IMO-II International Monitoring Operation - Phase II, EC Funds
The action „International Monitoring Operation: Support to the process of temporary re-evaluation of Judges and Prosecutors in Albania – Phase II” (IMO II) aims to increase the professional quality of judges and prosecutors, reduce the impact of organized crime, politics and corruption in the delivery of justice, and enhance the integrity and accountability of judiciary institutions.
Vetting organs are properly and timely monitored by the IMO to implement the reassessment process:
• Professional competence and integrity of judges and prosecutors are vetted.
• The vetting process results in increased court efficiency, transparency and accountability, and increased citizens’ trust in the judiciary.
The target group includes about 800 Albanian judges and prosecutors who, based on the vetting law, are being re-evaluated on the basis of integrity, ethical background and professional competence. The vetting organs were able to re-evaluate about 200 Albanian judges and prosecutors by December 2019. During IMO II, the remaining 600 Albanian judges and prosecutors have yet to be re-evaluated.
Indirect beneficiaries of the action are the Albanian citizens, who – as a consequence of the vetting process and the work of the IMO – will benefit from reduced levels of corruption within the justice system in Albania, which will ultimately restore public confidence and trust in the judiciary.
The IMO deploys international observers to monitor the actual carrying out of the vetting process, through a long-term operation that will last until all relevant members of the judiciary in Albanian have undergone this transitional qualification assessment. In order to do so, the following sets of activities are planned:
• Monitoring of Vetting-Investigations
• Monitoring of Vetting-Hearings
• Monitoring of Vetting-Appeals Procedures
The Albanian justice system is facing several challenges, such as integrity, independence, efficiency, accountability and transparency, which has resulted in a lack of public trust in the justice system. Albania therefore embarked on a major justice reform, whereby the existing challenges are being addressed through different interventions. One of the most important aspects is the re-evaluation of judges and prosecutors, known as the vetting process aiming at freeing the judiciary and the prosecutor’s office from corrupted officials, which started in 2017. Given Albania’s ambitions to join the EU as well as the EU’s and the EU member states’ commitment to support this process, the justice reform has emerged as a crucial issue for Albania as well as for the EU and its member states. To ensure full independence of the vetting process, an International Monitoring Operation (IMO) was set up to support the re-evaluation process through international monitoring and overseeing the entire process of the re-evaluation. IMO is led by the European Commission (EC) and as IMO’s first phase (IMO I) is coming to an end mid of February 2020, both the EU and ADA support the continuation of the re-evaluation process under the second phase of IMO (IMO II).
The project is co-funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) with EUR 1 mio (ADC project reference number 6548-01/2020).