From: Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Judges Organizations Denounce PM Rama’s Attack on Judiciary

The National Society of Judges and the Union of Judges have released a joint statement denouncing Prime Minister Edi Rama’s recent attacks on the judiciary.

In the statement, the two professional organizations express their concern about “the recent positions of high political representatives toward judges.”

Such repeated statements by functionaries of the executive not only do they not facilitate interinstitutional relations but they are a threat to the independence of the judicial power, by undermining meanwhile the trust of citizens in the justice system.

Ignoring a previous declaration by the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) to distance himself from incendiary language, the Prime Minister spoke yesterday at length about an alleged “criminal organization” consisting of “prosecutors and judges who know they won’t pass the vetting.” No evidence for such an organization exists.

Over the last week, both Prime Minister Rama and Deputy Prime Minister Erion Braçe have ramped up attacks on the judiciary after a series of verdicts they considered “criminal.”

The organizations of judges called upon the High Judicial Council (KLGj) to follow the example of the KLP to support the independence of the judiciary. They also made an appeal to the international community:

The National Society and the Union of Judges want to invite […] our international friends and partners, which have incessantly contributed to the conceptualization and implementation of the justice reform, to make a public statement in relation to the behavior shown in recent days.

Already yesterday Exit reached out to the European Union Delegation in Tirana for a statement, but has so far not received any response concerning the Prime Minister’s attack on the justice system.