The Immediate Demand for an Efficient Protection of Witnesses of Justice in Albania
Keywords:witness protective measures, international criminal court, judicial effectiveness and efficiency, process of familiarization
In spite of the abundant information regarding Albaniaâ€™s struggle from transition towards the integration into the European Union, envisioning common international justice affairs still remains insufficient and it seems that any close connection to the international criminal courts and tribunals has been largely ignored. This paper gives a picture of the alleged â€˜internationalisationâ€™ of the witness protection legislation and touches two aspects: firstly, the issues of the current legal framework in relation to procedural and non-procedural witness protective measures and challenges to ensure their effectiveness and secondly, the incorporation of new provisions in the domestic laws related to the best practices on support and assistance for witnesses at international and regional levels. In order to comprehend Albaniaâ€™s compliance with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and other European legal instruments, an analysis of official documents was carried out, and a range of interviews were performed with staff of the International Criminal Court, the Courts of Serious Crimes and a District Court in Albania. This study draws conclusions and develops a set of recommendations on the steps that Albania has to take in relation to providing adequate protection and assistance in support of witnesses testifying in serious crimes cases.
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