Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Speeches, Speeches

Remarks by the President of the Republic of Albania, His Excellency Bajram Begaj at the Conference in honor of the 110th anniversary of the establishment of the Supreme Court and Justice Day

Honorable Mr. Sadushi, President of the Supreme Court,

Distinguished Ambassadors,

Esteemed authorities of the Albanian Justice System,

Dear participants,

Today is a holy day for Albanian justice, National Justice Day!

110th anniversary of the establishment of the Supreme Court!

“Kanon of Jury” marked the cornerstone of Albanian justice and the establishment of the Supreme Court, 110 years ago. This canon is the first legal act regarding the organization and operation of this system in the independent Albanian state, as well as the starting point for the creation of our legal culture and tradition.

It served as the foundation for the functioning of the rule of law, aligning itself with the best international standards of the time.

In these 110 years, our political history has had a difficult journey, a journey in which the justice system has also gone through in search of achieving an independent justice system, establishing equality before the law, an efficient and transparent system, in the interest of society and in defense of democratic values.

These principles should guide the work of magistrates on duty and those approaching the profession.

The contribution of each and every one of us here present today, local and international actors, is essential for the construction of a legal culture with professional standards and high ethics that conveys the necessary trust towards those who expect justice.

Public trust in justice institutions is the ultimate purpose of all state policies, because every public institution must be at service and function of citizens.

Citizens’ expectations towards the justice system are very high, as they expect the correction of the injustices they encounter.

In this context, the Supreme Court has an irreplaceable contribution, creating the possibility to have a jurisprudence in accordance with the standards and principles of European law, as well as in respect regarding the protection of human rights.

True democracy cannot exist without a justice system that preserves the basic values of society, human dignity and that protects individual rights.

This was the purpose and vision of the justice reform that began in 2014, and culminated with the adoption of constitutional amendments in 2016.

It aimed to bring precisely a reliable justice system, a professional and independent justice system according to the best international standards, where the rule of law exists, where there are no unpunished individuals, where judges and prosecutors are prepared to respond to the new challenges of the country’s development.

The reform has not been easy because its establishment and implementation – including challenges and obstacles, have caused delays beyond the constitutional and legal provisions, even beyond the provisions of the drafters of the reform.

The moment has come to overcome these difficulties, and all together to use the results of the reform as a source of energy and as an engine for our integration in the European Union, just like the Canon of Jury 110 years ago.

We all have to admit that Albania, with this re-formation of the system, took a bold, radical step, with challenges that are still present.

With its conclusion, we ought to achieve a functional justice system with appropriate standards, where the respect for basic human rights is the main purpose.

As the President and a citizen of this country, I request to be guaranteed:

  • Access to justice, which is closely related to the new judicial map. It has to be worked not only on the correct implementation of this map, but also on the perception that the judicial map is not a limitation of the right of appeal, neither in the sense of time or delays, nor in the sense of physical access;
  • The independence of the system, which is the reason of the justice reform, should bear its fruits in the administration of the system, showing the necessary responsibility and determination to detach from the political influences and negative phenomena of the past. For this to happen, all the new institutions of justice must play a big role;
  • Quality of justice is and should be the measuring criterion to determine the work of all actors involved. On the one hand, the School of Magistrates with the preparation of new magistrates, and on the other hand the governing bodies of justice (HCJ/HPC/HIJ) have to work to maintain the professionalism and responsibility of magistrates in the system.

In these years, the Supreme Court has managed to do its work with independence and dignity.

Despite the fact that during these years the accumulated work still presents challenges and problems, I  want to congratulate them on some aspects of their work related to the recent unifying decisions, transparency in communication with the public, as well as for the monthly newsletter, very useful for justice professionals.

It is a pleasure to be here among you today, and I wish you a successful continuation of this important conference.

I also wish that the institutions you represent be an example of success by proving daily professionalism, integrity, impartiality, as well as sustaining motivation for the role you have in the great and fundamental change of our justice system and in Albanian society.

Happy Justice Day!