Rama Government Continues to Ignore Vacancy at Strasbourg Court

The Rama government has continued to ignore the vacancy for an Albanian judge at the highest European court, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg.

Since August 2016, the government has presented two different lists of three candidates to substitute current Albanian judge Ledi Bianku, who was appointed at the ECtHR on February 1, 2008. His 9-year term ended officially on February 1, 2017.

Since 2016, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which elects ECtHR judges, has rejected the nominations of the Albanian government. As Exit report earlier, the deadline for the government’s third attempt was August 31, 2017, a deadline that was missed by the government.

Each member state of the Council of Europe is allowed to contribute one judge to the ECtHR, which is involved in cases dealing with that particular country. The government’s delay in nominating three appropriate candidates to PACE therefore also slows down the processing of Albanian cases at the ECtHR, which may actually work in its favor.

The delay may thus be a deliberate tactic, stalling court cases that it knows will result in a “unfavorable” verdict.