Constitution of Albania
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We, the people of Albania, proud of our history and with faith in the future; with determination to build a social and democratic state based on the rule of law; with the aim of respecting universal human values; with a spirit of tolerance and religious coexistence; with belief that human dignity and personhood should be protected, as well as the prosperity of the whole nation, toward the goals of peace, well-being, culture and social solidarity; with the centuries-old aspiration of Albanianism, and national identity and unity; with a deep belief that justice, peace, harmony and cooperation among nations are among the highest values of humanity, We establish this Constitution:
Part I Basic Principles
- Albania is a parliamentary republic.
- The Republic of Albania is a unitary state.
- Governance is based on a system of elections that are free, equal, general and periodic.
- Sovereignty in the Republic of Albania belongs to the people.
- The people exercise sovereignty directly or through their representatives.
- For the maintenance of peace and national interests, the Republic of Albania may take part in a system of collective security, on the basis of a law approved by a majority of all the members of the Assembly.
Article 3 The independence and integrity of the territory, dignity of the individual, human rights and freedoms, social justice, constitutional order, pluralism, national identity and inheritance, and religious co-existence are the bases of this state, which has the duty of respecting and protecting them.
- The law constitutes the basis and the boundaries of the activity of the state.
- The Constitution is the highest law in the Republic of Albania.
- The provisions of the Constitution are directly applicable, except when the Constitution provides otherwise.
Article 5 The Republic of Albania respects international law that is binding upon it.
Article 6 The organization and functioning of the organs contemplated by this Constitution are regulated by their respective laws, except when provided otherwise in it.
Article 7 The system of government in the Republic of Albania is based on the separation and balancing of legislative, executive and judicial powers.
- The Republic of Albania recognizes and protects the national rights of the Albanian people who live outside its borders.
- The Republic of Albania protects the rights of its citizens with a temporary or permanent residence outside its borders.
- The Republic of Albania assures assistance for Albanians who live and work in emigration in order to preserve and develop their ties with the national cultural inheritance.
- Political parties are created freely. Their organization shall conform with democratic principles.
- Political parties and other organizations, the programs and activity of which are based on totalitarian methods, which incite and support racial, religious, regional or ethnic hatred, which use violence to take power or influence state policies, as well as those with a secret character, are prohibited in accordance with the law.
- The financial sources of parties as well as their expenses shall always be made public.
- The Republic of Albania does not have an official religion.
- The state is neutral in questions of belief and conscience, and also, it guarantees the freedom of their expression in public life.
- The state guarantees equality of religious communities.
- The state and the religious communities respect the independence of one another mutually and work together for the good of each of them and for all.
- Agreements between the state and religious communities are regulated on the basis of agreements entered into between their representatives and the Council of Ministers. These agreements are ratified by the Assembly.
- Religious communities are juridical persons. They have independence in the administration of their properties according to their principles, rules and canons.
- The economic system of the Republic of Albania is based on a market economy, on freedom of economic activity, as well as on private and public property.
- Private and public property are equally protected by law.
- Limitations on the freedom of economic activity may be established only by law and for important public reasons.
- The armed forces secure the independence of the country, as well as protect its territorial integrity and constitutional order.
- The armed forces maintain neutrality in political questions and are subject to civilian control.
- No foreign military force may be accepted into Albanian territory, except by a law approved by a majority of all members of the Assembly.
Article 13 Local government in the Republic of Albania is exercised according to the principle of decentralization of public power.
- The official language in the Republic of Albania is Albanian.
- The national flag is red with a two-headed black eagle in the center.
- The seal of the Republic of Albania presents a black two-headed eagle, set on a red background. At the top of the seal is the helmet of Skanderbeg.
- The national anthem is "United around our flag."
- The National Holiday of the Republic of Albania is Flag Day, November 28.
- The capital city of the Republic of Albania is Tirana.
Part II The Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms
Chapter I General Principles
- The fundamental human rights and freedoms are indivisible and inalienable and stand at the basis of the entire juridical order.
- The organs of public power, in fulfillment of their duties, shall respect the fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as contribute to making them a reality.
- The fundamental rights and freedoms and the duties contemplated in this Constitution for Albanian citizens are also valid for foreigners and stateless persons in the territory of the Republic of Albania, except for cases when the Constitution specifically attaches the exercise of particular rights and freedoms with Albanian citizenship.
- The fundamental rights and freedoms and the duties contemplated in this Constitution are valid also for juridical persons so long as they comport with the general purposes of these persons and with the core of these rights, freedoms and duties.
- The limitation of these rights and freedoms may be established only by law for a public interest or for the protection of the rights of others. A limitation shall be in proportion with the situation that has dictated it.
- These limitations may not infringe the essence of the rights and freedoms and in no case may exceed the limitations provided for in the European Convention on Human Rights.
- All are equal before the law.
- No one may be unjustly discriminated against for reasons such as gender, race, religion, ethnicity, language, political, religious or philosophical beliefs, economic condition, education, social status, or ancestry.
- No one may be discriminated against for reasons mentioned in Paragraph # if reasonable and objective legal grounds do not exist.
- Everyone born of at least one parent with Albanian citizenship gains automatically Albanian citizenship. Albanian citizenship is gained also for other reasons provided by law.
- An Albanian citizen may not lose his citizenship, except when he gives it up.
- Persons who belong to national minorities have the right to exercise in full equality before the law the human rights and freedoms.
- They have the right freely to express, preserve and develop their ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity, to study and to be taught in their mother tongue, as well as unite in organizations and societies for the protection of their interests and identity.
Chapter II Personal Rights and Freedoms
Article 21 The life of every person is protected by law.
- Freedom of expression is guaranteed.
- The freedom of the press, radio and television are guaranteed.
- Prior censorship of the means of mass communication is prohibited.
- The law may require the granting of authorization for the operation of radio or television stations.
