Interfering with court’s decision making is forbidden

According to article 145 of the Constitution, judges are independent and are only subject to the constitution and laws. Interfering with the activity of courts or judges leads to responsibilities that the law addresses. Decisions issued by courts may be undone or amended solely by the higher instances of the judicial system.

The Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) does not agree and, at the same time, expresses regret that on May 11, 2016, a group of citizens, led by Tirana Mayor Mr. Erjon Veliaj, called for the change of the panel of judges that was going to adjudicate the case regarding the construction of a 17-storey building at the Tirana Lake dam. The protest took place in front of the Administrative Court of Appeal at the time when the panel of judges of the court had met to review the above case. Based on information conveyed by the media, it results that precisely for that reason, it was decided to postpone the hearing to another date and, according to media reports, judge Alkelina Gazidede presented to the Chair of the panel of judges her resignation.

AHC notes that such protests are in contravention of the constitutional principles of the rule of law and may be accompanied by harmful consequences.

In the opinion of AHC, decisions of the court or its activity may be criticized, as free expression of views is guaranteed by law and therefore criticism toward justice bodies is not a taboo. At the same time, based on this event, AHC raises the concern that actions that may or actually influence the normal conduct of trial hearings are unjustifiable and unlawful, especially when they include elements of insult or pressure.

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