Parlament To Discuss School of Magistrates Fix

Today Parliament is expected to discuss an amendment to Law 96/2016 “On the status of judges and prosecutors in the Republic of Albania.” During an extraordinary session, Parliament will vote on an amendment that would temporarily transfer the competence nominate graduates from the School of Magistrates to the courts and prosecution to the High Council of Justice (KLD) and General Prosecutor, as long as the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) and Hugh Judicial Council (KLGj) have not been installed.

As we explained before, due to delays in the justice reform, graduates from the School of Magistrates can currently not be nominated into any new positions, nor can the School of Magistrates open the competition for new students for the next academic year. The amendment, proposed by Legal Affairs Commission chair Ulsi Manja, would allow the School to accept 25 students for the year 2018–2019, and 50 for 2019–2020.

Of the 34 judges and prosecutors who were vetted so far, about 20% was dismissed. A total of about 800 magistrates need to be vetted, and assuming this trend holds, at least 160 magistrates will have be replaced until 2021, when the vetting is expected to end. The numbers proposed in the amendment will therefore likely not be sufficient.

It is unclear whether the amendment, which needs a 2/3 majority of 84 votes, will pass. The majority currently appears to wield 79 votes in Parliament, so will need 5 votes from the opposition.