- The right to information is guaranteed.
- Everyone has the right, in compliance with law, to get information about the activity of state organs, as well as of persons who exercise state functions.
- Everybody is given the possibility to follow the meetings of collectively elected organs.
- Freedom of conscience and of religion is guaranteed.
- Everyone is free to choose or to change his religion or beliefs, as well as to express them individually or collectively, in public or private life, through cult, education, practices or the performance of rituals.
- No one may be forced to take part or not in a religious community or in religious practices or to make his beliefs or faith public.
Article 25 No one may be subjected to torture, inhuman or humiliating punishment or treatment.
Article 26 No one may be required to perform forced labor, except in cases of the execution of a judicial decision, the performance of military service, or for a service that results from a state of emergency, war or natural disaster that threatens human life or health.
- No one's liberty may be taken away except in the cases and according to the modalities provided by law.
- No law may be issued to limit the freedom of a person, except in the following cases:
- when he is punished with imprisonment by a competent court;
- for failure to comply with the lawful orders of the court or with an obligation set by law;
- when there are reasonable suspicions that he has committed a criminal offense or to prevent the commission by him of a criminal offense or his escape after its commission;
- for the supervision of a minor for purposes of education or for escorting him to a competent organ; e) when a person is the carrier of a contagious disease or is mentally incompetent and dangerous to society, an alcoholic, a drug user, or a vagrant;
- for illegal entry at state borders or in cases of deportation or extradition.
- No one may be deprived of liberty just because he is not in a condition to fulfill a contractual obligation.
- Everyone whose liberty has been taken away has the right to be notified immediately, in a language that he understands, of the reasons for this measure, as well as the accusation made against him. Every person whose liberty has been taken away shall be informed that he has no obligation to make a declaration and has the right to communicate immediately with a lawyer, and he shall also be given the possibility to realize his rights.
- Persons who have lost their freedom, according to Article 27 # c), must be sent within 48 hours before a judge, who shall decide upon his pre-trial detention or release not later than 48 hours from the time he receives the documents for review.
- A person in pre-trial detention has the right to appeal the judge's decision. He has the right to be tried within a reasonable period of time or to be released on bail.
- In all other cases, the person whose liberty is taken away extrajudicially may address a judge at anytime, who shall decide within 48 hours regarding the legality of this action.
- Every prisoner has the right to humane treatment and respect for his dignity.
- No one may be accused or declared guilty of a criminal offense that was not considered as such by law at the time of its commission, with the exception of cases, which at the time of their commission, according to international law, constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
- No punishment may be given that is more severe than that which was contemplated by law at the time of commission of the criminal offense.
- A favorable criminal law has retroactive effect.
Article 30 Everyone is considered innocent if his guilt is not proven by a final judicial decision.
Article 31 During a criminal proceeding, everyone has the right:
- to be notified immediately and in detail of the accusation made against him and of his rights, as well as to have the possibility created to notify his family or those close to him;
- to have the time and sufficient facilities to prepare his defense;
- to have the assistance without payment of a translator, when he does not speak or understand the Albanian language;
- to be defended by himself or with the assistance of a legal defender chosen by him;
- to communicate freely and privately with him, as well as to be assured of free defense when he does not have sufficient means;
- to question witnesses who are present and to seek the presentation of witnesses, experts and other persons who can clarify the facts.
- No one may be obliged to testify against himself or his family or to confess his guilt.
- No one may be declared guilty on the basis of data collected in an unlawful manner.
Article 33 No one may be denied the right to be heard before being judged. A person who is hiding from justice may not take advantage of this right.
Article 34 No one may be punished more than one time for the same criminal offense nor be tried again, except for cases when the re-adjudication of the case is decided on by a higher court, in the manner specified by law.
- No one may be obliged, except when the law requires it, to make public data connected with his person.
- The collection, use and making public of data about a person is done only with his consent, except for the cases provided by law.
- Everyone has the right to become acquainted with data collected about him, except for the cases provided by law.
- Everyone has the right to request the correction or expunging of untrue or incomplete data or data collected in violation of law.
Article 36 The freedom and secrecy of correspondence or other means of communication are guaranteed.
- The inviolability of the residence is guaranteed.
- Searches of a residence, as well as the premises forming part of it, may be done only in the cases and manner provided by law.
- No one may be subjected to a personal search outside a criminal proceeding, with the exception of the cases of entry into the territory of the state and the leaving of it, or to avoid an immediate risk that threatens public security.
- Everyone has the right to choose his place of residence and to move freely to any part of the territory of the state.
- Each person may go out of the state freely.
- No Albanian citizen may be deported from the territory of the state.
- Extradition may be permitted only when it is expressly provided in international agreements, to which the Republic of Albania is a party, and only by judicial decision.
- The collective expulsion of foreigners is prohibited. The deportation of individuals is permitted under the conditions specified by law.
Article 40 Foreigners have the right of refuge in the Republic of Albania according to law.
- The freedom, property, and rights recognized in the Constitution and by law may not be infringed without due process.
- Everyone, to protect his constitutional and legal rights, freedoms, and interests, or in the case of accusation raised against him, has the right to a fair and public trial, within a reasonable time, by an independent and impartial court specified by law.
Article 42 Everyone has the right to appeal a judicial decision to a higher court, except when the Constitution provides otherwise.
Article 43 Everyone has the right to be rehabilitated and/or indemnified in compliance with law if he is damaged because of an unlawful act, action or failure to act of the state organs.
Chapter III Political Rights and Freedoms
- Every citizen who has reached the age of 18, even on the date of the elections, has the right to vote.
- Citizens who have been declared mentally incompetent by a final court decision do not have the right to vote.
- Convicts that are serving a sentence that deprives them of freedom have only the right to elect.
- The vote is personal, equal, free and secret.
- Everyone has the right to organize collectively for any lawful purpose.
