Ministers’ Deputies

Information documents

CM/Inf/DH(2010)20 25 May 20101

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Cases concerning the non-enforcement of final domestic decisions in Albania

General measures to comply with the European Court’s judgments

Memorandum prepared by the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (DG-HL)

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This memorandum has been prepared to assist the Committee of Ministers in its supervision of the execution by Albania of a number of judgments of the European Court revealing several important structural problems requiring urgent solution. Special focus is placed on cases relating to the restitution of property and compensation issues. The judgments relate to the public authorities’ failure to comply with domestic final decisions.

The memorandum examines both the general measures implemented and plans for further reform.

Following this examination, the memorandum identifies a number of outstanding problems and focuses on a number of avenues that appear to be of particular interest in the ongoing search for a comprehensive resolution of the problem. In doing so, it also takes into account the experience of other member states in resolving similar problems in response to the Court's judgments. The main avenues considered are:

    · Removing all obstacles to the enforcement of final domestic decisions awarding compensation under the Property Act

    · Providing effective remedies in cases of non-enforcement of final domestic decisions.

It is underlined that the present memorandum provides an initial overview and analysis of the reform carried out in Albania, and the intention is to present updated versions in the light of the information and explanations provided by the Albanian authorities.

Introduction 3

Part 1. Removing all obstacles to the enforcement of final domestic decisions awarding compensation under the Property Act 4

Part 2. Providing effective remedies in cases of non-enforcement of final domestic decisions 9

Appendix - List of Albanian cases concerning non-execution of a final domestic judgment 11

Introduction

    The European Court’s findings

1. The European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the European Court”) in the Driza2 judgment observed that “the unjustified hindrance to the applicant’s attempts to obtain compensation pursuant to the Property Act […] arose from shortcomings in the Albanian legal order as a consequence of which an entire category of individuals have been and are still being deprived of their right to the peaceful enjoyment of their property as a result of the non-enforcement of court judgments (or administrative decisions) awarding compensation under the Property Act. Indeed, there are already dozens of identical applications before the Court. The escalating number of applications is an aggravating factor as regards the State’s responsibility under the Convention and is also a threat to the future effectiveness of the system put in place by the Convention, given that in the Court’s view, the legal vacuums detected […] may subsequently give rise to other numerous well-founded applications” (see §122 of the Driza judgment).

2. The main shortcomings identified by the European Court are:

      · failure to remove all obstacles to the award of compensation in lieu of restitution under the Property Act by ensuring the appropriate statutory, administrative and budgetary measures;

      In the cases of Beshiri (7352/03), Driza (33771/02) and Ramadhi (38222/02), the European Court found violations of Article 6§1 and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 due to the non-enforcement of judgments of the domestic courts awarding compensation for property which had been nationalised under the communist regime.

      In Driza, the European Court also found a violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or “the ECHR”) Convention in respect of the ineffectiveness of the remedies introduced by the Property Act.

    · inefficiency of the bailiffs;

      The Bushati judgment (6397/04) concerns the bailiff’s failure to enforce a decision of the Supreme Court which confirmed partial recognition of the applicants' property claim and ordered the occupiers to cease their occupation of the land without title (violation of Article 6§1). The European Court recalled that in cases such as the present one, where the debtor is a private person, the State has to act diligently in order to assist a creditor in execution of a judgment. The European Court considered ineffectual the bailiff's actions and stated that the bailiff should have proceeded with coercive measures to enforce the judgment. Moreover, it considered that owing to the bailiffs' failure to take adequate and sufficient measures with a view to securing enforcement of the Supreme Court's decision the applicants were left in a situation of uncertainty and had been unable to fully enjoy their possessions (violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1).

      · lack of necessary funds;

      The Qufaj judgment (54268/00) concerns a violation of the applicant company's right to a fair trial due to the failure to enforce a final judicial decision ordering the Municipality of Tirana to pay compensation to the applicant company for losses resulting from the refusal to grant a building permit (violation of Article 6§1). The State allegedly lacked the necessary funds, despite various steps taken by the applicant company. The European Court reiterated that it is not open to a State authority to cite lack of funds as an excuse for not honouring a judgment debt.

