Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

STEMA 01 01


Press Release on the Decree “On the Proclamation of Law No. 106/2023, ‘On Some Additions and Changes to Law No. 8891, dated May 2, 2002, ‘On the Organization and Functioning of the Investigative Committees of the Parliament'”

Today, the President of the Republic issued the decree “On the proclamation of Law No. 106/2023, ‘On some additions and changes to Law No. 8891, dated May 2, 2002, ‘On the organization and functioning of the investigative committees of the Parliament’.” This institutional practice has recently been politicized by a limited number of deputies. Therefore, the Office of the President of the Republic finds it appropriate to inform the public as follows:

The proclamation of laws by the President of the Republic is carried out at the end of the constitutional review process, during which the institution verifies the constitutionality of the new provisions and the procedure for their adoption. The constitutional review does not verify any political content aspect of the law.

The most significant argument raised by a part of the opposition is related to the claim that the enactment of this law could undermine the dialogue between political parties in the Parliament: – “This one-sided law should be returned to the parliament and approved by consensus.”

The President of the Republic highly values the negotiation to find a compromise solution for this matter, as for any other subject of debate, contestation, or political conflict. A swift resolution of disagreements over this law would form a serious opportunity to build trust relations on a concrete example of cooperation. This is why the President of the Republic immediately invited the most vocal representatives of the opposition to seek compromise with the parliamentary majority and to use the interim period, until the completion of the deadline for the law’s proclamation, to resolve in dialogue with the majority all the issues they had concerning the newly approved law.

In fact, the period from the law’s approval until the end of the 20-day deadline for its proclamation expired without any initiative to offer and find a compromise solution, maintaining the objective to block the law’s enactment but disproving the objective of “discussing and consensually approving the amendments to the law on investigative committees.”

Regarding claims of unconstitutionality of the new legal provisions made public by some opposition representatives, we clarify as follows:

1. It has been claimed that the approval of the bill was accompanied by procedural irregularities. This claim does not stand up to constitutional review. Procedural violations alone are not sufficient grounds for returning the law for review. The procedure for examining and approving bill proposals is a matter of the Internal Regulation of the Parliament, the enforcement of which is controlled by the internal organs of the Parliament, assigned by the Regulation for this purpose.

It is a public fact that in the internal instances of the Parliament, no request has been filed with claims of procedural violations related to this law. Procedural violations can only form the basis for constitutional review if they rise to the level of constitutional breaches. An example would be if a law, which the Constitution requires to be approved by a qualified majority, is passed with fewer votes. None of the alleged procedural violations rise to the level of a constitutional procedural breach. Consequently, this does not render the law unconstitutional.

Likewise, the claim that this law should have been approved by consensus is not related to any requirement of the Constitution, therefore the President of the Republic cannot return it for review on the grounds of lacking consensus.

2. It has been claimed that the approved amendments do not include the consolidated stance of the Constitutional Court, which obliges the parliamentary majority to accept the establishment of an investigative committee and to only discuss the subject of the investigation and only if there are claims of infringement of constitutional principles. Against this claim stand two essential facts that protect the constitutionality. First, the obligation to establish an investigative committee, when requested by no less than 35 deputies, is a duty stemming from Article 77 of the Constitution and is not opposed by any provision of this law. Second, the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, which has also determined the limits of the parliamentary majority’s discretion, in this case, is also not contradicted by any provision of this law. The opinion that this issue should have been included in the text of the law with specific formulations may be considered rational, but its absence does not render the law unconstitutional, nor does it negate the obligations arising from the Constitution and the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court.

3. It has been claimed that the new law’s determinations for the rules for conducting closed-door meetings of the investigative committee aim to eliminate transparency, which is the essence of its work. The formulations that specify the cases when meetings can be held behind closed doors serve transparency, as limiting these cases disciplines the committee’s decision-making and reduces the possibility of abusing this mechanism. The cases mentioned in the law are exceptional, and each serves to protect another constitutional or legal interest. These provisions do not eliminate transparency. Violating them might do so. The law cannot be called unconstitutional. Actions contrary to it, yes.

4. It has been claimed that the new rule for taking evidence and summoning witnesses by interim decision is unconstitutional. This claim also does not withstand constitutional review. It is true that the provision for taking evidence and summoning witnesses by interim decision is a regression compared to the previous law, which did not subject these procedures to voting, but the issue itself does not have constitutional substance. For example, it cannot be claimed that in this case we are dealing with the infringement of an acquired right, as the constitutional principle of the protection of acquired rights operates in a different field and for entirely different subjects. In this case, we are faced with two legal solutions competing with each other, but both are constitutional.

From another perspective, the rules for taking testimony and its content cannot be considered restrictive. They clarify the procedural position of the witness and are in harmony with Albanian legislation, including foreign reference models.

5. Regarding the request for the inclusion of the President of the Republic in the political dialogue process, this constitutes a consideration of a different nature from those that pertain to the constitutional review procedure of laws. Returning laws for review is not the constitutional instrument given to the President of the Republic to facilitate dialogue. Laws are not proclaimed for the sake of “political dialogue between parties” but as part of the legislative process because they successfully pass the constitutional filter.

On this occasion, we reiterate the message of the President of the Republic addressed to the deputies on the occasion of the opening of the new parliamentary session and his call for constructive dialogue and goodwill cooperation among political forces, as the only way that serves the common good, the national interest, and the consolidation of Albania’s positions in the international arena. This call is also valid in the context of the establishment and successful functioning of parliamentary investigative committees.