The Venice Commission has presented the Albanian parliament with a draft opinion that suggests constitutional amendments to extend the expiring mandate of judicial vetting bodies should be approved.
Earlier this month, the Socialist majority requested the opinion of the Council of Europe’s advisory body whether such an amendment to the constitution would comply with the latter.
The final opinion following today’s draft is expected to be published later this month.
As part of Albania’s far-reaching justice reform, two commissions have been tasked with vetting all judges and prosecutors. According to the constitution, their mandates expire in June 2022, but only half of the country’s magistrates have gone through the process.
If Parliament does not approve the extension of their mandate, then the High Judicial Council will vet the remaining magistrates.
The opposition does not oppose the extension, but it requests the approval of their own constitutional amendments to change the current electoral system, and to enact a vetting process for MPs and other high-ranking politicians.