Supreme Court of Albania
|Supreme Court of Albania|
|Gjykata e Lartë|
|Judge term length||4 years|
|Number of positions||14|
|Kryetari i gjykata e Lartë|
|Since||8 november 2008|
|Lead position ends||Incubent|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Supreme Court of Albania (Albanian: Gjykata e Lartë) is the highest court of Albania and is the final court of appeal in the Albanian justice system. The Supreme Court of Albania is composed of fourteen judges: the Chief Justice of Albania and thirteen Judges.
Supreme Court, based in Tirana, is the highest judicial power in the Republic of Albania. Its main mission is to review, upon request of the parties, the decisions of the courts of lower instances.
The period 1913-1920 marks the first steps towards the creation of the institutions of the new Albanian state. The Assembly of Vlora and the Government of Ismail Qemali took measures about the re-organization of justice in the new independent state. With the “Kanuni i Zhurise” (Canon of Jury), approved in 1913, was predicted the creation of “Court of Dictation” and also the courts of first instance of Sub-prefectures, which were competent on judging the civil cases and offences, and also was created the court with a jury, where representatives of the people judged the penal cases. This system, that was applied in a case of Elbasan, did not give the expected results, as a result it was cancelled by a decree, date 4 June 1914, when was put in application the law about the courts of justice in Albania, in base of which the Initial, Appeal and “Dictation” courts were created. Also, by decree date 4 June 1914, were made some small changes in the organization of justice of 1913.
During the years 1920-1939 the main problems in the justice field, that represented a great importance to our state, were the legal reform and the re-organization of the judicial institutions and the qualification of their staff. Independently of the fact that the first steps were done with “Kanuni i Zhurise” in the years 20 started to be crystallized better the organization and the functioning of the judicial system.
Until 1925 the process in the civil and penal cases was managed by:
- The Courts of Peace
The 1st level Courts, which were divided in Initial courts and Collegial Courts. The Court of Dictation, ( this was the nomination of the Supreme Court) which was divided in Civil Chamber and Penal Chamber The Courts of Peace were organized in every sub-prefecture’s center and in base of such organization were divided in Courts of Peace of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd level. The Courts of Peace and the Initial Court were constituted by one judge and the Collegial Courts were constituted by one judge (the Initial Judge) and two Members. Every branch and Court of Dictation was composed by the Chairman, four Members and one Assistant-member. By decree-law on the organization of the courts of justice, date 2 May 1925, the Courts of Justice were organized in:
- First level Courts
- Appeal Courts
Dictation Courts (Supreme Court), with its center in the capital. The Dictation Court was still organized in two Chambers:
- The Civil cases Chamber;
- The Penal cases Chamber.
One Chairman, four Members, one Assistant-member, one Chief secretary and the necessary number of secretaries constituted every Chamber of the Dictation Court clerks and servants. Near to this court were situated one Chief prosecutor, one Assistant Chief prosecutor, one secretary, one keeper of records-archivist and one servant. Each of the Chairmen of the Dictation Court presided his Chamber, but in case of the general meeting, the position of Chairman belonged to the Chairman of the Civil Chamber. During the period 1920-1940, the Dictation Court is known for its decisions of a high professional level, in a regular trial process. In the decisions of the Dictation Courts can be noticed the high quality and the scientific and convincing argument. General characteristic of the judicial practice was that the judges made efforts to protect the courts independence in distributing justice. In its decisions, the Dictation Court has showed its honesty and impartiality.
Communist Period (1944-1990)
The law for judicial organization of 1951 divides the Supreme Court into juridical colleges:
- Penal college
- Civil college
- Military college
- Disciplinary college.
Every College judged its own cases of material competence with a panel composed by the Chairman, one member of the Supreme Court and two assistants.
Interesting is the fact that the Disciplinary college used to deal with disciplinary records of popular courts, chairman and members of military courts, members of Supreme Court with a jury made of 1 Chairman or the vice chairman and 2 members of Supreme Court appointed by the Chairman. Supreme Court judged in its plenum composed of the chairman, vice chairman and all the members of the Supreme Court. The directions if the Plenum of the Supreme Court like the whole judicial thought were directed by the policy and the ideology of the communists regime. Especially, this influence has affected seriously the penal aspect, with wide interpretations on Penal Code. The generalizations of the judicial practice made by the Supreme Court have served to orient the lower level courts so they can judge cases according the political imperatives, the ideology and that time legislation of a dictatorial state. Also the Plenum of the Supreme Court have issued directions in civil, familiar, heredity, labor and procedural matters.
Post Communist time (1992)
The collapse and fall of totalitarian communist system brought great necessary changes in all fields of life and an adoption of contemporary judicial systems. Important changes were needed also in the area of Justice so an independent judicial system could be applied in for a justice which will be focused on the principles of legacy and equality of people in front of the law based on full respect of justice.
With law 7491 dated 29.04.2001 “About the main constitutional dispositions, People’s Assembly decided that the Court of Cassation, Courts of Appeal, Courts of first instance and Military courts would compose the judicial system in Albania. As we see the name of Supreme Court has changed into Court of Cassation, which is the highest judicial authority. According to this law People’s assembly upon President’s proposal elects Chief Justice and his vice.
Judges are elected by People’s Assembly once in 7 years and reserve the right to be reelected.
Court of Cassation cannot deal with any matters of first instance, whereas regarding matters of second instance only when provided by law.
Today, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Albania function based on law nr. 8588, dt. 15/3/2000: “On the organization and functioning of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Albania”.
It is organized in a Civil and Penal panel and also in Joint Panels which judge cases defined by law. On the conditions of the new democratic system towards a democratic and united Europe the Supreme Court of the Republic of Albania continues its efforts for the application of the principles of the state of law.
The Supreme Court of Albania consists of the following members:
- Xhezair Zaganjori (Chief Justice of Albania)
- Ardian Dvorani
- Tom Ndreca
- Admir Thanza
- Artan Broci
- Ardian Nuni
- Arjana Fullani
- Evelina Qirjakjo
- Guxim Zenelaj
- Majlinda Andra
- Andi Çeliku
- Aleksander Muskaj
- Mirela Fana
- Medi Bici