Article 137

The judge shall enjoy immunity in connection with the opinions expressed and the decisions made in the course of assuming the functions, except where the judge acts based upon personal interests or malice.

Article 138

The salary and other benefits of judges cannot be reduced, except when:

a) general economic, financial measures need to be undertaken in order to avoid difficult 26 economic situation of the country or other national emergences;

b) the judge returns to the previous position which he or she held prior to this position;

c) as a result of a disciplinary measure or is evaluated professionally as incapable, in accordance with the law;


Article 140

  1. The judge shall be disciplinarily liable in accordance with the law.
  2. The judge shall be dismissed upon decision of the High Judicial Council when he or she:
    1. commits serious professional or ethical misconduct which discredit the figure and the position of the judge during the exercise of his or her duties; or
    2. is convicted with final court decision for commission of a crime.
  3. The judge is suspended from its duty upon decision of the High Judicial Council when:
    1. against him or her the personal security measure of pre-detention or home arrest is given for commission of a criminal offence; or
    2. he or she is accused for a serious crime committed with intention.
    3. upon initiation of the disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the law.
  4. Against the dismissal decision, appeal can be filed at the Constitutional Court.


Article 143

Being a judge shall not be compatible with any other political, state as well as any other compensated professional activity, except for teaching, academic, scientific activities, or secondment to justice institutions in accordance with the law.


Article 145

  1. Judges are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the laws.
  2. When judges find that a law comes into conflict with the Constitution, they do not apply it. In this case, they suspend the proceedings and send the case to the Constitutional Court. Decisions of the Constitutional Court are binding for all courts.
  3. Interference in the activity of the courts or the judges entails liability according to law.


Article 147

  1. The High Judicial Council shall ensure the independence, accountability and appropriate functionality of the judicial power in the Republic of Albania.
  2. The High Judicial Council shall be composed of 11 members, six of which are elected by the judges of all levels of the judicial power and five members are elected by the Assembly among jurists who are non-judges.
  3. The judge members shall be selected from judges of high moral integrity and professional proficiency in accordance with an open and transparent procedure that ensures a fair representation of all levels of the judiciary. The lay member shall be selected among highly qualified jurist, with no less than 15 years of professional experience, of high moral and professional integrity. The lay member shall not have held a political post in the public administration or a leadership position in a political party in the last past 10 years before becoming candidate. Further criteria and the procedure for selecting and ranking the candidates are provided by law.
  4. Two lay members shall be elected from the advocates, two from the corps of law professors and the School of Magistrates and one shall be from civil society. The Secretary General of the Assembly, based on an open call and transparent procedure, shall announce the vacancies in accordance with the law.
  5. The Secretary General of the Assembly, not later than 10 days from the presentation of the applications, shall verify if the candidates fulfill the criteria foreseen in the Constitution and the law and assess the professional and moral criteria to be a member of the High Judicial Council. In case the candidates do not fulfil the criteria to be elected, the Secretary General of the Assembly deletes candidates from the list.
  6. The Secretary General of the Assembly, upon completion of the verification sends immediately to the parliamentary committee under paragraph 7 of this article the list of candidates who fulfill the formal criteria.
  7. The parliamentary committee responsible for legal issues establishes a subcommittee for the further assessment and selection of candidates not later than three days from the submission of the list. The subcommittee is composed of five members of the Assembly, three members nominated by the parliamentary majority and two by the opposition. The subcommittee may with at least four votes include a candidate who was previously removed from the list by the Secretary General of the Assembly. The subcommittee selects the candidates supported by 4 members. In case the majority cannot be reached the candidate shall be selected by lot.
  8. The selections from the subcommittee are consolidated into one list and sent to the Chairman of the Assembly. Within ten days, the Assembly may reject the entire list of candidates as a block by a majority of two-thirds. If the list is rejected, the procedure shall be repeated by the subcommittee under paragraph 7 of this article, but no more than two times. If the Assembly after the competition of the procedure for the third time, has not approved the presented list, the candidates of this list shall be deemed elected. Detailed procedures shall be regulated by law.
  9. The Chairperson of the High Judicial Council is elected by its members from the ranks of the lay members in accordance with the law.
  10. Members of the High Judicial Council shall practice their duty full-time for a period of five years without the right of immediate re-election. At the end of the term, the judge members return to their previous working positions. The mandate of judges of the High Court, or specialized courts shall be suspended during the period of time of their service as member of High Judicial Council. The lay members who before the appointment worked full time in the public sector shall return to the previous working positions or, if not possible, to positions equivalent to them.