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Albania’s Special Courts against Corruption and Organised Crime

The Special Courts against Corruption were established following a comprehensive reform of the Albanian Constitution in 2016. The most unusual feature of these specialised courts is a review mechanism, not yet operational, for monitoring the telecommunications of the courts’ personnel. Performance of the courts is hampered by controversy over their jurisdiction and by staff shortages.

20 January 2022
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Albania’s Special Courts against Corruption and Organised Crime

This publication is also available in Albanian.

The translation of this Brief was supported by the University of Zurich.

Main points

  • The Special Courts against Corruption (SPAK – from its Albanian acronym) were established as part of a separate structure for the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of corruption and organised crime cases, created by a constitutional reform package in 2016. The courts began operations in 2019.
  • The impetus for establishment of the SPAK Courts came from an expert group that devised the overall architecture of the constitutional reform. International stakeholders also had substantial influence.
  • The most distinctive feature of the SPAK Courts is a review mechanism for monitoring their personnel’s telephone, text, and email communications, based on constitutional law. Implementing rules for the mechanism appear to be still in development.
  • The operation of the SPAK Courts is challenged by controversy over their jurisdiction, as well as by staff shortages.
  • The success of the SPAK Courts is inherently linked to the progress of the overall judicial reforms.

Cite this publication

Gunjic, I.; (2022) Albania’s Special Courts against Corruption and Organised Crime. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2022:1)

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About the author

Ivan Gunjic

Ivan Gunjic, MLaw, is a research associate and doctoral candidate at the University of Zurich.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)