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Short Update: Rule of law concerns in Albania as government restricts rights by ministerial decree

FairTrialsAdmin - April 27, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Rule of Law

On March 24, 2020, the Government of Albania issued a normative act announcing a Status of Natural Disaster. Under the new regulations right to privacy is severely restricted allowing, for example to conduct personal and house search without a judicial warrant even in the absence of a criminal investigation. Freedom of movement, the right to choose a residence, right to work and to form trade unions are also severely restricted as is the right to property by allowing confiscation and restrictions on its use without a fair compensation.  

Lawyers have raised concerns also about the restrictions principle of legality, i.e., no punishment without law, since sanctions for violations of government regulation have been approved by the government via administrative orders of the Minister of Health under the provision of law "On the prevention of infectious diseases", and not the legislator.  

On April 20, 2020, the Republic of Albania filed a declaration officially derogating from Article 8 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Convention) and Article 1 and 2 of the Protocol to the Convention and Article 2 of the Protocol No. 4 to the Convention. 

The Albanian Rule of Law Centre and many other lawyers have started a public campaign demanding observance of constitutionality, rule of law and human rights in general, and particularly the right to a fair trial in Albania. 

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected]

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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