Albania’s legal system is currently undergoing a substantial and comprehensive reform. Not only are the courts and prosecution service undergoing massive changes, but the field of free legal professions must now also implement new legal frameworks.
The project “Strengthening the mediation system in Albania” aims, on the one hand, at supporting the Albanian Ministry of Justice in the implementation of the latest amendment to the law on mediation through advice and expert consulting, and on the other, at stimulating the referral of disputes to mediation as a key element to counterbalance the increasing backlog of cases in courts, as well as supporting the development of skills in local mediators.
Albania’s judicial system has long suffered from structural issues that ended up creating huge backlogs of cases for courts and difficulties for citizens trying to access justice.
While the current administration’s comprehensive reform to the justice system aims at tackling these issues in the long term, the immediate effect of the changes, and in particular the vetting process, have burdened the situation, with the judicial system in need of short-term solutions to support the system as well as long-term contributions to the structural changes.
Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are becoming an integrative part of many western judicial systems that face similar challenges, with the double effect of having a more “human” and personal approach to dispute resolution and of significantly reducing the case backlog, in particular with regard to petty cases.
Mediation, possibly the most important alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method, is a fairly recent instrument for Albania, and has therefore suffered, on the one hand, from limited distribution due to a general public lack of awareness, and on the other, from the limited experiences of the mediators, who have yet to gain the trust of referring institutions and common citizens.
The project aims at tackling both aspects, with the objective of supporting the general engagement of the authorities in the reform and contributing to the development of a functioning judicial system in Albania.
On a national level, CSSP, in partnership with the Albanian National Chamber of Mediators (NCM) and the Albanian Foundation for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation of Disputes (AFCR), supported the Ministry of Justice in the drafting of sublegal acts and regulations aimed at implementing the most recent amendments to the law on mediation. The project also created the National Registry for Mediators, an online platform including the official list of mediators in the country and a system to track cases and create statistics from all over the nation.
On a more local level, the project opened two pilot mediation centers in Tirana and Durres serving as mediation “hubs”, aimed at stimulating the referral of cases to mediation from the courts and prosecution offices and providing the mediators with professional spaces to perform their services. An additional key component of the project is the capacity building for mediators through training courses and individual coaching.
Our Partners in Albania
The Ministry of Justice, in accordance with the constitution and the laws, exercises functions and is responsible for drafting and pursuing policies, drafting laws and sub-legal acts, and exercising the necessary services related to the judicial system, the system of execution of criminal or civil sentences, the system of free legal-professional services, international cooperation in the civil and criminal field, and other areas of justice that fall under its competence according to law. Furthermore, is responsible for the coordination, harmonization, and the reform of the Albanian legislation in its entirety.
The National Chamber of Mediators (NCM) is a public legal entity that exercises its activity independent of the state, based on Law no. 10385 "On Mediation in Dispute Resolution", dated February 24, 2011, as amended, as well as other legal and sub-legal acts in force.
As a non-profit organization, AFCR supports “the democratization of Albanian society through resolving and reconciling the conflicts and disputes that may arise between individuals or social groups.”
Norway's diplomatic relations with Albania are handled by the Norwegian Embassy in Prishtina.
Freedom, justice, and solidarity are the guiding principles of the work of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). KAS is a political foundation with close ties to the political party Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). As co-founder of the CDU and the first German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer (1876–1967) combined Christian social, conservative, and liberal traditions. His name stands for the democratic reconstruction of Germany, the anchoring of foreign policy in a transatlantic community of values, the vision of European unification, and the orientation towards the social market economy. His intellectual heritage continues to be both our task and our obligation.
For information on the project, please contact
Vjola Goda is part of the CSSP Albania team. She holds a BA and a Master’s degree in law from the University of Padua, and has many years of experience as a lawyer specialized in international private law. Following her passion for conflict resolution and her interest in negotiation, she became a mediator in 2013, and actively contributed to the mediation system as a member of the Albanian National Chamber of Mediators.
She joined CSSP in May 2020 in the role of administrator of the Tirana Mediation Center, one of the two pilot centers built as part of the project “Strengthening the Mediation System in Albania”, and is now in charge of coordinating CSSP efforts that support mediation in the country.
More about the project
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