Judicial reform, HSA: Courts have a heavy workload

Judicial reform, HSA: Courts have a heavy workload
The judicial reform, which is still under way, seems to have put the country’s courts in difficulty due to the heavy workload that they face, while the new justice institutions have just been constituted. This has recently been confirmed by the High State Audit following an audit carried out at the Tirana Administrative Appeal Court. “As a result of the high number of administrative cases being examined, judges are facing a heavy workload, around 70 files a month. This has lead to the necessity of increasing the number of staff in this court”, the High State Audit reports. HSA also explains that “the justice system is being reformed and it’s waiting for the constitution of the new institutions and as a result, Tirana Administrative Appeal Court is in compliance with the spirit of the justice system”. “The failure to constitute the High Judicial Council (HJC) has led to a serious shortage in the number of administrative clerks, which is a necessity for the work of this court”, experts of HSA explain.  According to this institution, although HJC has been constituted, it is still unable to address the problems that have arisen at a time when the entire system is under reformation. According to HSA, HJC is the new institution which will approve the rulebook that courts will use and which will be unique for courts all over Albania. Meanwhile, a number of judges have been impeached as a result of the process known as vetting and has caused a gridlock for many courts in the country, including high level courts such as the Constitutional Court or the Supreme Court.

“Funds from the budget should be allocated in order to increase the number of clerks in order to ensure the independence of the judicial system and to examine all administrative cases in time”, the High State Audit suggests among others.

The Supreme Court is another court with a heavy workload 

Besides the Administrative Appeal Court, another court which has a heavy workload is the Supreme Court. According to the figures recently issued on the media, there are around 30 thousand cases which have been placed in court rooms, corridors and chambers. Currently, the Supreme Court is examining urgent cases, while the calendar has been stuck in 2014. Meanwhile, around 50 cases are filed each day in courts, while tens of thousands of people have been waiting for years in a row for their cases to be examined. This problem has been existing for many years now, however, the whole thing became a serious problem when this court remained with four judges due to the impeachment of this court’s remaining judges.

Financial damage caused by public companies and foreign projects amounts to 10.2 billion lek

10.2 billion lek is the financial damage caused last year to the state budget by public companies and foreign projects implemented in the Albanian territory. This figure was issued in a recent report released by the High State Audit, according to which, the damage that public companies have caused was higher, notably 6.7 billion lek.