President Ilir Meta has appointed Judge Artur Kalaja as the 8th member of the High Court of Albania.
The Monday decision follows a proposal by the High Judicial Council (KLGJ) for the judge’s appointment. This leaves 11 more vacant seats in the country’s second most important court, which was completely dysfunctional for more than a year.
In his announcement of the decision, President Meta repeated calls for the KLGJ to speed up the process for appointing new judges to the High Court without sacrificing the highest qualification criteria.
Albania’s High Court became dysfunctional in 2019, after it was decimated by the vetting process under the justice reform. In March 2020, it reached the minimum quorum necessary to review some cases. However, it still has only 8 of its 19 members, and a backlog of more than 30 thousand cases.