The recognition and respect for human rights is one of the fundamental pillars of the functioning of the rule of law. As we all know, international relations are a very important element of the existence and well-being of any country around the world where more countries are strengthening ties through bilateral relations as well as participation in regional or international organizations. On July 13, 1995, Albania joined the Council of Europe. Meanwhile, our country ratified the European Convention on Human Rights on October 2, 1996, a date that marks the beginning of the obligation of Albania to respect European standards of human rights. In this framework, the European Centre has had a special focus on research, studies, and training on issues of human rights, from the beginnings. Within the program for the human rights, the Centre has implemented a number of projects at central and local level.
Projects included in the Human Rights Program are:
Apr. 2019 – Mar. 2020 – The European Centre in collaboration with the Netherland Embassy, Dutch Regional, Rule of Law will implement the project “Towards practice: how to use the ECtHR case law at domestic level”.
Apr. 2019 – Apr. 2020 – The European Centre in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation Albania will follow up the project “Legal Clinic, University of Vlora”. The project comes as a second phase of a previous one, and its aim is to offer pro bono legal assistance to citizens and to contribute in public legal education.
Feb. 2019 – May 2019 – The Centre in collaboration with KAS Albania are implementing the project “Fundamental First: Protection against discrimination in Albania”.Within this framework, the Centre has drafted a module which will be used as a guideline for public administrations officials’ in their day to day work and will undertake further steps for putting in place a concrete system of reference,as well as will organize a series of workshops.
2018 – 2019 – The European Centre in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation Albania are implementing the project “Legal Clinic, University of Vlora”. The project aim is to offer pro bono legal assistance to citizens and to contribute in public legal education.
2017 – 2019 – The European Centre and Save the Children Albania are implementing the project “Fair trial standards as a perquisite of the functioning of the rule of law”, funded by the European Union. This project aims to ameliorate ECHR standards at domestic level, with a special focus on length of proceedings. The project is designed in two main pillars: court monitoring and capacity building.
2018 – The Centre in collaboration with KAS Rule of Law Program are implementing the project “ECHR versus Albania”. The project consist in the organization of 4 capacity building initiatives with future judges and law students on the Strasbourg Court case-law standards versus Albania.
2017 – The European Centre and Konrad Adenauer Foundation Rule of Law Programme South East Europe implemented the project “Independence and impartiality of the judiciary – Justice must be seen to be done”. In the framework of the project in collaboration with the School of Magistrates the Centre organized 2 one-day training sessions for all judges of the First instance Courts of Tirana and Korça, on ECHR standards for Article 6 of the Convention.
2017 – The European Centre in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Albania implemented the project “Fundamentals first: Freedom of Expression and Information Right”. The project consisted in the publication on a manual for non-juridical professionals on Freedom of Expression and Information Right. It was prepared and presented to the audience in a simple and understandable language having present as a beneficiary group persons without a legal background who contribute in the State institutions such as public administrations officials, journalists etc. After the publication there were organized 3 workshops in 3 municipalities in Albania.
2016 – 2017 – The European Centre and the Regional Rule of Law Network of the Embassies of the Netherlands implemented the project “Promoting European standards among judges, in Albania and Kosovo”. In this framework the Centre prepared the fourth edition of the compendium “Strasbourg Court case-law”, which is a summary of the most pertinent case-law of the ECtHR. The compendium was prepared by the Albanian judge at the ECtHR Mr. Ledi Bianku and Ms. Odeta Kumbaro-human rights expert. The Albanian School of Magistrates and the Kosovo Juridical Institute were the main partners in this regional project.
2016 – “European Law on Asylum Through case-law: a guide for judges, decision makers and practioners” – is another project in the field of migration which is being implemented by the EC in collaboration with the AIRE Centre in London and the Foreign Office of the UK. The compendium includes 150 most pertinent cases from the ECtHR and CJEU case-law. The publication will be launched in December 2016.
2015 – “ECtHR Standards on the right to asylum”– This activity was supported by Tranzitl.t.d. The workshop on “ECtHR Standards on the right to asylum” had two honorable guest speakers from the European Court of Human Rights: Mr. Ledi Bianku – The judge of Albania at ECtHR and Mr. Robert Spano – Judge from Iceland at ECtHR. The workshop aim was to bring to our attention and discussion the standards of ECtHR related to asylum right, which is the most current and debated issue now on Europe.
2015 – “Assistance on the better protection of Children Rights through the implementation of the ECHR standards in the Albanian Courts” – This project was founded by KAS Rule of Law Programme South East Europe. The aim of the training was to bring closer to the judges and lawyers the jurisprudence of the ECHR on effective protection of children rights. Children, like other vulnerable targets, need a special approach by our justice system and should be treated with an increased care. This project aim is to give help in assisting the protectors of law on the better protection of children rights.
Since 2014 (annual basis) – “Moot Court Competition of the European Court of Human Rights” – The Centre in collaboration with Civil Rights Defenders are implementing since 2014 this competition in which participates all the Albanian law faculties. The organization of a Moot Court Competition is based, on a case that encompass rights and freedoms stated in the European Convention on Human Rights allows the promotion of human rights and enhance co-operation and exchange of views among students from various universities. The preparation of the case is based on a fictive violation of human rights. During the years of the implementation of this project the Centre has had a particular focus on addressing topics that include marginalized groups.
2013-2014 – Participation in the implementation of the regional project “Database of Human Rights”. Database of Human Rights includes all the case law of the ECtHR associated with comments of experts of human rights, in cooperation with the AIRE in London and the Group of Western Balkans on the Database Rights human.
2009 – Implementation of the project “Support for better protection of human rights through the implementation of ECHR standards in Albania”, supported by the European Commission Delegation in Tirana. Intervention addressed capacity building, according to ECHR judges, lawyers and prosecutors, and it was based on two main components: capacity building actions for judges and prosecutors; and the publication of the pocket book of human rights on several articles of the ECHR and the production and distribution of monthly bulletin of human rights (through summaries of court cases).
2005 – Publication of “Jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court”, supported by the 4th Joint program of the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
2005 – Training of Albanian lawyers and other legal professionals on how to lodge a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by an individual, in cooperation with the Council of Europe and under the auspices of the Office of the Ombudsman of Albania and Ministry of Justice.