Faced with the rampant corruption and the threat of an increasingly stronger organised crime, the Albanian political institutions and political actors initiated the judicial reform. The reform is driven by a strong internal demand, as the citizens want the judiciary to uphold the rule of law and deliver justice with no political, corruptive or criminal influences, and a broad support from the international community.

While broadly perceived as an effort to curb corruption and crime, the reform of the judiciary is much more than this. In a representative democratic system the judiciary is the third pillar of the state and an important part of the system of checks and balances. As such it stands as a counter-weight to the other two pillars, the legislature and the executive. Therefore, it is of vital importance that the citizens are well informed, get involved, and participate in the ongoing implementation of the reform and that they provide their contribution by demanding that the institutions in charge deliver duly and timely.

Through the implementation of the project “Strengthen public information and participation in the implementation of judicial reform through monitoring, evaluation and communication of the establishment and functioning of the institutions to combat corruption and organized crime”, the Center for the Study of Democracy and Governance is seeking to strengthen citizens’ voice in the implementation of the justice reform. The project will produce monitoring reports, newsletters, media articles, audiovisual material and online tools to reach out, inform, and engage the public.

The first issue of the SPAK Monitor newsletter is dedicated to the evaluation of the vetting of judges and prosecutors and its implications on the ongoing process of the reorganization of the Governance Institutions of the Justice System and on the long overdue process of establishment of the Institutions for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime.

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