- The registration of organizations or societies in court is done according to the procedure provided by law.
- Organizations or societies that pursue unconstitutional purposes are prohibited in conformity with the law.
- Freedom of peaceful meetings and without arms, as well the participation in them is guaranteed.
- Peaceful meetings in squares and places of public passage are held in conformity with the law.
Article 47 Everyone, by himself or together with others, may direct requests, complaints or comments to the public organs, which are obliged to answer in the time periods and conditions set by law.
Chapter IV Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Freedoms
- The right of private property is guaranteed.
- Property may be gained by gift, inheritance, purchase, or any other means provided by the Civil Code.
- The law may provide for expropriations or limitations in the exercise of a property right only for public interests.
- The expropriations or limitations of a property right that are equivalent to expropriation are permitted only against fair compensation.
- For disagreements connected with the extent of the compensation, a complaint may be filed in court.
- Everyone has the right to earn the means of living by lawful work that he has chosen or accepted himself. He is free to choose his profession and place of work as well as his own system of professional qualification.
- Employees have the right to social protection of work.
Article 50 Employees and employers have the right to unite freely in labor organizations for the defense of their work interests.
- The right of workmen to strike in connection with their work relations is guaranteed.
- Limitations on particular categories of workmen may be established by law to assure essential social services.
- Everyone has the right to social security in old age or when he is unable to work, according to a system set by law.
- Employees who remain without work involuntarily [lit. for reasons independent of their volition] and who have no other means of support have the right to help under the conditions provided by law.
- Everyone has the right to get married and have a family.
- Marriage and family enjoy special protection of the state.
- The entering into and dissolution of marriage are regulated by law.
- Children, the young, pregnant women and new mothers have the right to special protection by the state.
- Children born out of wedlock have equal rights with those born within marriage.
- Every child has the right to be protected from violence, ill treatment, exploitation and their use for work under the minimum age for work, which could damage their health and morals or endanger their life or normal development.
Article 55 Citizens enjoy health care from the state in an equal manner.
Article 56 Everyone has the right to be informed for the status of the environment and of its protection.
- Everyone has the right to education.
- Mandatory school education is determined by law.
- General high school public education is open for all.
- Professional high school education and higher education can be conditioned only on criteria of abilities.
- Education in public schools is free.
- The law may contemplate payments for services performed by institutions of higher public education.
- Pupils and students may also be educated in private schools of all levels, which are created and operated on the basis of law.
- The autonomy and academic freedom of higher education institutions are guaranteed by law.
- Freedom of artistic creation and scientific research, putting [the products] into use and profiting from them are guaranteed for all.
- Copyright is protected by law.
Chapter V Social Objectives
- The state, within its constitutional powers and the means at its disposal, aims to supplement private initiative and responsibility with:
- employment under suitable conditions for all persons who are able to work:
- fulfillment of the housing needs of its citizens;
- necessary medical treatment for its citizens;
- education and qualification according to ability of children and the young, as well as unemployed persons;
- establishment of a suitable environment for the present and future generations;
- development of sport and of recreation activities;
- health rehabilitation, specialized education and integration in society of disabled people, as well as continual improvement of their living conditions.
- Social objectives are not rights, implementation of which can be enforced directly in the court. The law defines the conditions and extent to which the realization of these objectives can be enforced.
Chapter VI People's Advocate
- The People's Advocate defends the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of citizens from unlawful actions or failures to act of the organs of public administration.
- The People's Advocate is independent in the exercise of its duties.
- The People's Advocate has his own budget. He proposes the draft in accordance with the law.
- The People's Advocate is elected by three-fifths of all members of the Assembly for a five year period, with the right of re-election.
- Any Albanian citizen with knowledge and recognized activity in the field of human rights may be the People's Advocate.
- The People's Advocate enjoys immunity of the judge of the High Court.
- The People's Advocate may not take part in any political party, carry on any other political, state or professional activity, nor take part in the management organs of social, economic and commercial organizations.
- The People's Advocate may be discharged only on the reasoned complaint of not less than one third of the deputies.
- In this case, the Assembly makes a decision with three fifths of all its members.
- The People's Advocate makes an annual report to the Assembly.
- The People's Advocate reports to the Assembly when it is requested of him, and may also ask to be heard by the Assembly for questions that he considers important.
- The People's Advocate has the right to make recommendations and to propose measures when he observes violations of human rights and freedoms by the public administration.
- Public organs and officials are obligated to present to the People's Advocate all documents and information requested by him.
Part III The Assembly
Chapter I Election and Term
- The Assembly consists of not less than 140 deputies.
- 100 deputies are elected directly in single-member electoral zones with approximately the same number of voters.
- Supplemental mandates are given to the parties or coalition of parties from their multi-name lists in proportion to the votes won by the respective candidates on the national scale in the first round.
- Parties that receive less than 3% (variant - 4%) of the valid votes on the national scale do not benefit from supplemental mandates.
- The Assembly is elected for four years.
- Elections for the Assembly are held within 60 to 30 days before the end of the mandate and not later than 45 days after dissolution.
- The mandate of the Assembly continues until the first meeting of the new Assembly. In this interval, the Assembly may not issue laws or take decisions with the exception of urgent cases.
Article 66 The mandate of the Assembly is extended only in the case of war and for so long as it continues. When the Assembly is dissolved, it recalls itself.
- The Assembly that has just been elected is called to its first meeting by the President of the Republic no later than 20 days from the conclusion of the elections.
- If the President of the Republic does not exercise this power, the Assembly meets itself within 10 days from the end of the term provided in Paragraph # of this article.
Chapter II The Deputies
Article 68 Candidates for deputy may be presented only by political parties and voters. The rules for the designation of candidates for deputy, for the organization and conduct of the elections, as well as the definition of electoral zones and the conditions of validity for elections, are regulated by law.
