Albania has continued reforming its legal system in the framework of its democratization process.
Meanwhile, the authorities must also cope with other serious challenges such as the fight against human and drug trafficking and the dismantling of organized crime.
Although the Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, political pressure, intimidation, endemic corruption, bribery, and limited resources have hampered the independent and efficient functioning of the judiciary.
A law on disclosure of personal assets was adopted in April 2003 to thwart the pervasive corruption in Albanian society, including the judiciary. Two important measures were adopted in order to improve the judicial system: the adoption in March 2004 of the Law on the Protection of Judges and Witnesses and the establishment of the Serious Crime Courts in January 2004 to deal with trafficking and organized crime.
On 12 October 2003, local elections in many major Albanian cities tested the performance of the new Electoral Code. Unfortunately, according to international observers, these elections fell short of international standards.
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