International Monitors: Rulings of Panel Including Unlawfully Elected Judge Are Lawful

The International Monitoring Operation (ONM) has claimed that the decisions taken by vetting panels that have included suspended Judge Luan Daci are valid even if he is fired and sentenced for falsifying documents to hide his previous dismissal as judge.

In a press release distributed by EU Delegation Information and Communication Officer Dasara Dizdari-Zeneli, the ONM states that “the decisions taken by the Appeal Chamber [of which Judge Daci is a member] have been adopted on the basis of a collegial decision making mechanism, by an appeal college consisting of five members and therefore not dependent on a single individual.”  

However, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has specifically clarified the opposite of ONM’s claim: “a court must thus be established in accordance with the legal provisions on the establishment and competence of judicial bodies and with any other provision of national law that would render, if it is not complied with, the involvement of one or more judges in the examination of the case improper. This includes in particular provisions relating to the mandates, incompatibilities and disqualification of judges”.

Furthermore, “it is not only essential that judges are independent and impartial, but also that the procedure for their appointment appears to be so. It is for that reason that the rules for the appointment of a judge must be strictly adhered to.”

Judge Daci has been part of vetting panels that have dismissed dozens prosecutors and judges with a final decision from the judicial system.

The ONM also stated that they were unable to spot Daci’s alleged falsification when he applied to be part of the vetting institutions, because they had only 14 days to review many applications: “reasoned assessment and recommendations issued on applicants were developed on the basis of the best of the observers’ knowledge and on the basis of the information made available within the stringent timeframe provided by law.” They add that during the review, ONM experts were unable to spot Luan Daci’s alleged omission from his CV of his dismissal as judge.

In their statement, the ONM admits that it received a request from one of the vetted subjects to consider disciplinary action against Judge Daci, but replied that they were not competent to take disciplinary action.