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Albania

Establish directorate to improve citizens' access to legal aid (AL0070)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Albania Action Plan 2020-2022

Action Plan Cycle: 2020

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Justice

Support Institution(s): State actors involved Other government agencies involved: Dependent Institutions (Directorate of Free Legal Aid) Non-governmental agencies involved: Civil Society Organizations; Faculty of Law, University of Tirana

Policy Areas

Access to Justice, Capacity Building, E-Government, Justice, Marginalized Communities, Open Justice, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Pending IRM Review

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address? Over the years citizens in Albania have faced significant structural and financial barriers to accessing justice including limited legal capability, limited access to legal counsel/advice, lengthy timeframes for resolutions and perceived lack of fairness in resolution. According to the 2018 Survey of the World Justice Project4, of Albanian citizens that have experienced a legal problem in the previous two years only 18% were able to access help and reported obtaining information, 48% did not know where to get advice and information, 38% said it was difficult or nearly impossible to find the money require to solve the problem and 52% did not feel the process followed was fair. Furthermore, resolutions to legal problems took on average over 2 years (28 months) to resolve.

What is the commitment? This commitment will establish a directorate dedicated to improving citizens’ access to quality legal resources state guaranteed legal aid resources. The establishment of a free legal aid directorate will be accompanied by structured multi-stakeholder and inter-institutional cooperation to continuously improve legal professional capacities, accountability and legal aid delivery in order to guaranteed citizens access to justice that is aligned with European standards and internationally recognized best practices. Objective: • Develop the necessary environment that enables and ensures citizens to be able to effectively achieve the quality support of justice they need to fully resolve their legal problems; • Inter-institutional cooperation between governmental and non-governmental institutions increases competency and accountability in the legal sector; • Citizens’ awareness of the legal system and legal aid resources available to them is improved. Expected results: 4 World Justice Project, 2018 General Population Poll survey module on legal needs and access to justice. Data collected by IDRA Research & Consulting using a nationally representative probability sample of 1000 respondents in the country https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/Albania.pdf Commitments | Access, Transparency and Accountability in Justice | Commitment 6 https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/Albania.pdf • Directorate of Free Legal Aid established to provide legal guidance and assistance to citizens lacking the resources to pay for legal support; • Improved inter-institutional cooperation and collaboration between the MoJ, legal clinics, the National Chamber of Mediators (DHKN), the Albanian Bar Association, NGOs and CSOs through the establishment of cooperation frameworks and inter-institutional forums; • Strengthened capacity of justice professional through development of systems for oh-going training and examinations for legal professionals and legal aid service providers, in collaboration with universities and other experts; • Inter-institutional forum established to continuously improve delivery of legal aid; • Increased citizen awareness and access to meditation services and support; • Increased transparency and accountability among mediators through publically available electronic records of actions.

