Parliament Lowers Qualifications Criteria for KED Members

New Constitutional Court judges to be elected this year will be able to be part of the Justice Appointments Council (KED), despite their lack of experience with the court.

Changes to the Law no. 115/2016 “On the Governance Institutions of the Justice System” passed by in Parliament were also approved by President Meta.

Art. 221 of the law prescribed that only judges who have been a member of the Constitutional Court for at least 1 year can be selected to the KED:

Only those magistrates and judges of the Constitutional Court, who at the time of organising the lot, meet the following criteria, may be included in the lot for the selection of the members of the Justice Appointments Council:

  1. 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;

The 1 year experience requirement has been dropped in the amended law. This means that any judge elected to the Constitutional Court this year will be able to be member of KED. The current KED has only seven of its nine members, and the next one is expected to be installed at the end of 2019. The lowering of requirements is expected to overcome issues with the forming of KED.

The Justice Appointment Council (KED) verifies candidates who meet the legal criteria to become members of Constitutional Court and High Justice Inspector. It consists of:

  • Two judges of the Constitutional Court;
  • A High Court judge;
  • One prosecutor from the General Prosecutor’s Office;
  • Two judges from the Courts of Appeal;
  • Two prosecutors from the Appeals Prosecution offices;
  • A judge from the Administrative courts.

In 2017 and 2018, the formation of the KED was made in violation of the law as most candidates had not passed the vetting by a final decision. Bashkim Dedja, head of the Constitutional Court and a member of the KED 2019, was dismissed by the Special Appeals Chamber, leaving the KED with only seven members.