      · lack of an effective remedy ;

    In Ramadhi, the European Court found that the authorities had deprived the applicants of their right to an effective remedy enabling them to secure the enforcement of their civil right to compensation, as they had failed to take the necessary measures to provide the means of enforcing decisions of the local Property Restitution and Compensation Commission (violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 6§1).

    In Gjyli (32907/07), the European Court noted that judgments of the Constitutional Court were declaratory so that the Constitutional Court did not offer any adequate redress. In particular, it did not make any awards of pecuniary and/or non-pecuniary damage, nor could it offer a clear perspective to prevent the alleged violation or its continuation (violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 6§1).

3. On 26 January 2010, 13 applications against Albania concerning the issue of restitution of property and/or compensation were communicated to the Albanian authorities by the European Court3.

Activities carried out by the Secretariat in Albania

4. In view of the persisting problem, Albania has been selected as one of the beneficiary countries in the Human Rights Trust Fund (“HRTF”) project on removing the obstacles to the non-enforcement of domestic court judgments / ensuring the effective implementation of domestic court judgments. The Secretariat visited Tirana on 2 and 3 February and carried out bilateral consultations with the Albanian authorities within the context of this project. During these consultations, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Bujar Nishani, reiterated the government’s concern regarding the problem of non-enforcement of domestic judgments and confirmed its will to find solutions to this structural problem.

5. Based on the updated information obtained during the Secretariat’s mission and subsequent bilateral consultations, the present memorandum contains a description and analysis of the national legal and administrative framework – including ongoing reforms – placing emphasis on the progress made and underlying remaining shortcomings regarding the non-enforcement of decisions related to property restitution or compensation (Part I). The issue of remedies is considered under Part II. Specific issues raised in judgments of the European Court not related to the restitution of property and/or compensation (e.g. judgments concerning non–enforcement of domestic judgments against private individuals) will be subsequently addressed when such cases are examined by the Committee of Ministers.

Part 1. Removing all obstacles to the enforcement of final domestic decisions awarding compensation under the Property Act

6. In its reasoning under Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights in the relevant judgments against Albania, the European Court considered that the respondent State should, above all, remove all obstacles to the award of compensation under the Property Act by ensuring that the appropriate statutory, administrative and budgetary measures are taken. These measures should include the adoption of site plans for property valuation in respect of those claimants who are entitled to receive compensation in kind and the designation of an adequate fund in respect of those claimants who are entitled to receive compensation in value, to enable all claimants with judgments (or Commissions’ decisions) awarding them compensation under the Property Act to obtain speedily the sums or land due. Such measures should be made available as a matter of urgency4.

7. It should be recalled that in the Qufaj judgment (§38), the European Court reiterated that it is not open to a State authority to cite lack of funds as an excuse for not honouring a judgment debt. Admittedly, a delay in the execution of a judgment may be justified in particular circumstances. But the delay may not be such as to impair the essence of the right protected under Article 6§15. In the Beshiri case, the European Court noted that the judgment in question remained unenforced for over five years, a situation for which the Albanian government had not provided any plausible justification. Citing a lack of state funds, as the government had done, did not justify the situation.

        A. The right to restitution of property or compensation established by law

      1) The Property Act

8. The right to restitution or compensation is regulated by Law No. 9235 of 29/07/2004 “on restitution and compensation of property” (“the Property Act”). The Property Act has undergone several amendments during the past seventeen years. As in force to date6, it provides for the return, under certain circumstances, of the original property and compensation in the event of the authorities being unable to return the original property. The Act provides for five forms of compensation: (a) property of the same kind; (b) property of any other kind; (c) shares in State-owned companies; (d) the value of a State-owned property in the course of privatisation, and (e) a sum of money (section 11).

