Albania’s Defunct High Court Needs 17 Years to Review Pending Cases

The now dysfunctional High Court of Albania will need 17 years to review all pending cases.

The High Judicial Council (KLGj) report on the judiciary for 2018 found that, at the current pace, the 31 thousand pending cases will take an astounding long time to review – 6,297 days, or 17 years and 3 months.

The High Court of Albania has been completely dysfunctional since March 2019, when Judge Edmond Islamaj’s dismissal by the vetting commission left the court with only two of its 19 judges, unable to reach the minimal quorum of three judges for processing files. Now the court has only one judge, Ardian Dvorani, following Xhezair Zaganjori’s dismissal.

The report also found that the number of cases filed with this court during 2018 was about five times higher than those reviewed before the court was rendered dysfunctional – 8,563 cases filed vs. 1,673 cases reviewed.

High Judicial Council (KLGj) Chairwoman Naureda Llagami acknowledged in July that “the court system [was] in a difficult state” due to the absence of the High Court.

Back then Llagami said that the High Court would be functioning by September:

“In autumn we will have new appointments. In September we will have a High Court.”

The probability for the High Court to be functional by September is zero, given that the KLGj has not started procedures to elect new judges yet.