The Albanian parliament is set to extend the term of justice reform bodies that are vetting the country’s judges and prosecutors.
The ruling Socialist Party whip, Taulant Balla, said on Thursday that he hoped the opposition would support the extension, which in his opinion should be for two more years.
The vetting commissions have vetted about half of a total of roughly 800 magistrates since they started the process four years ago, in December 2017. Their term ends in June 2022. Experts had assessed that 4.5 years would be enough to vet all judges and prosecutors in Albania.
Balla’s 2-year extension suggests that the vetting panels will double the speed at which they work. It remains unclear if that is possible, and how it would affect the quality of the vetting process.
The International Monitoring Operations (ONM) established by the European Union to oversee implementation of Albania’s justice reform supported the extension in a statement for Esiona Konomi of ABC News.
They said it’s of paramount importance that the vetting of judges and prosecutors is completed as soon as possible. The term of extension should be decided by the Albanian parliament in consultation with the Venice Commission, according to the ONM.