How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? Efforts to increase citizen’s to access to justice have been an on-going focus of judicial reform efforts in Albania and of increasing priority. By establishing a dedicated directorate to state-guaranteed legal aid (milestone 1)the Albanian government not only aims to expand access to justice, but also accountability towards its objective of ensuring equal access to justice for all citizens. Through this initiative, citizens who do not have the financial means to pay a private lawyer and who seek to exercise their civil, political, and economic rights through the implementation of justice procedures, civil or criminal, can access free legal aid. Citizens can access legal advice, guidance and assistance towards drafting the necessary documentation, as well as representation before public administration bodies both in person and through an online platform. In order to facilitate guaranteed access to justice this commitment focuses on developing the enabling environment necessary to ensure citizens are able to efficiently access the quality justice support they need to fully resolve their legal problems. In particular, the commitment looks to strengthen the cooperation between governmental and non-governmental institutions with relevant interests and expertise. The establishment of a cooperation framework with regular technical meetings will increase collaboration between the Directorate of Free Legal Aid and relevant public institutions with civil society and legal aid providers (milestone 3). Meanwhile a dedicated inter-institutional forum for legal aid provides an on-going platform for all stakeholders to contribute to the improve of legal aid delivery such that it integrates the justice needs of all citizens, with particular attention to the needs of those in marginalized groups (milestone 4). A coordinated approach is taken so that the challenges of improving access are identified and innovative solutions can be development and implemented as most effectively and efficiently possible. Technical capacity building, through continuous trainings and examinations for justice professionals and legal aid service providers, in collaboration with universities and other experts, will be targeted to develop the specialized skillsets necessary to ensure that the specific needs of citizens requiring justice support are met. Mandatory training modules for employees of Legal Aid Service centers will be developed Working in cooperation with the Albanian Bar Association (ADB), the Albanian School of Public Administration (ASPA) and donors (milestone 2). To establish mediation procedures as an alternative mechanism for citizens to resolve legal problems, increased cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and the National Chamber of Mediators (DHKN) will be established (milestone 5) and the professional capacities of mediators will be strengthened through collaboration between the Ministry of Justice and the National Chamber of Mediators towards the development of regulations and curriculums for trainings and examinations for intermediaries (milestone 6). Finally, the commitment will expand citizen awareness of the use of mediation services to resolve legal problems legal system through public awareness campaigns(milestone 7) as well as increase transparency and accountability on the actions of mediators through an electronic database implemented by the DHKN (milestone 8). OGP challenge affected by this measures Improve public services Increase efficient management of public resources Increase public integrity Increase corporat e accountability Create a safer community for citizens & civil society ☒ ☒ ☒ ☒ ☒

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Transparency & Access to Information • Does the ide a disclose more information to the public? • Does the ide a improve the quality of information disclosed to the public? • Does the ide a improve accessibility of information to the public? • Does the ide a e nable the right to information? ☒Y es ☐N o Transparency and access of citizens to information is considered one of the main points, as the flow of electr onic serv ice is intended to be fully accessible by cit izens. • Establishment of simple & non -bureaucratic mechanisms for citizens to access legal guidance & a ssistance; • Online publication of all documents relating to all aspects of action plan (e.g. training requirements, serv ices available, outcomes from forum meetings); • Campaign to raise public awareness on legal sy stem, resolv ing legal pr oblems & legal aid resources av ailable; • Training to ensure legal aid pr ofessionals pr ov ide su fficient information /guidance to citizens • Electr onic database of meditation activ ities Public Accountability • Does the ide a cre ate or improve rules, regulations, and mechanisms to publicly hold government officials answerable to the ir actions? • Does the ide a make the government accountable to the public and not solely to inte rnal syste ms? ☒Y es ☐N o • Standardized training modules, curriculum & examinations for legal aid pr ov iders; • Pu blically accessible database of mediation activ ities; • Inter -in stitutional cooperation & forum between g ov ernment inst itution s & NGOs & CSOs en sures platform for answerability and accountability to citizens; • All indepen dent in stitutions included are independent & regulated by law. • In stitution of independence of mention in the Action Plan (High Judicial Council, Sch ool of Magistrates, High Council of Prosecution, academia is inst itution s / entities of independence and tire calculation are regulated by law. Public & Civic Participation • Does the ide a cre ate or improve opportunities, or capabilities for the public to inform or influe nce de cisions? • Does the ide a cre ate or improve the e nabling e nvironme nt for civil socie ty? ☒Y es ☐N o • Im plementation of measures subject to monitoring whereby stakeh olders can requ est complete in formation • Adoption of platforms where citizens can giv e their impressions / opinions regarding the functioning of the Action Plan measures • Inter -in stitutional cooperation & forums between g ov ernment in stitution s & NGOs & CSOs enables civ il society to co-establish measures to improv e legal aid deliv ery & co-implement • Adoption of platforms where citizens can giv e feedback on the implementation of Action Plan measures The implementation of the measures will be part of the monitoring where stakeh older s can requ est complete in formation. There is r oom for improv ement in relation to the adoption of plat forms where cit izen s can giv e their impression s / opinion s regarding the functioning of the Action Plan measures. Technology & Innovation • Will te chnological innovation be used in with one of the other three OGP values to advance participation, transpare ncy or accountability? ☒Y es ☐N o • Uses online platforms to support citizens access to legal resources & in formation & guidance; • Uses electronic databases to enable public accountability & transparency relating to meditation activ ities; • Online publication of all activ ities, pr ograms & relating documents to facilitate transparency , participation & accountability

