magistrates, that they foster their desire to delve deeper, and are important for the resolution of cases or professional dilemmas during the exercise of duty.
Another requirement of this measure is that this program be designed in accordance with international standards of judicial training. To achieve this, the School of Magistrates should research on European standards in the field of judicial training and enable their implementation in the program it develops.
One of the main demands of the EU is precisely the adaptation of continued education programs to be as efficient and impactful as possible in the magistrate’s work. They are conceived as a right of the incumbent magistrate and are based exactly on the will that the magistrate must have to be trained on important issues of his/her work. Although the Albanian law provides for the obligation of magistrates to participate in continued education and this participation has a direct impact on the magistrate’s performance evaluation to be carried out by HJC and HPC, the School of Magistrates is still required to offer an appropriate program based on the needs and interests of the magistrate. So, the requirements that must be met by the continued education program are very high and the successful implementation of this program directly reflects the School’s success in exercising its duties vis-a-vis the justice system.
Conclusion: This measure is relevant to the outcome and current. Even setting the year 2022 as the deadline for fulfilling this measure is a reasonable deadline and one that makes it possible to produce results. However, this measure should have been formulated more clearly and it should have made reference to the continued program for one academic year.
Internal Regulation of the School of Magistrates.