ALBANIAN CONSTITUTION


PART NINE--THE COURTS

Article 135

1. The judicial power is exercised by the High Court, as well as the courts of appeal and courts of first instance, which are established by law.
2. The Assembly may establish by law courts for particular fields, but in no case an extraordinary court.

Article 136

1. The members of the High Court are appointed by the President of the Republic with the consent of the Assembly.
2. One of the members is appointed Chairman following the procedure contemplated by paragraph 1 of this article.
3. The Chairman and members of the High Court hold the office for 9 years without the right of re-appointment.
4. The other judges are appointed by the President of the Republic upon the proposal of the High Council of Justice.
5. Judges may only be citizens with higher legal education. The conditions and procedures for selection are defined by law.

Article 137

1. A judge of the High Court may be criminally prosecuted only with the approval of the Assembly.
2. A judge of the High Court may be detained or arrested only if apprehended in the course of committing a crime or immediately after its commission. The competent organ immediately notifies the Constitutional Court. If the Constitutional Court does not consent within 24 hours to the sending of the arrested judge before a court, the competent organ is obliged to release him.
3. Other judges may be criminally prosecuted only with the approval of the High Council of Justice.
4. A judge may be detained or arrested only if apprehended in the course of committing a crime or immediately after its commission. The competent organ immediately notifies the High Council of Justice. If the High Council of Justice does not consent within 24 hours to the sending of the arrested judge before a court, the competent organ is obliged to release him.

Article 138

The time a judge stays on duty cannot be limited; their pay and other benefits cannot be lowered.

Article 139

1. The term of a High Court judge ends when he:
a. -- is convicted of a crime with a final judicial decision;
b. -- does not appear for duty without reason for more than 6 months;
c. -- reaches the age of 65;
d. -- resigns;
e. -- is declared incompetent to act with a final judicial decision.
2. The end of the term of a judge is declared with a decision of the High Court.

Article 140

A judge of the High Court may be discharged by the Assembly with two-thirds of all its members for violation of the Constitution, commission of a crime, mental or physical incapacity, or acts and behavior that seriously discredit the position and image of a judge. The decision of the Assembly is reviewed by the Constitutional Court, which, upon verification of the existence of one of these grounds, declares his discharge from duty.

Article 141

1. The High Court has original and review jurisdiction. It has original jurisdiction when adjudicating criminal charges against the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, members of the Council of Ministers, deputies, judges of the High Court, and judges of the Constitutional Court.
2. For a unification or change of judicial practice, the High Court has the right to select specific judicial issues for examination in the joint college.

Article 142

1. Judicial decisions must be reasoned.
2. The High Court must publish its decisions as well as the minority opinions.
3. The organs of the state are obliged to execute judicial decisions.

Article 143

Being a judge is not compatible with any other state, political or private activity.

Article 144

The courts have a special budget, which they administer themselves. They propose their budget according to law.

Article 145

1. Judges are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the laws.
2. If judges find that a law comes into conflict with the Constitution, they do not apply it. In this case, they suspend the proceedings and send the issue to the Constitutional Court. Decisions of the Constitutional Court are obligatory for all courts.
3. Interference in the activity of the courts or the judges entails liability according to law.

Article 146

1. Judges give decisions in the name of the Republic.
2. In every case judicial decisions are announced publicly.

Article 147

1. The High Council of Justice consists of the President of the Republic, the Chairman of the High Court, the Minister of Justice, 3 members elected by the Assembly, and 9 judges of all levels who are elected by the National Judicial Conference. Elected members stay in office for 5 years, without the right of immediate reelection.
2. The President of the Republic is the Chairman of the High Council of Justice.
3. The High Council of Justice, with the proposal of the President, elects a vice-chairman from its ranks. The vice-chairman organizes the activity of the High Council of Justice and chairs its meetings in the absence of the President of the Republic.
4. The High Council of Justice decides on the transfer of the judges as well as their disciplinary responsibility pursuant to law.
5. The transfer of judges may not be done without their consent, except when the needs of reorganization of the judicial system dictate this.
6. A judge may be removed from office by the High Council of Justice for commission of a crime, mental or physical incapacity, acts and behavior that seriously discredit the position and image of a judge, or professional insufficiency. The judge has the right to complain against this decision to the High Court, which decides by joint colleges.


Previous Contents Next

Copyright © 1999 -- The HTML version was prepared by IPLS - Institute for Policy & Legal Studies. All rights reserved.