Milestone Activities Milestones Indicators Responsible Institution / s New or Continued Idea Timeframe Measurable and verifiable achievements to accomplish this meas ure Result Indicators Output Indicators Lead Responsible Institution Supporting / Coordinating Agencies / Institutions New or continued from 2018- 2020 OGP AP Start Date End Dat e Priority Measure 1: Legal aid is offered in an efficient and effective form which provides citizens in need, full access to such service Milestone 1: The primary and secon dary legal aid sy stem is fully functional and pr ov ides equal access to justice for cit izen s acr oss the country (human resources, primary legal aid offices and appropriate tools, technical capacity , etc.). Dir ectorate of Free Legal Aid is established with the mission of en suring equal access of all indiv iduals to the ju stice sy stem through the pr ov ision of legal aid guaranteed by the state. Directorate of Free Legal Aid is established, in accordance with the legislation in force. Directorate is staffed adequately with sufficient capacity to guarantee the ability to provide the services required by ci tizens. Ministry of Ju stice: Directorate of Free Legal Aid National A gency for Information Society (for electronic service) ☐N o ☐Y es (which one?) Jan. 2020 Dec. 2021 Milestone 2: Strengthening and capacity building through appr opriate First module of mandatory training of employees of the Primary Legal Ministry of Ju stice: Directorate of Free Legal Aid The National Chamber of Mediators (DHKA); School of Magistrates (for ☐N o ☐Y es (which one?) Jan. 2020 Dec. 2021 training for free legal aid serv ice prov ider s throughout country. This includes cooperation with the Albanian Bar Association (A DB) for training of lawy ers pr ov iding serv ices and cooperation with ASPA and don ors for training at legal aid serv ice centers for students of Law Clinics and authorized NGOs so that employ ees gain more in-depth knowledge regarding the system of free legal aid. Aid Service Centers developed training), Albanian School of Pu blic Administration ASPA ), Donors (United Nations Development Program, Euralius) Milestone 3: Strengthening inter -in stitutional cooperation between the Directorate of Free Legal Aid and public in stitutions, as well as with national and international in stitutions / civ il society organizations. Cooperation framework established to strengthen access to ju stice (cooperation with Courts; Pr osecution Offices; Don or s; free legal aid serv ice pr ov iders: Law Clinics at HEIs; Pr imary Legal Aid Serv ice Center s; Auth orized Non -Pr ofit Organization s and Secondary Legal Aid Lawy ers). Cooperation framework established. Regular technical meetings held with relevant institutions and civil society actors to identi fy necessary measures to be taken and identify roles and responsibilities. Ministry of Ju stice: Directorate of Free Legal Aid Cou rts; Prosecutions; Law Clinics; Primary legal aid service centers; Authorized N on-Profit Organizations and National Chamber of A dvocates (DHS) ☐N o ☐Y es (which one?) Jul. 2021 Dec. 2021 Milestone 4: Establishment of the Inter -In stitutional Forum for legal aid guaranteed by the state with the technical secretariat in the Dir ectorate of Free Legal Aid. This forum will pr ov ide an opportunity for all stakeholders inv olv ed in the process to exchange v iews / suggestion s on h ow the legal aid deliv ery Establishment of forum. Forum consists of pu blic and non-governmental organizations and citizens. Calendar for meetings for the forum established. Ministry of Ju stice: Directorate of Free Legal Aid Law Clinics; Primary legal aid service centers; Authorized N on-Profit Organizations and the National Chamber of Advocates; courts; prosecutions; ☐N o ☐Y es (which one?) Jan. 2021 Dec. 2022 pr ocess can be improv ed. The forum will be in stitutionally set up and there will be regular periodic meetings Priority Measure 2: Mediation procedure as an alternative solution mechanism, functional in practice not only in law, is efficient, and issues are resolved with the full consent and agreement of the parties Milestone 5: Increa se cooperation between the Ministry of Ju stice and the National Chamber of Mediator s (DHKN). Framework for cooperation and coordination between the Min istry of Ju stice and the National Chamber of Mediator s (DHKN) established. Ministry of Ju stice; The National Chamber of Mediators (DHKA) Jan. 2021 Dec. 2022 Milestone 6: Increa sing and improv ing the pr ofessional capacities of intermediaries through the organization of initial continuou s trainings, a s well a s training of trainers. This initiativ e will be a collaboration between the Ministry of Justice, together with the National Chamber of Mediators, Consultation tables held regarding relevant By-Laws. Regulations and curriculum for trainings and examination methods for testing mediating candidates determined. Training calendar determined and implemented. Ministry of Ju stice; The National Chamber of Mediators (DHKA) School of Magistrates; National Chamber of A dvocates (for trainings) Jan. 2020 Dec. 2021 Milestone 7: Organizing awareness campaigns for the mediation serv ice in the country . In order to raise public awareness, the National Chamber of Mediator s will organize awareness campaigns in order to in form the public on h ow to resolv e variou s legal issues thr ough mediation. Awareness campaign topics selected in coordination with contributions and collaboration with civil society partners. Awareness campaigns organized. The National Chamber of Mediators (DHKA) Jan. 2020 Dec. 2021 Milestone 8: The National Chamber of Mediators will create Design of electronic The National Chamber of Mediators (DHKA) Jan. 2021 Dec. 2021 an electr onic database in order to recor d ev ery mediator who exercises his activ ity in this field, also within the access of ev ery interested cit izen but also transparency . databases. Commissioning and use of the database.