      2) The Property Restitution and Compensation Agency: the competent body to decide on restitution and compensation claims

9. Recent amendments to the Property Act (Law No. 10207 of 23/12/2009) abolished the Regional Offices (former Commissions) for Property Restitution and Compensation. At present, the Property Restitution and Compensation Agency (PRCA) is the only administrative body in charge of the implementation of the Property Act, competent to decide on restitution and compensation claims. The PRCA is also responsible for the administration of the Compensation fund. The authorities7 consider that this reform renders possible the elimination of ineffective administrative steps and halves the time for treatment of a request.

10. In addition the authorities submitted that the Property Act as amended provides for the right of the Director of the PRCA to review decisions delivered by former Regional Offices/Commissions for Property Restitution and Compensation. They recalled that, between 1997 and 2004, administrative decisions were delivered in favour of subjects who had practically never owned property. The Constitutional Court was seized by the Supreme Court to decide on the compatibility of this new power conferred to the Director of the PRCA (articles 16 and 18 of Law No. 9235) with the Albanian Constitution.

11. Observations of the Secretariat: The conclusions of the European Court in the Driza and Ramadhi judgments, finding that the violations arose from shortcomings in the Albanian legal order, should guide the legislative process. This conclusion was reiterated in a recent judgment, Vrioni and others (5720/04 and 42832/06, judgment of 29/09/2009, final on 29/12/2009). The various legislative reforms undertaken in order to secure the right to restitution or compensation are very encouraging. However, during the bilateral consultations in Tirana, certain interlocutors raised concerns regarding the lack of sufficient knowledge by citizens of the legislation, which is constantly changing. The Albanian authorities are invited to make further efforts aimed at consolidating and simplifying the legislative framework.

    · In light of the scope of powers exercised by the PRCA, including those recently conferred, the authorities are invited to provide an assessment concerning its capacity to deal with the process of providing compensation for expropriated properties.

      · Up-dated information is needed regarding the case pending before the Constitutional Court concerning the powers of the Director of the PRCA.

        B. The award of compensation

12. According to Property Act as amended, when restitution of property is not possible, compensation for the latter will be based on its market value. Article 23 of the Property Act 2004 established the Financial Compensation Fund which is to operate for a ten-year period, having commenced in 2005. Article 28 of the Law establishes the Fund for compensation in kind, which is not yet operational.

13. By virtue of three decisions, the government approved and issued a property valuation map. The map included the reference price per square metre throughout the country. All the prices per square meter are included in a single table, ranging from the lowest price of ALL 150 (€ 1.2) per m² in zone 2 of the town of Tepelena in Southern Albania, to the highest price of ALL 180,000 (€ 1,384) per m² in the former “bllok” area of Tirana, the capital city.

14. The land value map is used by the PRCA in order to calculate the value of the expropriated properties and subsequently the amount of compensation to be awarded to the former owners. It is revised periodically to take into account changes in property market value.

      1) The award of financial compensation

The procedure

15. According to the Council of Ministers’ decisions (“CMD”) adopted between 2005 and 2008, a claimant was required to lodge a standard application for financial compensation with the central agency in Tirana, accompanied, inter alia, with the commission’s / regional agency’s decision that recognised his right to compensation. Only those former owners who would be compensated for their entire property and who had not received previous compensation were entitled to financial compensation from 2005 to 2008. The 2009 CMD provided that a former owner was entitled to financial compensation on the condition that he/she had not benefited from: (a) previous compensation; (b) partial restoration/restitution of the property; (c) the right to first refusal; or (d) the implementation of the Act on the Distribution of Land (Law No. 7501 of 19 July 1991). These conditions are under revision by the Albanian authorities.

16. Applications are examined in chronological order on the basis of the domestic court’s, commission’s or regional agency’s decision date and number.

17. Article 17 of the Property Act provides that expropriated subjects had the right to submit new applications until 31 December 2008. In cases where the expropriated persons could not submit the application for legal reasons, they may request an extension of the deadline through proceedings before the ordinary courts. The process of recognition, restitution and compensation of immovable properties ends on 31 December 2011, except for the payment of compensation which is foreseen to end in 2015 (article 24 of the Property Act).

