In a letter sent on July 3 to the High Judicial Council (KLGj), President Ilir Meta has sought information regarding the installation of the High Court, after previous reports of Exit revealed that the EURALIUS justice assistance mission had advised the KLGj to appoint temporary judges to the High Court in order to expedite the installation of the Constitutional Court.
In his letter, President Meta points out even though the High Court is currently dysfunctional, with only 2 our of 19 members, the KLGj has violated the 3-month deadline set by the so-called “Status Law” to approve the bylaws to fulfill the vacancies at the High Court.
President Meta argues that the KLGj’s violation of the deadline “threaten[s] directly the functionality of the High Court and in this way also the stability of the judicial system in its entirety.”
He also questions the motivations of the KLGj for requesting a legal opinion of EURALIUS on the “emergency situation” at the High Court, created by its own inability to approve the necessary regulations to appoint a High Court through in a legally sound manner, through approval by the President:
The President of the Republic, referring to the contents of this legal opinion and the KLGj’s exceeding of the deadline for the drafting of the necessary bylaws, considers it unjustified that the KLGj didn’t act in time to request EURALIUS all the help and assistance to draft and approve the necessary bylaws, while it requests an opinion for the solution of an “emergency” situation recently created when the High Court was left with only two members. […]
Under the conditions in which 6 months and 20 days have passed since the KLGj was created and still not all the bylaws for this process have been created, the presentation of an emergency situation by the KLGj and EURALIUS is completely unjustified.
President Meta further strongly argued against the legal advise provided by EURALIUS senior legal expert Klodian Rado, who is at the same time a candidate for the Constitutional Court, as a “threat to the constitutional competences of the President of the Republic” and a “threat to the public credibility of the new organs of the justice system.” Furthermore, by allowing temporary members of the High Court to elect members at the Constitutional Court would undermine the credibility of the Justice Reform.
This opinion [of EURALIUS] in itself is an attempt to offer a solution through extralegal measures that are barely constitutional and legal with the argument of an emergency situation. This is an attempt first to hide the problem or shortcomings that the extant legal basis may feature and may be the source of this situation. As a result of the usage of this unsuitable mechanism proposed by EURALIUS, the temporary promotion of judges is made possible that don’t merit being part of the justice system and may be evaluated as such by the transitory reassessment organs. […]
EURALIUS V is an expert mission that assists all the new organs of the justice system as well as the Assembly of Albania, and for this it should give objective opinions for appropriate solutions coordinated with all actors in agreement with the Constitution, and not hide shortcomings and problems that bylaws may have, or be involved in “creative” activities that could be interpreted negatively.
Although the official response of the KLGj to the President’s letter is not yet known, several media have reported that there are internal conflicts in the KLGj about the EURALIUS opinion and its proposed “creative” solution to the High Court’s “emergency” situation.