Commitments

  1. Create and implement integrity plans across all ministeries

    AL0065, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  2. Creation of online beneficial ownership register

    AL0066, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  3. Establish online portal for feedback on public service delivery

    AL0067, 2020, E-Government

  4. Expand open data portal and promote access

    AL0068, 2020, Access to Information

  5. Implement citizen assessment process to improve public service delivery

    AL0069, 2020, E-Government

  6. Establish directorate to improve citizens' access to legal aid

    AL0070, 2020, Access to Justice

  7. Publish more accessible and transparent information on Ministry of Justice website

    AL0071, 2020, E-Government

  8. Publish accessible budget information online for citizen engagement

    AL0072, 2020, E-Government

  9. Improve reporting on public finance information

    AL0073, 2020, E-Government

  10. Transparency of Government Reporting

    AL0061, 2018, E-Government

  11. e-Government

    AL0062, 2018, Access to Information

  12. Improved Business Regulation

    AL0063, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. Safe Communities

    AL0064, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  14. Improvement of Database/Portal with Coordinators’ Data of the Right to Information and Transparency Programs

    AL0044, 2016, Access to Information

  15. Budget Transparency

    AL0045, 2016, E-Government

  16. Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing

    AL0046, 2016, Citizenship & Immigration

  17. Establishment of Electronic Registry for Public Notification and Consultation

    AL0047, 2016, E-Government

  18. Digital Archive

    AL0048, 2016, E-Government

  19. Creating a Database for Archiving and Publication of Research Funds and Programs in Albania

    AL0049, 2016, E-Government

  20. Commitment to Publish Online Central and Local Government Legislation in Open Systems and for Free

    AL0050, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Commitment to Open Standards for Contracting

    AL0051, 2016, Access to Information

  22. Starred commitment Implementation of the Law "On Protection of Whistleblowers", Capacity Building, Amendments and Its Bylaws

    AL0052, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  23. Provision of Electronic Services

    AL0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Establishment of Multifunctional Centralized System for Building Permits

    AL0054, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Establishment and Distribution of Digital Counters