- Without resigning from office, the following may not run as candidates nor be elected deputies:
- judges, prosecutors;
- military servicemen on active duty;
- staff of the police and of National Security;
- chairmen of municipalities and communities as well as prefects in the places where they carry out their duties;
- chairmen and members of the electoral commissions;
- the President of the Republic, high officials of the state Administration contemplated by law, except for members of the Council of Ministers, the People's Advocate, the Chairman and vice chairmen of the High State Control, the General Director of Radio Television.
- A mandate gained in violation of Paragraph # of this article is invalid.
- Deputies represent the people and are not bound by any obligatory mandate.
- They may not simultaneously exercise any other public duty; a deputy may be a member of the Council of Ministers. Other cases of incompatibility are specified by law.
- Deputies may not carry out any profit-making activity that stems from the property of the state or of local government, nor may they obtain their property.
- For every violation of Paragraph # of this article, on the motion of the chairman of the Assembly or one tenth of its members, the Assembly sends the issue to the Constitutional Court, which determines incompatibility.
- The mandate of the deputy begins on the day when he is declared elected by the respective electoral commission.
- The mandate of the deputy ends or is invalid, as the case may be:
- when he does not take the oath;
- when he resigns from the mandate;
- when one of the conditions of inelectability contemplated in Articles 69 and 70 # and # is ascertained;
- when the mandate of the Assembly ends;
- when he is absent for more than six consecutive months in the Assembly without reason.
Article 72 Before beginning the exercise of the mandate, the deputies take the oath before the Assembly.
- A deputy does not bear responsibility for opinions expressed in the Assembly and votes given. This provision is not applicable in the case of defamation.
- A deputy may not be detained or arrested without the authorization of the Assembly.
- He may be detained or arrested in the act without authorization only when he is caught during or immediately after the commission of a serious crime. In these cases, the General Prosecutor immediately notifies the Assembly, which when it determines that the proceeding is out of place, shall decide to lift the measure.
- For issues contemplated in Paragraphs # and (3), the Assembly decides by secret vote.
Chapter III Organization and Functioning
- The Assembly conducts its annual work in two sessions. The first session begins on the third Monday of January and the second session on the first Monday of September.
- The Assembly meets in extraordinary session when it is requested by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister or by one fifth of the deputies.
- Extraordinary sessions are called by the Speaker of the Assembly on the basis of a defined agenda.
- The Assembly elects and discharges its chairman.
- The Assembly is organized and functions according to regulations approved by the majority of all the members.
- The Chairman chairs debates, assures respect for the rights of the Assembly and its members, as well as represents the Assembly in relations with others.
- Other services necessary for the functioning of the Assembly are carried out by other employees, as is specified in the internal regulations.
- The highest civil employee of the Assembly is the General Secretary.
- The Assembly chooses standing committees from its ranks and may also establish special committees.
- The Assembly has the right, and with the request of one fourth of its members is obliged, to designate investigatory committees to examine a particular issue. Its conclusions are not binding on the courts, but they may notify the office of the prosecutor, which evaluates them according to legal procedure.
- Investigatory committees operate according to the procedures set by law.
- The Assembly makes decisions by a majority of votes, when more than half of its members are present, except for the cases where the Constitution provides for a special majority.
- Meetings of the deputies, which are convened without being called in accordance to the regulations, do not have any effect.
- Meetings of the Assembly are open.
- At the request of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister or one fifth of the deputies, meetings of the Assembly may be closed, when a majority of all its members have voted in favor of it.
Article 80 The Prime Minister and any other member of the Council of Ministers is obligated to answer interpellances and questions of the deputies within three weeks. A member of the Council of Ministers has the right to take part in meetings of the Assembly or of its committees; he is given the floor whenever he requests it.
Chapter IV The Legislative Process
- The Council of Ministers, every deputy, and 20,000 voters each have the right to propose laws.
- The following are approved by the majority specified in Article 87:
- the laws for the organization and operation of the institutions provided for in the Constitution;
- the law on citizenship;
- the law on general and local elections;
- the law on referenda;
- the codes;
- the law for a state of emergency;
- the law on the status of public functionaries;
- the law on amnesty;
- the law on administrative divisions of the Republic.
- The proposal of laws, when this is the case, shall always be accompanied by a report that justifies the financial expenses for its implementation.
- No non-governmental draft law that makes necessary an increase in the state budget or diminishes income may be approved without taking the opinion of the Council of Ministers, which shall be given within 30 days from the date of receiving the draft law.
- If the Council of Ministers does not give an answer within the above term, the draft law passes for examination according to the procedure.
- A draft law is voted on three times; in principle, article for article, and in its entirety.
- The Assembly may, at the request of the Council of Ministers, review and approve a draft law with an expedited procedure, but not sooner than one week from the beginning of the procedure of review.
- The expedited procedure is not permitted for the review of the draft laws contemplated in Article 81 (2), with the exception of Subparagraph f).
- President of the Republic promulgates the approved law within 20 days.
- A law is considered promulgated, if within 20 days, the President of the Republic does not return the law for review in the Assembly.
- A law enters into force with the passage of not less than 15 days after its publication in the Official Journal.
- In the case of extraordinary measures, when the Assembly decides with a majority of all its members and the President of the Republic gives his consent, a law may enter into force immediately, but only after it is made known publicly. The law shall be published in the first number of the Official Journal.
- The President of the Republic has the right to return a law for review only once.
- The decree of the President for the review of a law loses its effect when a majority of all the members of the Assembly vote against it.
Chapter V The Council of the Assembly
- The Council is part of the Assembly of the Republic of Albania. It is composed of 25 members.
- The Council is elected by the members of the Assembly at the beginning of the first session.
- Representation on the Council is done in proportion with the number of seats won in the Assembly. Parties which pass the minimum threshold provided in Article 64 (4), are represented on the Council by not less then one member.