18. The lodging of an application entails the payment of a processing fee. Former owners who had not been awarded compensation due to the compensation fund’s lack of financial resources in a preceding year (the compensation fund has a fixed sum of money per year), could re-submit their application in the following year(s) once they had paid the processing fee.

19. According to the amount at its disposal, the PRCA deposits the relevant sums in bank accounts of beneficiaries opened for this purpose. These accounts become operational within one week of being opened. The PRCA issues public notifications through its website and newspapers regarding the opening of the accounts. The deposited sum may be withdrawn by the applicant in person or by his legal representative.

The criteria

20. In 2005 financial compensation was awarded in respect of compensation claims arising from the Tirana Commission’s decisions. In 2006 financial compensation was awarded in respect of compensation claims arising out of the decisions of the Tirana and Kavaja Commissions. In 2007 the group of beneficiaries was expanded to include former owners who were in possession of a commission decision issued with respect to cities for which a property valuation map had been approved and issued. In 2008 and 2009 all former owners, who were entitled to compensation following a commission’s decision, were eligible to apply for financial compensation.

21. For the period 2005-20098, the amount of financial compensation was limited to a maximum of 200 sq. m. The Albanian authorities indicated that as of 2010, they intend to apply a new criterion for financial compensation which will be defined by reference to the location of the property. This new criterion would be implemented according to the up-dated land value map. For this purpose, it was decided to establish an inter-ministerial working group that shall propose to the Council of Ministers the modalities of this new criterion for financial compensation.

The supervisory procedure

22. The Director of the PRCA sends a written report to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice every three months regarding the process of financial compensation and the administration of the property compensation fund. The Minister of Justice reports every three months to the Parliament regarding the process of financial compensation.

23. An economic and financial audit of the activity of the PRCA is conducted by the High State Audit at least once every six months. Audit results are always made public.

The consolidation of the compensation fund

24. On 25 February 2010, a new Law No. 10239 “on the establishment of a special compensation fund” was adopted. According to this Law, the Compensation Fund is a special fund within the meaning of the budgetary law. The novelty of the Law is that for the compensation of former owners, other sources of securing additional funds will be used. The main part of the fund will continue to come from the annual state budget allocated for the compensation of expropriated property. Additional sources will be provided via funds deriving from the sale at auction of state property, for which no decisions of the property restitution and compensation commissions have been issued, as well as by the income generated during the process of the legalisation of illegal constructions according to the Law No. 9482 of 03/04/2006, “on the legalisation, urbanisation and integration of illegal constructions”, which is currently being implemented.

25. In addition to the above-mentioned sources, income generated as a result of the implementation of other laws and bylaws as well as sums provided by donors, will be transferred to the Compensation Fund. As stipulated in the Property Act, the PRCA will administer the Compensation Fund according to the procedure set-out in a Council of Ministers decision and the proposal of the Minister of Finance. The latter, on 1 February of each year, shall transfer to the bank account of the PRCA the annual Compensation Fund. Unspent amounts can be retained in the account for subsequent years.

26. Article 23 of the Property Act provides for the right to receive default interests covering the period running from the recognition of the right to property until the award of the financial compensation, calculated at the annual average of the Bank of Albania.

