Today at 10:00 Parliament has started the draw for the candidates of the Justice Appointments Council (KED) 2019. The KED is elected once a year and is in charge of preparing the list of candidates for the Constitutional Court. Without the KED, no Constitutional Court can be formed.
The KED is open to all eligible prosecutors and judges, according to quotas for all levels of the prosecution and judicial systems, and member are elected by lot. The KED consists of 9 members:
- Two judges of the Constitutional Court;
- One judge of the High Court;
- One prosecutor of the General Prosecution Office;
- Two judges of the courts of appeal;
- Two prosecutors of the prosecution offices attached to the courts of appeal;
- One judge of administrative courts.
On November 19, 2018, President Meta disclosed the list of prosecutors and judges eligible to participate in the lot for KED members. The list of candidates from the respective institutions was compiled and submitted by the Constitutional Court, the High Court and the General Prosecution. The High Council of Justice (KLD) should have compiled and submitted the list of eligible judges in the Appeals and Administrative Courts, but it has violated the November 15 deadline set by the Constitution.
The current candidates are:
Constitutional Court: Vitore Tusha and Bashkim Dedja. The appeal against Dedja’s confirmation is still pending at the Special Appeals Chamber (KPA). If the earlier confirmation is overturned, no KED will be able to formed in the future. Both Tusha and Dedja will be automatically confirmed without lottery.
High Court: Edmond Islamaj, Ardian Dvorani, and Medi Bici. All three judges have passed the vetting process but the Public Commissioner has appealed the confirmation of Islamaj. None of the three candidates completed the School of Magistrates, which is a legal requirement.
General Prosecution Office: The General Prosecution Office submitted only one candidate from the General Prosecution: Temporary General Prosecutor Arta Marku. The General Prosecution clarified that 36 other listed prosecutors were not eligible as they didn’t graduate from the School of Magistrates. However, it did not clarify why hundreds of other persecutors were not considered to be included in the list, given that the prosecutorial system has 380 prosecutors on duty. It’s worth noting that Arta Marku has also applied to be a member of the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP), which might comprise a conflict of interest given that the KED assesses candidates to the KLP.
Courts of Appeal: The High Council of Justice (KLD) failed to provide any candidates.
Prosecution at Courts of Appeal: The only proposed candidate is Fatjona Memçaj, Prosecutor at the Appeal Prosecution of Tirana.
Administrative Courts: The High Council of Justice (KLD) failed to provide any candidates.
As a result, the only legally qualifying member for the KED are Tusha, Dedja, Marku, and Memçaj – all of whom will be confirmed by default. None of the three High Court candidates are legally eligible.
President Ilir Meta has refused to draw a lot for reasons that have not been disclosed, but most probably relate in part to the legal violations listed above. As a result, the right to choose the KED has passed to Parliament, as happened last year.
Speaker of Parliament Gramzo Ruçi claimed today that he has consulted the letter of President Ilir Meta with the judiciary assistance missions OPDAT and EURALIUS, previously responsible for the advice to proceed with illegal election of Temporary General Prosecutor Arta Marku:
I have consulted about the letter of the President with legal experts of the Parliament, EURALIUS, and OPDAT. Today is the moment to draw the lot. The Constitutional Court has brought two candidates for the KED members lot. We cannot draw a lot for them because there are two candidates for two positions and the two candidates are automatically considered elected, namely Bashkim Dedja and Vitore Tusha.