Albania is currently undergoing a substantial and comprehensive reform of the legal system. Not only the courts and prosecutions are undergoing massive changes, also the area of free legal professions has new legal frameworks to be implemented as of now.
The Ministry of Justice has a strong oversight role for all free legal professions, including mediation. The role of free legal professions, mediation being the one least developed and therefore with high potential for development until now, is currently getting more important especially as courts and prosecutions are undergoing an intensive vetting process, temporarily limiting the amount of cases being processed and decreasing the average seniority level of judges and prosecutors.
CSSP has been requested by the Ministry of Justice to support in the implementation of the new law on mediation (2018) with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from late 2018 until autumn 2020.
The programme „Strengthening the Mediation System in Albania“ intends to support the development of mediation in Albania in general, more specifically the implementation of the new law on mediation and the Ministry of Justice as the main actor for the management and oversight of the field of mediation. In addition the National Chamber of Mediators as an important implementing actors and the Albanian Foundation for Conflict Resolution (AFCR) as an experienced civil society actor are also partners of the joint approach.
The first set of activities will focus on supporting the development of the mediation system on a national level (e.g. advise and drafts on sublegal acts and standards, support in the implementation of new legal framework, curriculum development and others). One activity line will also include professional exchange among government officials and mediation experts among Albania and Kosovo.
The components two and three of the programme are focusing on establishing mediation centers in Tirana and Durres and therefore have a specific focus on the establishment of functioning referral systems and mediation of cases in both municipalities. CSSP sees some potential of spill-over to other regions and municipalities.