No eligible KED candidate from High Court

None of the High Court judges is eligible to become a candidate to the Justice Nominations Council (KED) for the year 2019.

The High Court submitted a list of three candidates out of the four judges still on duty: Ardian Dvorani, Edmond Islamaj, and Medi Bici.

Upon reviewing their resumes, found that none of the three candidates completed the School of Magistrates, which is a legal requirement.

The KED member coming from the High Court is also set to be the Chairman of KED, hence the lack of an eligible candidate from the High Court would leave the KED with no chairman.

The forming of KED according to the Constitution and law

The Constitution stipulates that the KED will have 9 members chosen by lot from lists of judges and prosecutors who should meet certain requirements. They will serve for one year, with no right to be elected consecutively. One of the nine KED members will be a High Court judge.

Art.221 of the Law 15/2016, “On Governance Institutions of the Justice System” stipulates the criteria for magistrates participating in the lot for KED membership:

  • At the time of drawing the lot, the candidate has been a magistrate for at least 10 years and a member of the Constitutional Court for at least 1 year;
  • No disciplinary measure is in force against the candidate
  • No disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against him/her before the application.
  • The magistrate has completed the full cycle of four or five years of study in the law;
  • The magistrate has completed the School of Magistrates;
  • The magistrate has been evaluated at least “very good” in the last two ethical and professional performance evaluation;
  • The magistrate or judge of the Constitutional Court is not under investigation and has not been previously convicted by a final court decision for the commission of a criminal offense;
  • The magistrate or judge of the Constitutional Court has not been previously punished with administrative sanctions for violation of the legal regulations regarding the declaration of assets and conflict of interest.

Like other institutions, the High Court is legally bound to publish on its website the list of candidates who meet the criteria, and the list of them who don’t. However, the High Court has simply submitted a list of three judges’ names to the President.

By submitting a list of candidates who do not meet the criteria, Xhezair Zaganjori, the Chairman of the High Court, is once again in violation of the Constitution and law on the forming of the new justice institutions.

Of the proposed candidates, Judge Dvorani and Judge Bici were confirmed in their duty by a final an enforceable ruling after the vetting process, whereas Judge Islamaj is awaiting the ruling of the Special Appeals Chamber (KPA) following the Public Commissioners’ appeal of the Independent Qualification Commission’s (KPK) ruling to confirm him in his duty.

Moreover, according to Art.221/2 “Candidates who do not meet one of these requirements are excluded from the lot.” Hence, the Speaker of the Parliament Gramoz Ruçi must exclude Judges Dvorani, Islamaj and Bici from the lot he will draw on 5-10 December, 208.

The High Court candidates to the KED not meeting the criteria further complicate its forming. As previously noted here, given the circumstances only four of the nine members of the KED could be chosen legally. There are no eligible magistrates who could possibly fill the remaining five seats.

The inability for the KED to form would impair the whole judicial system, among others by preventing the filling of empty seats in the High Court and Constitutional Court.