On 24 February 2021, EURALIUS, in cooperation with the High Justice Inspector (HJI), kicked off a series of training sessions for the newly appointed inspectors with the aim to introduce the inspectors into the disciplinary system for judges, prosecutors and members of the Councils, as foreseen in the national legal framework in the light of European standards. The training took a very practical and hands-on approach and was highly appreciated by the participants, who considered this an important tool to a unified application of provisions and standardization of practices.
EURALIUS is currently assisting the MoJ in regard to the elaboration of the Cross-Sector Justice Strategy 2021-2021 and its Action Plan.
EURALIUS assisted the MoJ in the finalization of the Action Plan for each Specific Objectives contained in the CSJS II, will need to be uploaded in the IPSIS system as required by the Government of Albania. The IPSIS systems provides a comprehensive planning and monitoring framework within which all major government planning and financial policies and processes work coherently, efficiently, and integrated.
Since IPSIS was recently updated, the MoJ asked for support in organizing a two-day training on the use of the IPSIS system. The office of the Prime Minister developed a dedicated test space for the IPSIS system which had allowed the users to practice in accordance with the respective training and module. The training was held on 28 January and 1 February 2021 with the participation of the staff of the Directorate of Policies and Strategies in the Field of Justice of the MoJ as well as a representative of the Office of the Prime Minister.
In the upcoming week, EURALIUS will assist the MoJ with regards the insertion of data for one (1) Action Plan as well as review the process for the remaining Action Plans.
EURALIUS is currently assisting the Albanian High Judicial Council (HJC) in regard to the increase of efficiency in first instance courts. To this end, EURALIUS in cooperation with HJC developed several activities to be piloted in the coming months in the Tirana District Court and Lezha District Court.
On 27 January 2021 a Kick- Off meeting was held with the participation of EURALIUS experts, members of the permanent Commission of the HJC for Strategic Planning, Administration and Budget as well as representatives of the piloted courts.
The activities will focus on problems that judges of the first instance face in regard to the execution orders, standardisation of judicial administration activities in civil matters and successful execution of notifications to the parties.
EURALIUS, an EU funded project, has responded to the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic by promoting and providing the necessary equipment to courts and guidance to stakeholders for remote hearings through the use of video technology.
A respective Normative Act provides the necessary legal foundation.
The Lezha Court, one of the first courts equipped with the video technology by EURALIUS, has demonstrated a willingness to adapt to the new ways of working.
In the period covering April –November 2020, the Lezha court has carried out 420 remote hearings.
EURALIUS is in the process of providing the technology to facilitate such hearings in all Albanian Courts. The approaches to remote hearings emphasize the importance of remaining committed to efficiency, accessibility, and transparency for all parties involved when incorporating technology in the court system, both in the context of the current emergency and beyond.
On 10 November 2020, EURALIUS in collaboration with the Italian Project AICS/CSM delivered an online training for the administrative staff of the School of Magistrates on Strategic Time Management. During the training participants showed high interest on the topic and lively participated in the discussion. Training was attended by all administrative staff of the School of Magistrates. This is the fourth training delivered in the framework of increasing the capacities of the administrative staff of the School of Magistrates.
Training for incumbent chancellors of prosecution offices on ‘Management of Prosecution Offices - Responsibilities and cooperation between the chief prosecutor and the chancellor’
On 19 - 20 November 2020, EURALIUS in collaboration with the School of Magistrates organized two days online training for incumbent chancellors of prosecution offices on ‘Management of Prosecution Offices - Responsibilities and cooperation between the chief prosecutor and the chancellor’. During the first day of the online training were discussed topics on management of prosecution offices by emphasizing EU and International standards in such regard. While, on the second day the focus of discussions was on cooperation chief prosecutor-chancellor. Participants brought examples of their daily tasks and discussed options to increase work efficiency by better defining the responsibilities of chief prosecutors and chancellors regarding administration of a prosecution office. In addition, this training served as a panel of discussing the needs for initial and continuous training for chancellors of prosecution offices and reflecting these needs in the modules of the curricula for chancellors of prosecution offices.
On 27 November 2020, EURALIUS in collaboration with the School of Magistrates, PAMECA and the Italian Project AICS/CSM organized an online training on International Judicial Cooperation. The training was attended by around 25 judges and prosecutors of Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime Court and Special Prosecution Office who widely discussed problems of implementing international judicial cooperation. EURALIUS Experts presented an overview of the legislative framework on International Judicial Cooperation, focusing on the case law of the European Court, Eurojust, European Judicial Network and European Public Prosecutor. Training served not only to exchange views and practical experience on the implementation of International Judicial Cooperation, but it also served to point out some issues that Albanian judges and prosecutors encounter in their daily work.
On 4 November 2020, EURALIUS in collaboration with the Italian Project AICS/CSM delivered an online training for the administrative staff of the School of Magistrates on Public Communication and Social Networking. During the training participants showed high interest on the topic and lively participated in the discussion and contributed on solving practical cases. Training was attended by all administrative staff of the School of Magistrates. This is the third training delivered in the framework of increasing the capacities of the administrative staff of the School of Magistrates.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has posed enormous challenges to the functioning of every aspect of society. One area where its affects have been felt keenly is in Albanian court proceedings.
EURALIUS, has responded to the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic by promoting and providing the necessary equipment and guidance for remote hearings.