27. Observations of the Secretariat:

      · Compliance with, and the implementation of, the recommendation by the European Court to adopt the land value map is very encouraging. Further information on the periodical review of the land value map would be useful.
      · The recent reform to consolidate the central compensation fund and to secure its viability is particularly welcomed. In this context, the authorities are invited to ensure, to the extent possible, the allocation of adequate resources to the compensation fund. The adoption of the 2010 Law “on the establishment of a special compensation fund” is very promising in that respect. Information on its implementation will be needed.
      · Given that the conditions for entitlement to financial compensation set out in the CMD decision of 2009 are currently under revision, up-dated information on this matter is required.
      · With respect to the procedure for re-submitting an application (see § 18) the burden placed on the applicants raises concerns. Additional clarification on this point is needed.
      · During the bilateral consultations in Tirana, the Secretariat expressed concern regarding the 200 sq. m. limit for the award of compensation. The current reflections aiming at the introduction of a new criterion are therefore very encouraging. The authorities are invited to provide information on the new criterion and to specify how its application will secure equal treatment between the beneficiaries. Given that at present the 200 sq. m. limit still applies, additional information is required regarding the non-compensated areas exceeding the limit.
      · The authorities are invited to provide information concerning the implementation in practice of Article 23 of the Property Act, concerning the right to default interests in cases where domestic judgments have not been executed or have been executed with delay.

      2) In-kind compensation for former owners9

28. The Property Act provided for the establishment of an In-kind Compensation Fund (“IkCF”). It was foreseen that by 31 December 2008, the Council of Ministers would adopt the fund of state immovable properties as well as the modalities of its transfer to the PRCA.

29. By decision No. 567 of 05/09/2007, the Government laid down the criteria and the procedures for determining which state properties fall within the scope of the IkCF. Section 1 lists the types of properties, for example: (a) public immovable property which is located in tourist areas; b) properties of the Ministry of Defence which are not used by the armed forces and have been approved by the President of the Republic; (c) available agricultural land belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture; (d) forests, pastures and meadows; and (e) property of State institutions which fall outside their intended activity.

30. The PRCA is responsible for checking the legal status of each property submitted by the respective State institution. The PRCA will submit to the Minister of Justice the final list of immovable properties which fall within the scope of the IkCF. Upon the government’s approval, the list will be published in the Official Journal.

31. Observations of the Secretariat: Noting that the In-kind Compensation Fund is not yet operational, the authorities are invited to speed up its establishment and to provide information on the measures taken in this respect.

        C. The finalisation of the property registration process

32. It appears that out of the estimated 500,000 immovable properties, the Immovable Property Registration Office (IPRO) is close to finalising the registration of 120,000 properties in the cities of Tirana, Durrës, Vlora, Fier and Saranda. The IPRO is confident that the registration of all 500,000 properties will be completed by 2012. However, the registration of immovable property, especially in areas where these properties have a higher value, such as cities and coastal areas, is not yet concluded.

33. Amendments to the Property Act (Article 10, introduced by Law No. 9701 of 02/04/2007) stipulated that priority for registration is defined chronologically, according to the order in which the documents have been presented to the Registrar of the IPRO. The latter has the right to seek, from the Chief Registrar, the erasure of all registrations subsequent to a first registration which is in accordance with articles 192-197 of the Civil Code.

34. Recently, the Constitutional Court10 considered that the erasure of a registration deprives the owner of the right to freely dispose of their property (§18 of the decision) and that the above-mentioned Article 10 violates the property rights provided by Article 41 of the Constitution. Furthermore, the Constitutional Court considered that the erasure of a registration of a property by an administrative structure limits the right to property, creates legal uncertainty for citizens and violates established rights.

35. Observations of the Secretariat: The authorities are invited to provide information on the measures taken to finalise the registration process as well as on the abrogation of the abovementioned provision following the decision of the Constitutional Court.

Part 2. Providing effective remedies in cases of non-enforcement of final domestic decisions

        A. The reform of the bailiff service

36. In the cases of Beshiri (7352/03), Bushati (6397/04) and Gjyli (32907/07), the European Court noted that the bailiffs’ actions to enforce final judicial judgments have not been effective11. In Beshiri, the European Court considered that the failure of the authorities (including bailiffs) to enforce the judgment ordering the authorities to offer the applicant a form of compensation in lieu of the restitution of two plots of land, amounted to an interference with their right to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions within the meaning of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.

37. In Bushati, the European Court recalled that in cases, such as the present one, where the debtor is a private person, the State has to act diligently in order to assist a creditor in execution of a judgment. The European Court considered ineffectual the bailiff's actions and stated that they should have proceeded with coercive measures to enforce the judgment.

