Like every other issue of the Magazine, this issue also opens with an Editorial "On the election results for the governing bodies of advocacy", which is dedicated to and provides data on the election results for the governing bodies of advocacy for the 4-year term 2022-2026. These data introduce the reader to the process involving 15 lawyer chambers with a competitive spirit and a large interest from lawyers across the country. It also reflects some interesting innovations compared to the elections of 4 years ago.

 

The "Documents" section in this issue carries a "Declaration of the Council of Bars and Legal Associations of Europe (CCBE) on the occupation of Ukraine", joining the EU institutions and the international community in demanding Russia to immediately stop its occupation of Ukraine. According to this Declaration, all States must respect the obligations, values, principles and fundamental freedoms set out in the Charter of the United Nations, the Statute of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Budapest Memoranda of Understanding on Security Guarantees and other general principles of public international law, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

 The "Constitutional Law" section carries the "Proposals for a new court map and access to justice for vulnerable groups", by Erida Skëndaj, Executive Director of the Albanian Helsinki Committee. Among other things, the author of this article states that the merging of the Administrative Courts of First Instance of Shkodra, Durres and Korca, transferring the territorial jurisdiction of these courts only to the Administrative Court Tirana, brings a multiple increase in maximum travel time. This new configuration for the administrative courts of first instance will worsen the access to justice by not favoring citizens in relation to their place of residence, the infrastructural conditions of transport and their economic situations.

The "Opinions" section carries the opinions of Niazi Jaho, Specialist in the field of law, Tirana, about "Dispute of competencies between the Prime Minister and the President." This paper in the form of an opinion makes a critical assessment of Decision no. 26, dated 25.05.2021 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Albania. Such opinions relate with the adjournment of the Trial for the dispute of competencies and the continuation of the Trial for the interpretation of Article 98, point 1 of our Fundamental Law. Further, the author considers the reasoning of this unfounded and contradictory decision, following up with his interpretation of Article 98, point 1 of the Constitution, raising the question: Is the President of the Republic the guarantor of the Constitution? The author gives a negative answer to this question, putting forward some arguments.

The "Criminal Law" section carries an article on the "Special regime in Albania", by Av. Elida Jata, ALTRI Center, Tirana. The paper addresses first the meaning and purpose of this regime, comparing it with Article 41 bis of the Italian legislation. It also presents a point of view in relation to our Fundamental Law and the ECHR. Finally, the author reminds the reader that the Strasbourg-based European Court has ruled on the special regime, noting that the measures by which a detainee or prisoner is placed in a special regime of exercising his rights in a high-security prison, do not have in themselves a punitive but a preventive character.

The column "Harmonization" focuses on the "Dilemma on non-review of civil lawsuits in criminal proceedings" by Florian Kalaja, Judge at the Court of Appeals, Durrës. This article is based on constitutional arguments given in a minority position during the trial of a case on the application of point 2 of article 68 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The article is intended to be one more impetus for judges to seek in practice in the Constitutional Court the incidental constitutional review of this provision. In the same way, it addresses the lawyer practitioners so that they request to the court to initiate the pre-trial procedure of the incidental constitutional review of this legal regulation.

While the "Civil Law" section of this issue of the magazine focuses on "Civil trial in the high court, following amendments to law no. 44/202 ”, by Lorena Çabej, Magistrate Assistant in the High Court, Tirana. This magistrate emphasizes in her article that after the 2016 constitutional changes, the civil procedural legislation also underwent some fundamental changes in the general framework of justice reform. In addition to the overall goal of an efficient justice system, the amendments to the CPC have aimed at adapting the trial procedure to the essentially reformed constitutional role of the Supreme Court, such as the nomophilic role of developing and unifying judicial practice in the exercise of its function as a court of law.

The "Horizons" makes an "Evaluation of Evidence in International Criminal Law". Through this paper, its author, Av. Loreta Ogreni, Member of the Local Chamber of Advocates, Tirana emphasizes that in the regular criminal legal process, evidence is the most important elements, their evaluation by judges during the trial and in the decision making play a role essential to determining whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. This article deals with the topic of evidence evaluation in the context of international criminal law, referring to civil law and common law legislation, international law for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The editorial office decided to provide another “Glossary” under the “Etymology” section, which explains the meaning and origin of some specific terms, which are a result of a multi-annual research by Av. Vladimir Molla.

            This issue includes also a “Humor & Satire” section, containing the permanent title “Eulogy of Calamandrei”, which brings some anecdotes and personal experience of this distinguished Italian lawyer (1889-1956). This piece, which often reflect the often fragile relationships between the parties in a civil case – lawyers and judges – are translated into a proper and smooth Albanian language for our readers by Dr. Henrik Ligori.

The "New publications" section for this issue brings us a book entitled "Gender Equality and Justice" by Prof.Dr.Aurela Anastasi, for which Prof.Dr. Arta Mandro-Balili, Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of UT, shares some "Reflections from reading this book", through which she highlights once again the non-accidental consistency, vigilance and proper care shown by author, using research tools, and shows us several positions intended to affect the value system of gender equality and justice.

The “Index” offers us a full list of the “Names of authors and titles of articles published in the four issues of ‘Advocacy’ magazine in 2021”, with an indication of the page where each of them is found. The articles are listed in the alphabetical order.

Finally, the “Announcements” section invites advocates, advocate-assistants, and other legal professionals to send their articles, explaining the criteria they have to meet.