Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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President’s speech on the 30th anniversary of the Constitutional Court

Honourable Madam Speaker of the Parliament,

Honourable Prime Minister,

Honourable Members of the Constitutional Court,

Excellencies Ambassadors,

Dear participants and guests,

30 years is not a long period of time, when it comes to the consolidation process of a key institution for the democracy of a country, but it is not insignificant either.

The historical changes of the 90’s and the great turn towards democracy brought about the need for the establishment of the Constitutional Court, as a cornerstone institution in the building of the state of law and respect of human rights.

A country, coming out of its dictatorial past, with entirely controlled institutions by the party-state, would obviously have to face numerous challenges along this newly undertaken journey.

The fundamental concepts of the functioning of institutions in democracy, such as the separation of powers, checks and balances, impartiality of justice, may seem easy to grasp intellectually, but their implementation was and remains complex.

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It does not simply involve the reformation of the constitutional and legal setup of many institutions, but a new mindset, new professional and intellectual approach from many institutional and social actors, both within the justice system and out of it.

Since 1992, the Constitutional Court has examined a variety of cases and has been confirmed as a balanced and determined institution in achieving the best standards of constitutional justice.

Prominent names of Albanian jurisprudence have contributed to the institution and laid the foundations of constitutional justice in our country.

Today is the best day to express our highest appreciation to all present and former members and chairs of the Constitutional Court, who have worked diligently to build an authoritative Court, similar to its European counterparts.

Also, this is the day to confirm our support to the Court members and their work in ensuring that power is always exercised within constitutional legitimacy and that public interest is protected at all times.

I believe that you will discuss at length, today, on what has gone well, on the difficulties and to what extent the Court’s independence has been supported.

Recurrent changes in the legal framework, in the past 30 years, have presented various challenges to the Constitutional Court, affecting aspects of its organization, competences and normal functioning.

The judicial reform, strongly supported by our European and American partners, has brought positive developments for the Constitutional Court and access to constitutional justice.

I believe that adjustments in the way Court judges are selected and appointed, the involvement  of several constitutional bodies, with detailed powers, have all enabled a selection process based on professional merit and unaffected by political influence.

The increase in the number of entities that can initiate a constitutional trial is, also, a positive development.

The extension of the individual appeal to any act issued by public authorities or judicial decision increases the control over the constitutionality of the acts and provides greater protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.

Transparency remains essential to maintain public trust in the Constitutional Court and ensure an easy and quality access of citizens to constitutional justice.

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Dear participants,

The functioning of democracy and the rule of law is a non-negotiable prerequisite for our unchanging objective: membership in the European Union.

The Integration Agenda, especially following the start of accession negotiations, augments the obligations imposed on all our institutions.

The EU Progress Report on Albania, published a few days ago, evaluated the progress in the new justice institutions, highlighting some of the problems that have affected the efficiency of the judicial system.

Recent additions to the body of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court are appreciated, but the report emphasizes the importance of transparency in the evaluation and ranking processes of candidates, based on merit and in line with the Venice Commission recommendations.

The report calls for improving the pace of vetting procedures, without affecting the quality of the process, as well as increasing efficiency and transparency in the courts and prosecutor’s offices.

Cooperation with European and American counterpart institutions, further development of constitutional jurisprudence, in accordance with contemporary best practices, are important in consolidating the authority of the Court and strengthening of its independence.

Independence and impartiality require adequate financial support and budgetary autonomy, to enable full functionality, self-regulatory ability and obstruct any intrusion by any branch of power.


Dear members of the Constitutional Court,

Something you should not forget whenever you are faced with a decision, easy or complex, is that the Constitutional Court is the country’s Crown of Democracy and the Guardian of Social Peace!

I am confident of your professionalism and commitment to be an impartial defender of the best interests of the country, of the citizens, and the guarantor of the democratic, legal and constitutional order.

Thank you for the invitation and congratulations on organizing this international conference.

Good luck in your work!