- For draft laws that are reviewed by the Council, its members cannot take part in the meetings of the Assembly's committees. They have the right to take part and vote in the plenary session of the Assembly.
- The Council of the Assembly:
- reviews preliminarily draft laws contemplated in Article 81 # of the Constitution;
- gives opinions on specific issues, when so requested by the Assembly.
- The Council takes decisions with three-fifths of all its members.
- In every case the decision is sent for review to the Assembly within 3 days. When the Assembly is of the same opinion, it approves the draft law with a majority of all its members. In cases to the contrary, the Assembly may override the decision of the Council with three-fifths of all its members.
- When the Assembly does not achieve the required majority, review of the draft law is postponed for the next session of the Assembly, which will decide with a majority of all its members.
- When the Council cannot take a decision, the draft law is sent to the Assembly, which may approve the law with three-fifths of all its members. When this majority is not achieved, the procedure provided for in Paragraph # of this article is applied.
- For cases provided for in Article 87 b), the Council decides with a majority of all its members.
Part IV The President of the Republic
- The President of the Republic is the Head of State and represents the unity of the people.
- Only an Albanian citizen by birth who has been a resident for not less than the past 10 years in Albania and who has reached the age of 40 may be elected President.
- A candidate for President is proposed to the Assembly by a group of not less than 20 of its members. A member is not permitted to take part in more than one proposing group.
- The President of the Republic is elected by secret vote and without debate by the Assembly by a majority of three-fifths of all its members.
- When this majority is not reached in the first voting, a second voting takes place within 7 days from the day of the first voting.
- When this majority is not reached even in the second voting, a third voting takes place within 7 days.
- When there is more than one candidate and none of them has received the required majority, within 7 days, a fourth voting takes place between the two candidates who have received the greatest number of votes.
- If even in the fourth voting neither of the two candidates has received the required majority, a fifth one takes place.
- If even in the fifth voting neither of the two candidates has received the required majority, the Assembly dissolves and within 60 days new general elections take place.
- The new Assembly elects the President of the Republic by a majority of all its members.
- The President of the Republic is in every case elected for 5 years, with the right of re-election only once.
- The election of the President is done no later than 30 days before the end of the previous presidential mandate.
- The President begins his duties officially after he takes the oath before the Assembly, but not before the mandate of the President who is leaving has been completed. The President swears as follows:
- "I swear that I will obey to the Constitution and laws of the country, that I will respect the rights and freedoms of citizens, protect the independence of the Republic, and I will serve the general interest and the progress of the Albanian People."
- The President may add: "So help me God!"
- A President who resigns before the end of his mandate may not be a candidate in the presidential election that takes place after his resignation.
Article 92 The President of the Republic may not carry out any other public activity, be a member of a party or carry out business or professional activity.
- The President of the Republic is not responsible for acts carried out in the exercise of his duty.
- The President of the Republic may be discharged for serious violations of the Constitution. In these cases, a proposal for the discharge of the President may be made by not less than one fourth of the members of the Assembly and shall be supported by not less than two thirds of all its members.
- The decision of the Assembly is sent to the Constitutional Court, which, when it verifies the guilt of the President of the Republic, declares his discharge from office.
- When the President of the Republic is temporarily unable to exercise his functions or his place remains vacant, the Chairman of the Assembly takes his place and exercises his powers. In these cases, he cannot exercise the powers provided for in Articles 85 and 95 a) and j), as well as in Article 162 (1).
- In case the President cannot exercise his duty for more than 60 days, the Assembly by two thirds of all its members decides on sending the issue to the Constitutional Court, which verifies conclusively the fact of his incapacity. In case of verification of incapacity, the place of the President remains vacant. In such a case, the election of the new President begins within 10 days from the date of verification of incapacity.
Article 95 The President also exercises these powers:
- addresses messages to the Assembly;
- exercises the right of pardon according to the law;
- grants Albanian citizenship and permits it to be given up according to the law;
- gives decorations and titles of honor according to the law;
- accords the highest military rank according to the law;
- on the proposal of the Prime Minister, he appoints and withdraws plenipotentiary representatives of the Republic of Albania to other states and international organizations;
- accepts letters of credentials and the withdrawal of diplomatic representatives of other states and international organization accredited to him;
- signs international agreements according to the law;
- upon proposal of the Prime Minister, he appoints the Director of the National Security Department;
- nominates rectors of universities upon proposal of their council's representatives;
- sets the date of the elections for the Assembly, for the organs of local power and for the conduct of a referendum;
- requests opinions and information in writing from the directors of state institutions for issues that have to do with their duties.
Article 96 The President of the Republic, in the exercise of his powers, issues decrees.
Article 97 The President of the Republic may not exercise other powers besides those recognized expressly in the Constitution and in laws issued in compatibility with it.
Part V The Council of Ministers
- The Council of Ministers consists of the Prime Minister, deputy prime minister, and ministers.
- The Council of Ministers exercises every state function that is not reserved to other organs of state power or to local government.
- The President of the Republic, at the beginning of a legislature, as well as in every case of vacancy, names as Prime Minister the candidate presented by the party or coalition of parties that have the majority of seats in the Assembly.
- The Prime Minister, within 10 days from his appointment, presents for approval to the Assembly the policy program of the Council of Ministers, as well as its composition.
- If the Prime Minister named is not approved, the Assembly elects a new Prime Minister within 15 days from the voting.
- If the election does not take place within this time period, the Assembly within the next 7 days does a new election of the Prime Minister.
- If the one elected receives the votes of a majority of all the members of the Assembly, the President of the Republic shall appoint him within seven days
- When this majority is not achieved, the President of the Republic dissolves the Assembly within seven days.
Article 101 The Prime Minister elected according to Paragraphs # or # of Article 100 presents to the Assembly for approval within 10 days the policy program of the Council of Ministers together with its composition.
