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Brief historical overview of criminal justice and challenges lying ahead

Prof. Dr. Ismet ELEZI

         Since the creation of the independent Albanian state (November 28, 1912) until today, the criminal justice system has played and plays a key role in the protection of society, of human rights and freedom from crime.
The recognition of the values and shortcomings of criminal justice in Albania during these 97 years from the creation of the independent state until now, has not only historical importance, but also serves to rightly understand the role of the criminal law, criminology and criminal policy, as the main pillars of criminal justice for the present and future. Ahead of our criminal law there lays the big challenge affecting two fields:

a. The field of criminal legislation and
b. The doctrine of criminal law.

         The Criminal Code from year 1995, when it entered into force until the end of 2008 has undergone so many additions and changes that the issue of drafting a new Criminal Code has been raised. With the aim of drafting the new criminal code we should first take into account the constitutional principles, the international criminal law, the international legal acts, the proposals and remarks published in the local and foreign press and the current Albanian jurisprudence.
         The doctrine of criminal law needs to be updated with modern theories and eventually break away from some dogma of the past. In unity with criminal law there is the criminal procedure, which requires new improvements to the Code of Criminal Procedure with legal reform. The implementation of reforms in the field of criminal law and the criminal procedural law will make it possible for them to become more effective weapons in the hands of the prosecution office and the court in their fight against crime.
         Another great challenge that is to be overcome is the fundamental reforming of Criminology, which should deal with more in-depth studies of crime, in other words, it should conduct analysis of criminal acts and provide criminal law and criminal policy with concrete explained recommendations. This task can be accomplished with the creation of the Institute of Criminology, which could carry out studies of crime, which could serve as a basis for building long-term strategy of preventing and combating crime and for making improvements in criminal legislation. Criminal policy, as a totally new science, is in its initial stage. Its first and foremost task is to be oriented by the European criminal policies, particularly by those of Germany. Another requirement is that this subject be taught in all public and private law universities. At the same time it is of foremost importance the preparing of a guiding text on criminal policy and the preparing, qualifying and training of teaching staff on the subject. Institutions forming part of the criminal justice system (judiciary, prosecutors, judicial police, and the prison system) face their major challenges, which can be overcome with the full implementation of judicial reform that is in the process. The independence of the judiciary and all these institutions from political interference, the fight against corruption and the binomial integrity, and raising the professional level of people engaged in these institutions constitute the essence of this reform.
         Only through a morally sound criminal justice system and a legal culture the rule of law can function properly, human rights and freedoms can be ensured, order and silence can be maintained , crime can be prevented and fought, and finally we can become a member of the European Union. These major challenges can be overcome and people may gain confidence in justice.

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