On 7 December 2020, the Tirana District Court, conducted its first remote hearing using the technology and assistance provided by EURALIUS. Twelve Judges who have expressed an interest to conduct remote hearings as well as thirty judicial secretaries have been trained by EURALIUS regarding the use of this technology.
All courts in Albania are encouraged to engage in remote hearings where possible. Holding remote hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly important to preserve the rule of law and access to justice while ensuring the safety of all participants.
In this regard, EURALIUS is in the process of providing the technology to facilitate such hearings in all Albanian Courts.
On 28 October, EURALIUS in collaboration with the SoM, PAMECA and the Italian Project AICS/CSM organized an online training on judgement upon agreement. The training was attended by 20 judges and prosecutors of Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime Court and Special Prosecution Office who widely discussed problems of implementing judgement upon agreement in court practice.
EURALIUS presented an overview of the legislative framework on judgement upon agreement, mainly differences and similarities of various EU and non-EU countries, focusing more on the Croatian system and its peculiarities. Judgement upon agreement in the light of the case law of the European Convention on Human Rights (art.6), particularly the principle of legality and the position of the victim were largely introduced by the EURALIUS.
The training served not only to exchange views and practical experience on the implementation of judgment upon agreement, but it also served to point out some issues that Albanian judges and prosecutors encounter in their daily work.
On 22 October 2020 EURALIUS in collaboration with the SoM, PAMECA and the Italian Project AICS/CSM organized an online training on independent investigation and investigation techniques. The most noteworthy topics discussed on this training were proactive investigations, international cooperation during investigation of transnational crimes, the advantages of using joint investigation teams, their competence and functioning in the territories of each of the parties. A template agreement on establishment of a JIT was also shared with the participants. This training served to share national and international experience in conducting efficient and independent investigations by applying various new investigation techniques and concrete tools and methodologies to improve international cooperation. Training was attended by 50 magistrates.
On 6 October 2020, EURALIUS in collaboration with the Italian Project AICS/CSM delivered a training for the administrative staff of the School of Magistrates on Knowledge Management and Organizational Development. During the training the participants showed high interest on the topic and lively participated in the discussion and contributed on solving practical cases on management of a training institution. Training was attended by 20 participants, all administrative staff of the SoM.
On 27 October 2020, EURALIUS V organized an event for judges interested in applying to the SPAK Courts of First Instance and Appeal.
“On 8 October 2020, EURALIUS and the High Prosecutorial Council organized a Workshop “On the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on disciplinary matters of magistrates’.
The School of Magistrates, in collaboration with EURALIUS, organized a 3-days Retreat on elaborating curricula for chancellors of Prosecution Offices. The working group consisted of pedagogues and experts of the School of Magistrates, experts of EURALIUS, representatives of the High Prosecutorial Council, Heads of several Prosecution Offices, and acting chancellors of the Prosecution Offices. The modules that are being prepared will serve for the initial training programme of chancellors of prosecution offices and aim at transferring knowledge and skills in fulfilling with professionalism and efficiency the duties and responsibilities of the chancellors.
This morning the High Judicial Council and the High Court, in a partly live and partly online event, presented a Roadmap to High Court Functionality to the EU and US ambassador and a number of other interested embassies.
In the past years, EURALIUS experts have assisted the SoM in the important process of revision of initial training curricula. The revision of the curricula is considered pivotal for facing the challenges related to the increased number of candidate magistrates.
On 20 July 2020, EURALIUS in cooperation with the Italian Project AICS/CSM organized for the staff of the School of Magistrates an online training on ‘Smart Working’. Smart working is a fully flexible work
On 2 and 3 July 2020, EURALIUS organized online training for the Ministry of Justice of Albania on Leadership and Management Development.
During the training EURALIUS international expert Mr Arnie Skelton delivered a 3 half day presentations on practical suggestions for minimizing then dealing effectively with overload, time management and prioritizing, providing simple but effective tools that are easy to introduce, to reduce the pressure of work.
On 29 June 2020, the School of Magistrates in collaboration with EURALIUS, PAMECA and the Italian Project AICS/CSM organized an online training on Anti-Mafia Law and the new role of the court.
During the training, EURALIUS International Expert delivered a presentation on Anti-Mafia Law in light of the experience of Italian Supreme Court. While Expert from the Italian Project AICS/CSM delivered a presentation on practical case according to the Italian experience on the application of Anti-Mafia Law.
On 18 June 2020, EURALIUS V organized a webinar for judges interested in applying to the SPAK Court of First Instance.
"On Friday 12 June, the three judges of the High Court, Judge Sokol Sadushi, Judge Ervin Pupe and Judge Ilir Panda, met with a delegation of EURALIUS V, consisting of Mrs Agnes Berhard, Teamleader, and Mr Herman von Hebel, International Expert and Deputy Teamleader, in the premises of the High Court.
In view of COVID – 19 pandemics, EURALIUS in cooperation with the High Judicial Council, is assisting the courts with the implementation of videoconferencing tools with the aim to reduce the physical presence of litigants, lawyers, and court staff.
Following the practice established last year, on 8 and 9 June 2020, EURALIUS in cooperation with the School of Magistrates organized training sessions with eligible applicants to become candidate magistrates.
The training was organized in the new premises of the School and simultaneously online in order to comply with health safety standards currently in force due to Covid-19.
The first part of the training focused on the presentation of several aspects of the electronic assessment (Scantron test). In the second part, EURALIUS experts presented tips for a successful admission exam with examples from previous criminal law theses. The attendees showed high interest and actively participated in the discussions.