    AL0055, 2016, E-Government

  26. Service Passport Standardization

    AL0056, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Citizen Card

    AL0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. Electronic System of Registration of e-Prescription in the Republic of Albania

    AL0058, 2016, E-Government

  29. Electronic Monitoring System of Forests

    AL0059, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  30. Integrated Electronic System for Professional Licensing of Individuals and Legal Entities That Will Operate in the Field of Study Design and Supervision of Commissioning of Construction Works

    AL0060, 2016, E-Government

  31. Standardization of Corruption Complaints

    AL0031, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  32. Electronic Registry of Energy and Industry Permits

    AL0032, 2014, E-Government

  33. Implementation of Public Expenses Module in "Open Data" Format

    AL0033, 2014, Access to Information

  34. Promoting OGP Values Among Local Authorities

    AL0034, 2014, Local Commitments

  35. Database on Economic Assitance Beneficiaries

    AL0035, 2014, E-Government

  36. Electronic Portal on Water Resources Administration and Management

    AL0036, 2014, E-Government

  37. Single Window

    AL0037, 2014, E-Government

  38. Electronic Access to Protected Areas

    AL0038, 2014, E-Government

  39. National Geoportal

    AL0039, 2014, E-Government

  40. e-Albania

    AL0040, 2014, E-Government

  41. e-Document

    AL0041, 2014, E-Government

  42. Starred commitment Law on Whistleblowers Protection

    AL0042, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  43. Police Service Offices

    AL0043, 2014, E-Government

  44. Open Data Portal

    AL0001, 2012, Access to Information

  45. e-Acts

    AL0002, 2012, E-Government

  46. e-Parliament

    AL0003, 2012, E-Government

  47. Extension of the Governmental Network, GOVNET

    AL0004, 2012, E-Government

  48. e-Government Interoperability Framework, e-GIF

    AL0005, 2012, E-Government

  49. Government Datacenter

    AL0006, 2012, E-Government

  50. Excise System

    AL0007, 2012, E-Government

  51. Starting of the e-Tax System

    AL0008, 2012, E-Government

  52. Starred commitment Online State Matura

    AL0009, 2012, E-Government

  53. The Regulation on Ethics in Research and Publishing

    AL0010, 2012, Education

  54. Digitalization of Higher Education Accreditation Process

    AL0011, 2012, E-Government

  55. U-Gov System

    AL0012, 2012, E-Government

  56. Online Inspections of Courts and Judicial Hearings

    AL0013, 2012, E-Government

  57. Digitalization of the File Transfer Process

    AL0014, 2012, Judiciary

  58. e-Employment Project

    AL0015, 2012, E-Government

  59. e-Concessions Procedures

    AL0016, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  60. Amendment of the Law “On the Right to Information for Official Documents”

    AL0017, 2012, Access to Justice

  61. Drafting a New Law on "Notice and Consultation"

    AL0018, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  62. Tracking Project

    AL0019, 2012, E-Government

  63. Digitalization of the Notary Register

    AL0020, 2012, Access to Justice

  64. Online Citizens’ Claims in the Judiciary System

    AL0021, 2012, Access to Justice

  65. Work Inspection, Online Complaint

    AL0022, 2012, E-Government

  66. Financial Module of All Educational Institutions

    AL0023, 2012, Education

  67. Starred commitment Audio and Video Recording of Judicial Hearings

    AL0024, 2012, E-Government

  68. Starred commitment e-Albania Portal

    AL0025, 2012, E-Government

  69. e-Inspection Portal

    AL0026, 2012, E-Government

  70. Starred commitment Portal Www.Gjykata.Gov.Al

    AL0027, 2012, E-Government

  71. Disclosure of the List of Payments Made Daily by the Government Units

    AL0028, 2012, Access to Information

  72. e-Procurement System for All Small Purchases of Public Procurement

    AL0029, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  73. Implementation of the EITI Recommendations

    AL0030, 2012, Anti-Corruption

Open Government Partnership