Vetting Update: How Far Are We?

The vetting of the judiciary has started in September 2017. So far 116 assessees have been processed by the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK), leading to 49 confirmations, 48 dismissals, 9 interrupted vetting procedures (because the assessee quit their job before the vetting was completed), and 10 canceled vetting procedures (because the assessee retired or quit their job before the vetting was started).

Thus, of the members of the judiciary whose dossiers were officially opened since December 2017, more than 50% has left or has been dismissed.

There continues to be a remarkable contrast between male and female members of the judiciary: only 40% of the male magistrates have been confirmed, while 71% of the female magistrates were allowed to keep their job. The causes of this imbalance remain unexplained.

As the amount of data grows, we can also start discerning the individual preferences of the judges. The judgments of most judges are close to the average (50.35% confirmed, 49.65% dismissed), but Etleda Çiftja appears to be considerably tougher than the average, with a dismissal rate of 71.43%.

The average pace of the vetting continues to be less than two assessees per week. As I have suggested earlier, this means it will take 8 more years to vet the entire judiciary.

What has improved is the overall time it takes the KPK to publish its decisions. According to the vetting law, the KPK is obliged to publish its verdicts within 30 days. In the past this has often been a problem, but currently the KPK appears to have caught up with the work.

The members of the KPK also continue to work at different paces. The average number of cases judged by the 12 judges, which were originally intended to operate in 4 parallel teams of 3, is 25.75. However, Roland Ilia has judged a total of 36, whereas Alma Faskaj has treated only 4. Faskaj’s most recent verdict dates from October 5, 2018.

However, when it comes to politically sensitive verdicts, such as the decision to confirm Director of the Serious Crimes Prosecution Donika Prela, the KPK continues to violate its deadlines. That verdict should have been published about three weeks ago.