In Albania, the issue of staying in a constitutional position (from high-level judges, the General /Special Prosecutor to the Prime Minister or the President) is still with a specific limited mandate of years. At least still so if we don't walk into any other patterns of the east. It is the same in almost all countries of Civil Law (Europe) and Common Law (UK, USA) as well.
But the HJC yesterday took a decision which has opened debates. My purpose in the following article is entirely technical and aims to respond to the situation created regardless of the names of today's or tomorrow's debate.
The President of the Republic has addressed the HJC regarding the continuation of the duty held for 16 years, i.e., beyond the 9-year term, of a judge at the High Court. The judge is not a career judge, he does not come from the justice system, that is, from other levels of the judiciary. He was appointed by Parliament in 2004 from the prominent lawyers for a nine-year term. The President wants a solution to this issue as staying in office for more than 16 years (in eternity) is far from the 9-year term that the judge received from the 2004 Parliament, just as the Constitutional Court has previously expressed. After fulfilling the will of the HJC (in a very positive loyalty in these times of conflict) by appointing three new members proposed by the HJC itself, even those from outside the system, the President says that the condition of the successor is fulfilled, not by one but by three, therefore the eternal mandate must be terminated.
Albania's constitution is clearly against the eternity of anyone with a constitutional mandate. In this case, it has defined it exactly in 9 years, neither 10, nor 12, nor 16. The constitutional mechanism is substitution and not eternity. But this mechanism is blocked. Until a month ago (before the appointment of three new judges of the High Court) even the most skeptical acknowledged that this was not a matter of any "constitutional" or "scientific" interpretation, but that it was a problem artificially created by vetting; that there were no judges left; that the High Court could not be locked; that the lot for the Justice Appointments Council as provided by the Constitution could not be cast because he was the only one, and so on.
So the "blocking" of the constitutional mechanism of the system, (whoever ends the constitutional mandate must leave, as soon as the successor comes; now three have come) is an artificial, "technical" or "mechanical" situation, as Yuval N. Harari says in his latest book, Homo Deus, created exactly by the people of this story. It has not been created by the Constitution or the law or the evolution of the implementation of the law or the scientific legal opinion in Albania, it is not a situation where the law or the Constitution are unclear or have a vacuum. Thus, the government of the judiciary, the HJC, must solve the "technical / mechanical" problem, unlock the system and end eternal mandate.
I do not know the President's intentions but I am inclined to believe that he did not seek "scientific opinion" from HJC members, as I believe it is clear that HJC members elected by Parliament with lot and those elected by the system by vote, they are not there to give "scientific opinion", doctrinal or international jurisprudence. If he needed such an opinion, it probably should have been addressed not to the HJC but to the Constitutional Court or even the Venice Commission as has happened in recent years. If it were a matter of some deep reform of the justice system, it would probably not be directed at the HJC but should seek to involve international partners as has been the case here for 30 years. If you had to think about eternal mandates, you would probably have to turn to legal experts in Russia or any other country in Asia. If you had to think about physical eternity, you would probably have to turn to Bill Maris, chosen by Google Ventures, who is working on solving the problem of eternity in the world with the "Calici" project.
But no. Presidential experts know this better, but I don't think so. He seems to have sought a solution to the problem of eternity in office beyond the constitutional deadline of a member governed by the HJC. This is a technical problem created artificially and that every child who has finished first grade, after learning to read and solves very quickly as it is easy to think that the ninth ends as soon as the tenth comes and that the 16th is much bigger that 9th.
That is it. Simple. And this simple problem must be solved by the Government of the Judiciary because this is the reason that was crrated and demanded by 99% of Albanians. Nobody else. If they don't solve it, it's not that they don't know it, they don't understand it, but that they don't want to or they are not allowed to solve it. And this is then a precedent, and we go back to zero. New justice institutions were created to solve problems in the justice system and not to hide behind them, forever.
* Former Minister of Justice/ Marre nga Albania Daily News