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Albania: OSCE To Guide Development Of Legal System

Vienna, 29 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The OSCE is sending three legal experts to Albania tomorrow to help the Justice ministry establish a viable legal system and reinforce the rule of law.

The head of the OSCE office for democratic institutions in Warsaw, Gerard Stoudmann, said the team would work with the ministry to develop the rule of law, which, he said, was the basis for developing democracy in Albania.

Projects included the drafting of legislation, changes in the court system and improvements in the training of judges and members of the legal profession.

Stoudmann said many of the earlier international assistance programs for the Ministry of Justice were suspended because of the civil unrest earlier this year and some had not resumed. He said the OSCE considered it vital to establish the rule of law as soon as possible.

He noted that one of OSCE's basic documents recognizes the rule of law as "A perquisite for progress in setting-up a lasting order of peace, security, justice and co-operation."

OSCE will work with other international organizations, such as the Council of Europe which is already trying to establish a judicial training school.

Stoudmann said the OSCE office for democratic institutions is also trying to create a network of non-government organizations in Albania to draw the people into the reform process and not leave it only to politicians.