From: Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
KED Starts Interviews with Constitutional Court Candidates

The Justice Appointments Council (KED) has started interviewing the 6 candidates for the Constitutional Court and the 4 candidates for the High Justice Inspectorate (ILD) in order to rank them.

For the Constitutional Court, the following vacancies are being considered:

  1. President (vacancy of February 7, 2018): Arta Vorpsi, Besnik Muçi, Regleta Panajoti, Elsa Toska
  2. President (early vacancy of February 7, 2018): Besnik Muçi, Regleta Panajoti
  3. Parliament (vacancy of February 12, 2018): Arta Vorpsi, Besnik Muçi, Elsa Toska
  4. Parliament (early vacancy of August 28, 2018): –
  5. President (vacancy of March 4, 2019): Arta Vorpsi, Fiona Papajorgji, Elsa Toska, Marsida Xhaferllari
  6. Parliament (vacancy of March 4, 2019): Arta Vorpsi, Fiona Papajorgji, Elsa Toska

There are no qualifying candidates for vacancy no. 4. The KED has started ranking candidates for vacancies 1, 3, 5, and 6, with the decision concerning vacancies 2 and 4 being deferred to a later meeting. Yesterday, Besnik Muçi has been interviewed, while the others will be interviewed on August 9.

Although the KED does not require Constitutional Court candidates to have completed the vetting, KED Chair Dvorani admitted that it “wouldn’t honor the process” if Constitutional Court judges approved by the KED would later by dismissed by the vetting institutions and therefore forced to vacate their position.

Currently, only Arta Vorpsi, Regleta Panajoti, Elsa Toska, and Fiona Papajorgji have passed the vetting with a final verdict. Vorpsi, Toska, and Papajorgji are councillors at the Constitutional Court, while Toska is a judge at the Court of First Instance in Tirana.

The Public Commissioner has appealed Besnik Muçi’s confirmation by the Independent Qualification Commission. The appeal is currently pending at the Special Appeal Chamber (KPA). The case of Marsida Xhaferllari is even more complicated, because the KPK interrupted her vetting when it concluded that she was no longer a judge. Xhaferllari filed an appeal against that decision at the KPA, which is currently pending. As we have reported before, it is not at all clear that with these candidates the quorum of the Constitutional Court can be met.

With the ILD a similar problem looms. Although the KED has started to interview the four candidates – Artur Malaj, Artur Metani, Eris Hysi, and again Marsida Xhaferllari – Constitution art. 147/d(4) stipulates that the ILD is elected from a list of five candidates. Thus, if the KED forwards a list of only 4 candidates, the election of the ILD will be unconstitutional.