38. To remedy those situations, Albania, supported by a project financed by the European Commission12, introduced a private bailiff service13 approved by Law No. 10031 of 11/12/2008. With the introduction of the new Law, Albania will have a two track system, a state and a private one, functioning in parallel. Furthermore, the Code of Civil Procedure was amended by Law No. 10052 of 29/12/2008, in order to accommodate the new system and improve the execution of decisions.

39. According to the authorities, the introduction of a private bailiff service, is sought to partially relieve the state bailiff service of its caseload. In addition, it is expected that the private bailiff service will be more efficient in cases where the State is a debtor. Furthermore, the changes in the Code of Civil Procedure, in particular regarding procedural deadlines, will speed up the whole process of the execution of judicial decisions.

40. Observations of the Secretariat: During bilateral contacts, several interlocutors, including the Albanian Ombudsman, underlined the expected positive effects of the private bailiff service. Additional explanations are needed on the expected added value of this new bailiff service and on the possible financial consequences for the applicants.

        B. Ensuring effective judicial review in cases of non-execution

41. In Qufaj, the European Court found that “the Constitutional Court was competent to deal with the applicant company’s complaint relating to non-compliance with a final judgment as part of its jurisdiction to secure the right to a fair trial”. This element of the right to a fair hearing was embodied for the first time in the Constitutional Court’s judgment no. 6/06, subsequently upheld in its judgments nos. 43/07, 1/09 and 6/09.

42. In Ramadhi, the European Court underlined that Albania should, above all, introduce a remedy which secures genuinely effective redress for the Convention violations identified in the instant judgment as well as in respect of all similar applications pending before it, in accordance with the principles for the protection of the rights laid down in Articles 6 § 1 and 13 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No.1.

43. In Gjyli, the European Court noted that judgments of the Constitutional Court recognised that there had been a violation of the appellants’ right of access to court on account of the non-enforcement of domestic courts’ judgments. However, their findings were declaratory so that the Constitutional Court did not offer any adequate redress. In particular, it did not make any awards of pecuniary and/or non-pecuniary damage, nor could it offer a clear perspective to prevent the alleged violation or its continuation14.
44. Law No. 8510 of 15/07/1999 “on the extra contractual liability of public administration bodies” provides that public administration bodies are responsible for damages caused to natural or legal persons in cases of an act or omission which may or not have a basis in law (i.e. legal or illegal). In such cases the injured party has the right to receive pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage, including the right to receive any loss of profit. To date no information has been provided by the Albanian authorities concerning the implementation of this law.

45. Moreover, Article 450 of the Civil Code provides for the possibility to obtain financial compensation for the damage caused by delayed payment of a sum15. This provision has been referred to in a recent decision of the Albanian Constitutional Court (decision no. 8 of 23/03/2010). The Constitutional Court, found that the applicant’s claim to obtain compensation for delayed execution of a final judgment constituted a new, distinct claim. Therefore the applicant had to apply before ordinary courts on the basis of Article 450 of the Civil Code to obtain compensation for the damage caused by a delayed payment of a sum. Only after the exhaustion of proceedings before the ordinary courts, could the applicant institute proceedings before the Constitutional Court.

46. Observations of the Secretariat: the Committee of Ministers repeatedly highlighted the importance of ensuring, without further delay, an effective domestic remedy in Albania in line with the requirements of Article 13 of the ECHR and the European Court’s case-law. The authorities are invited to inform the Committee of Ministers on measures taken or envisaged to comply with the European Court’s requirements. Information is needed on the applicability and the efficiency of the remedies provided by Law No. 8510 “on the extra contractual liability of public administration bodies” as well as by Article 450 of the Civil Code in light of the recent decision of the Constitutional Court.