- A minister is appointed and dismissed by the President of the Republic, on the proposal of the Prime Minister, within 7 days.
- The decree is approved within 10 days by the Assembly.
Article 103 Before beginning duties, the Prime Minister, deputy prime minister, and ministers swear before the President.
- The Prime Minister:
- represents the Council of Ministers and chairs its meetings;
- sets and presents the principal directions of general policy and is responsible for them;
- assures the implementation of legislation and policies approved by the Council of Ministers;
- coordinates and supervises the work of the members of the Council of Minister and other institutions of the central state administration;
- performs other duties prescribed in the Constitution and the laws.
- The Prime Minister resolves disagreements between ministers.
- The Prime Minister, in the exercise of his powers, issues orders.
- The minister, within the principal directions of general policy, directs, under his responsibility, actions for which he has powers. The minister issues orders and instructions.
- The Council of Ministers defines the principal directions of general policy.
- The Council of Ministers takes decisions upon the proposal of the Prime Minister or the respective minister.
- Meetings of the Council of Ministers are closed.
- Acts of the Council of Ministers are valid when signed by the Prime Minister and the proposing minister.
- The Council of Ministers takes decisions and instructions.
Article 106 The Council of Ministers, in cases of necessity and emergency, under its responsibility, may approve normative acts having the force of law. These acts lose force retroactively in cases where they are not ratified within 45 days by the Assembly.
- Anyone who has the capacity to be a deputy may be appointed a minister.
- A minister may not exercise any other state function nor be a director or member of the organs of for-profit companies.
- Members of the Council of Ministers enjoy the immunity of the deputy.
- If a motion of confidence presented by the Prime Minister is refused by a majority of all the members of the Assembly, the Assembly elects another Prime Minister within 15 days.
- When the Assembly does not succeed in electing a new Prime Minister, the President of the Republic dissolves the Assembly.
- The vote for the motion can not be done if three days have not passed from the day it was presented.
- In cases where a motion of no confidence presented from one fifth of the members of the Assembly is approved by the majority of all its members, the Assembly within 15 days elects another Prime Minister.
- When the Assembly cannot elect the new Prime Minister, the President of the Republic dissolves the Assembly.
- The vote for the motion can not be done if three days have not passed from the day it was presented.
Article 110 The Prime Minister and the ministers are obligated to stay in office until the appointment of the new Council of Ministers.
Part VI Local Government
- The units of local government are communes or municipalities and regions. Other units of local government may be established by law.
- The territorial-administrative division of the units of local government are established by law on the basis of mutual economic needs and interests and historical tradition. Their borders may not be changed without first taking the opinion of the inhabitants.
- Communes and municipalities are the basic units of self government. They perform all the duties of self-government, with the exception of those that the law gives to other units of local government.
- Units of local government may be delegated by law powers of state administration. Expenses that are incurred in the exercise of the delegation are covered by the state.
- The representative organs of the basic units of local government are councils that are elected every three years by general direct elections and with secret voting.
- The executive organ of a municipality or commune is the Chairman, who is elected directly by the people in the manner contemplated in Paragraph # of this article.
- Only citizens who have reached the age of 18 and who have a permanent residence in the territory of the respective local entity have the right to be elected to the local councils and as chairman of the municipality or commune.
- A region is created by the union of several basic units of local government on the basis of traditional, economic and social ties and mutual interests.
- The region is the unit in which regional policies are constructed and implemented and where they are harmonized with state policy.
- The representative organ of the region is the Regional Council, which consists of the chairmen of the communes and municipalities as well as by members elected from the ranks of the municipal councils in proportion with the population that they represent.
- The number of representatives of the municipal councils in the regional council is established in proportion with the seats that the political subjects represented in the municipal councils have.
- The Regional Council establishes its administrative organ.
- The Regional Council has the right to issue regulations and decisions with general obligatory force for the region.
- The units of local government are juridical persons.
- The rights of self-government of the units of local government are protected in court.
- The units of local government have an independent budget, which is created in the manner provided by law.
- Self-government in the local units is exercised through their representative organs and local referenda.
- Only duties in compliance with law or according to agreements entered into by them may be put to the organs of local government. The expenses that are connected with the duties put by law to the organs of local government are covered by the budget of the state.
- The councils of the communes, municipalities and regions:
- regulate and administer in an independent manner local issues within their jurisdiction;
- exercise the rights of ownership, administer in an independent manner the income created, and also have the right to exercise economic activity and business;
- have the right to collect and spend the income that is necessary for the exercise of their functions;
- have the right, in compliance with law, to establish local taxes as well as their level;
- establish rules for their organization and functioning in compatibility with law;
- create symbols of local government as well as local titles of honor;
- undertake actions for local issues before the organs defined by law;
- have the right to form unions and joint institutions with one another for the representation of their interests, to cooperate with local units of other countries, and also to be represented in international organizations of local powers.
- The organs of units of local government issue regulations, decisions and orders.
Article 117 The Council of Ministers appoints a prefect in every region as its representative. His powers are defined by law.
- The Council of Ministers may suspend the activity of an elected organ of a unit of local government for serious, or repeated, violations of the Consitution or the laws.
- The suspended organ has the right, within 15 days, to address a complaint to the Constitutional Court. In cases where the Constitutional Court upholds the decision of the Council of Ministers, the President of the Republic sets a date for holding of elections of the respective unit of local government.
Part VII Normative Acts and International Agreements
Chapter I Normative Acts
- Normative acts that are effective in the entire territory of the Republic of Albania are:
- the Constitution;
- ratified international agreements;
- the laws;
- normative acts of the Council of Ministers.
Acts that are issued by the organs of local power are effective only within the territorial jurisdiction exercised by these organs.
- Normative acts of ministers and other central institutions of the state are effective in the entire territory of the Republic of Albania within the sphere of their jurisdiction.
