USAID, 4th Judicial Reform Index for Albania Released

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USAID, 4th Judicial Reform Index for Albania Released

Tirana, April 10, 2009    The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), with support from the U.S. Mission through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), released today the 4TH Judicial Reform Index for Albania, at an event at the Magistrates School in Tirana.

“A strong judiciary is the key to Albania’s long-term success,” said USAID’s Mission Director to Albania, Roberta Mahoney in remarks at the ceremony. “The United States Government is firmly committed to the development of an effective, impartial and democratic judicial system in Albania.” 
Mahoney urged legal professionals to use this assessment to build a transparent and fair judicial system comprised of professionals guided by principles of integrity and independence. She also underscored the importance of justice sector reforms to foreign direct investments and reforms in Albania’s public administration.

The Judicial Reform Index (JRI) is an assessment tool implemented by ABA ROLI in order to assess a cross-section of factors important to judicial reform in emerging democracies. The JRI is designed to help international organizations, donors, and local partners to better target judicial reform programs by creating a quantifiable measure of their impact. It also functions as a tool to refine program implementation and monitor progress towards establishing an accountable, effective, and independent judiciary in the country.

The JRI for Albania examines Albania’s judiciary through a prism of thirty factors reflecting the most fundamental characteristics of successful judicial systems.  The JRI explores such issues as judicial education, and qualifications and appointment procedures of judges; independence and transparency of judicial decisions and judicial powers; budgetary considerations and issues of compensation; maintenance of trial records; adequacy of court staff and facilities; access to laws and other legal information; and ethics; discipline; and self-government.  ABA ROLI previously implemented JRIs for Albania in 2001, 2004, and 2006.

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