Appendix - List of Albanian cases concerning non-execution of a final domestic judgment

Application Number

English Case Title

54268/00

QUFAJ CO. SH.P.K. v. Albania

3738/02

MARINI v. Albania

10508/02

GJONBOCARI and others v. Albania

33771/02

DRIZA v. Albania

38222/02

RAMADHI AND 5 OTHERS v. Albania

2141/03

VRIONI AND OTHERS v. Albania

7352/03

BESHIRI and others v. Albania

12306/04

NURI v. Albania

35720/04

VRIONI v. Albania and Italy

35853/04

BAJRAMI v. Albania

45264/04

HAMZARAJ v. Albania (no. 1)

6397/04

BUSHATI v. Albania

32907/07

GJYLI v. Albania

1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. It was declassified at the 1086th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (June 2010) (see CM/Del/Dec(2010)1086 Decisions adopted at the meeting.

2 Driza (33771/02), judgment of 13 November 2007, final on 02/06/2008; see also Ramadhi, §90.

3 The statement of facts and the questions to the parties were published on the ECtHR Website on 15/02/2010.

4 See Driza §§122-126 and Ramadhi § 94.

5 See Hornsby v. Greece, judgment of 19 March 1997, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-II, p. 510-511, § 40; and Burdov v. Russia, No. 59498/00, § 34-35, ECHR 2002-III; see also Jasiūnienė v. Lithuania, No. 41510/98, § 27, 6 March 2003.

6 Amended by: Law n°. 9388, 04/05/2005 ; Decision of the Constitutional Court n°. 26, 02/11/2005 ; Law n°. 9583, 17/7/2006 ; Law n°. 9684, 06/02/2007 ; Decision of the Constitutional Court n°.11, 04/04/2007 ; Law n°. 9898, 10/04/2008 ; Law n°. 10 095, 12/3/2009 ; Law n°. 10 186, 5/11/2009 ; Law n°. 10 207, 23/12/2009

7 As confirmed by the Director of the PRCA during the bilateral contacts in Tirana on 2-3 February 2010.

8 Council of Ministers’ Decisions (“CMD”) CMD No. 13 of 17 November 2005; CMD No. 758 of 16 November 2006; CMD No. 566 of 5 September 2007; CMD No. 1343 of 4 June 2008 and, CMD No. 487 of 6 May 2009.

9 Council of Ministers’ Decisions No. 567 of 5 September 2007.

10 The Albanian Constitutional Court seized by the People's Advocate delivered a decision on 23/04/2010 (decision V-17/10) repealing as unconstitutional the second and third paragraphs of the said Article 10 as well as the second paragraph of Article 39 /a of Law No. 7843, dated 13/07/1994 "On the registration of real estate" (complemented by Law No. 9701 and Instruction No.4, of the Council of Ministers).

11 See § 65 of Beshiri, § 59 of Gjyli and § 80-86 of Bushati . See also Marini (3738/02) and Driza (33771/02).

12 EURALIUS II (European Assistance Mission to the Justice System in Albania), a project funded by the European Commissions under the Albania CARDS 2006 programme.

13 The Minister of Justice declared that the Private Service would be operational in June 2010.

14 In the case Burdov n. 2, (No. 33509/04) the Court recalled that Article 13 gives direct expression to the States' obligation, enshrined in Article 1 of the Convention, to protect human rights first and foremost within their own legal system. It therefore requires that the States provide a domestic remedy to deal with the substance of an “arguable complaint” under the Convention and to grant appropriate relief (see Kudła v. Poland [GC], No. 30210/96, § 152, ECHR 2000-XI) (see § 97 -100 of Burdov n.2 judgment)).

15 Article 450: “The compensation for the damage caused by the delayed payment of a sum of money, consists of default interests running from the date of commencement of default of the debtor in the official currency of the state where the payment is done. The rate of interest is determined by law. At the end of each year default interests are added to the principal amount of money due on the basis of which their calculation is made. Legal interests are paid without the creditor being obliged to prove any damage. When the creditor proves to have suffered a greater harm than the default interest, the debtor is obliged to pay him the rest of the damage”.



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