- The laws, normative acts of the Council of Ministers, ministers, other central state institutions, receive juridical force only after they are promulgated and published in the Official Journal.
- The promulgation and publication of other normative acts is done according to the manner provided by law.
- International agreements that are ratified by law are promulgated and published according to the procedures that are provided for laws. The promulgation and publication of other international agreements is done according to law.
- Subordinate legal acts are issued on the basis of and for implementation of the laws by the organs provided in the Constitution.
- A law shall authorize the issuance of subordinate legal acts, designate the competent organ, the issues that are to be regulated, as well as the principles on the basis of which these subordinate legal acts are issued.
- The organ authorized by law to issue subordinate legal acts as specified in Paragraph # of this article may not delegate its power to another organ.
- The rules of the Council of Ministers, of the ministries and other central state institutions, as well as orders of the Prime Minister, of the ministers and heads of other central institutions, have an internal character and are binding only on the administrative entities that are subordinate to these organs.
- These acts are issued on the basis of law and may not serve as the basis for taking decisions connected with citizens, juridical persons and other subjects.
- The rules and orders are issued on the basis of and for implementation of acts that have general juridical force.
Article 123 The principles and procedures for the issuance of local juridical acts are provided by law.
Chapter II International Agreements
- The ratification and denunciation of international agreements by the Republic of Albania is done by law in cases that have to do with:
- territory, peace, alliance, political and military issues;
- freedoms, human rights and obligations of citizens as are provided in the Constitution;
- membership of the Republic of Albania in international organizations;
- the undertaking of financial obligations by the Republic of Albania;
- the approval, amendment, supplementing or repeal of laws.
- The Assembly may, with a majority of all its members, ratify other international agreements that are not contemplated in Paragraph # of this article.
- The Prime Minister notifies the Assembly whenever the Council of Ministers is going to sign an international agreement that is not ratified by law.
- The principles and procedures for ratification and denunciation of international agreements are provided by law.
- The Republic of Albania, on the basis of international agreements, delegates to international organizations state powers for specific issues.
- The law that ratifies an international agreement as provided in the first paragraph of this article is approved by a majority of the members of the Assembly.
- The Assembly may decide that the ratification of such an agreement be done through a referendum.
- Any international agreement that has been ratified constitutes part of the internal juridical system after it is published in the Official Journal of the Republic of Albania. It is implemented directly, except for cases when its implementation depends on the issuance of a law. The amendment, supplementing and repeal of laws approved by the majority of all members of the Assembly, for the effect of ratifying an international agreement, is done with the same majority.
- An international agreement that has been ratified by law has superiority over laws of the country that are not compatible with it.
- When it is expressly contemplated in an agreement for participation in an international organization ratified by the Republic of Albania that the norms issued by it are directly applicable, they have superiority over laws of the country in the case of a conflict between them.
Chapter I The Courts
- The judicial power is exercised by the High Court, as well as the courts of appeal and courts of first instance, which are established by law.
- The Assembly may establish by law courts for particular fields, but in no case an extraordinary court.
- The Chairman and the members of the High Court are appointed by the President of the Republic with the consent of the Assembly.
- The Chairman and members of the High Court hold the office for 7 years without the right of re-election.
- Other judges are appointed by the President of the Republic upon the proposal of the High Council of Justice.
- Judges may be selected only from citizens with higher juridical education. Other conditions and procedures for selection are defined by law.
- Members of the High Court may be criminally prosecuted only with the approval of the Assembly. They may be discharged by the Assembly when by a final judicial decision it is proven that they have committed a criminal act as is provided by law.
- Other judges may be criminally prosecuted only with the approval of the High Council of Justice.
Article 130 The time a judge stays in office cannot be limited nor can his pay and other benefits be lowered.
- The term of a High Court judge ends when he:
- is convicted of a crime with a final judicial decision;
- does not appear for duty without reason for more than 6 months;
- has reached the age of 65;
- is declared incompetent with a final judicial decision.
- The end of the term of a judge is declared with a decision of the High Court.
- The High Court has original and review jurisdiction. It has original jurisdiction when adjudicating criminal charges against the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, members of the Council of Ministers, deputies, judges of the High Court, and judges of the Constitutional Court.
- For a unification or change of judicial practice, the High Court has the right to select specific judicial issues for examination in the joint colleges.
- Judicial decisions shall be reasoned.
- The High Court shall publish its decisions as well as the minority opinions.
- The organs of the state must execute judicial decisions.
Article 134 Being a judge is not compatible with any other state, political or private activity.
Article 135 The courts have a special budget, which they administer themselves. They propose their budget according to law.
- Judges are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the laws.
- Judges do not apply laws that come into conflict with the Constitution. In this case, they suspend the proceedings and send the issue to the Constitutional Court. Decisions of the Constitutional Court are obligatory for all courts.
- Interference in the activity of the courts or the judges entails liability according to law.
- Judges give their decisions in the name of the Republic.
- In every case judicial decisions are announced publicly.
Chapter II The High Council
- The High Council of Justice consists of the Chairman of the High Court, the Minister of Justice, 3 members elected by the Assembly, and 9 judges of all levels who are elected by the national judicial Conference. Elected members stay in office for 5 years, without the right of immediate re-election.
- The President of the Republic is the Chairman of the High Council of Justice. When he takes part, he chairs the meeting.
- The High Council of Justice with the proposal of the President elects a vice chairman from its ranks. The vice chairman directs the activity of the High Council of Justice and also chairs its meetings in the absence of the President of the Republic.
- The High Council of Justice decides on disciplinary responsibility as well as for transferring judges according to the law.
- The transfer of judges may not be done without their consent, except when the needs of reorganization of the judicial system dictate this.
- Judges may be removed from office for violations of the Constitution or serious violations of law during the exercise of their functions by decision of the High Council of Justice. They have the right to complain against this decision to the High Court, which decides by joint colleges.
Part IX The Office of the Prosecutor
- The office of the prosecutor exercises criminal prosecution and also represents the accusation in court in the name of the state. The office of the prosecutor also performs other duties set by law.
- Prosecutors are organized and operate near the judicial system as a centralized organ.
- In the exercise of their powers, the prosecutors are subject to the laws as well as the orders and instructions of the General Prosecutor.
- The General Prosecutor is appointed by the President of the Republic with the consent of the Assembly.
- The General Prosecutor can be discharged from duties for violations of the Constitution or serious violations of the law during the exercise of his duties by the President of the Republic upon the proposal of the Council of the Assembly.
- The other prosecutors are appointed and discharged by the President of the Republic upon the proposal of the General Prosecutor.
Part X Referendum
- The people, through 50 thousand citizens who enjoy the right to vote, have the right to a referendum for the abrogation of a law, as well as to request the President of the Republic to hold a referendum about issues of special importance.
- The Assembly, upon the proposal of not less then one fifth of the deputies or the Council of Ministers, can decide that an issue or a draft law of special importance be presented for referendum.
- The referendum is valid when more than half of the voters participate in it.
- Principles and procedures for holding a referendum are provided by law.
- A law approved by referendum is promulgated by the President of the Republic.
- Issues related to the territorial integrity of the Republic of Albania, limitations of fundamental human rights and freedoms, budget, taxes, financial obligations of the state, declaration and abrogation of the state of emergency, declaration of war and peace, as well as amnesty, cannot be voted upon in a referendum.
- A referendum upon the same issue cannot be repeated before 3 years have passed since it was held.
- The Constitutional Court reviews preliminarily the issue put for a referendum according to Paragraphs # and # of Article 141 and of the Paragraphs # and # of Article 142, for which it decides within 60 days.
- The importance of special issues, as provided in Paragraphs # and # of Article 141, is not subject to judgement in the Constitutional Court.
- The date of the referendum is set by the President of the Republic within 45 days after the promulgation of the positive decision of the Constitutional Court or after the term within which the Constitutional Court had to have expressed itself.
Part XI Central Election Commission
Article 144 The Central Election Commission is a permanent body that prepares, supervises, directs, and verifies all aspects that have to do with elections and referenda.
- The Commission consists of 7 members who are elected with a mandate of 7 years. Two members are elected by the Assembly, 2 by the President of the Republic, and 3 other members by the High Council of Justice.
- The membership in the Commission is incompatible with any other state and political activity.
- Electoral subjects appoint their representatives to the Commission. They do not have the right to vote.
- A member of the Commission enjoys the immunity of a member of the High Court.
- The Commission has its own budget.
Part XII Public Finances
Article 146 Fees, taxes and other financial obligations as well as reductions or exemptions of certain categories of taxpayers from paying them are specified by law. In such cases, the law may not be given retroactive effect.
Article 147 The State can borrow money and guarantee financial credits when so authorized by law.
- The budgetary system is composed of the state budget and local budget.
- The state budget is created by revenues collected from taxes, fees and other financial obligations, as well as from other revenues from public property. It includes all state expenses.
- Local organs define and collect taxes and other financial obligations based on law.
- State and local organs are obliged to make public their revenues and expenses.
- The Prime Minister, on behalf of the Council of Ministers, presents to the Assembly the draft law on the budget in the beginning of the autumn session, which cannot close without approving it.
- If the draft law is not approved until the beginning of the next financial year, the Council of Ministers implements every month one twelfth of the budget of the previous year, until the new budget is approved.
- If the Assembly does not approve the new budget within three months from the last day of the previous financial year, the President of the Republic may dissolve the Assembly.
- The Government is obligated to present to the Assembly a report about the implementation of the budget and about the state debt from the previous year.
- The Assembly takes a final decision after having also listened to the High State Control report.
- During the financial year, the Assembly may make changes in the budget.
- The changes in the budget are made based on defined procedures for drafting and approving it.
- Expenses foreseen in other laws cannot be reduced as long as these laws are in force.
Article 151 Principles and procedures for drafting the draft budget, as well as for implementing it are defined by law.
- The Central State Bank is the Bank of Albania. It has the exclusive right to issue and circulate the Albanian money, to independently implement monetary policy, and also maintain and administer the exchange reserves of the Republic of Albania.
- The Bank of Albania is directed by its Board, which is chaired by the Governor. The Governor is elected by the Assembly for 7 years, upon proposal of the President of the Republic.
Part XIII The High State Control
- The High State Control is the highest institution of economic and financial control. It is subject only to the Constitution and laws.
- The Head of the High State Control is appointed and dismissed by the Assembly upon proposal of the President of the Republic. He stays in office for 7 years, with the right of reelection.
Article 154 The High State Control supervises:
- the economic activity of state institutions and other state juridical persons;
- the use and preservation of state funds;
- the use of state funds transferred to organs of local government;
- the economic activity of juridical persons, in which the state owns more than half of the quotas or of its shares, or when debt, credits and obligations are guaranteed by the state.
- The High State Control presents to the Assembly:
- a report on the implementation of the state budget;
- its opinion on the Council of Ministers' report about the expenses of the previous financial year before it is approved by the Assembly;
- information about the results of controls any time it is asked by the Assembly.
- The High State Control presents to the Assembly a yearly report on its activities.
- The Head of the High State Control may be invited to participate and speak in the meetings of the Council of Ministers when questions related to its functions are reviewed.
- The Head of the High State Control has the immunity of a member of the High Court.
Part XIV Armed Forces
- The Albanian citizens have the duty to participate in the defense of the Republic of Albania, as provided by law.
- The citizen, who for religious reasons refuses to serve with weapons in the armed forces, is obliged to perform an alternative service, as provided by law.
- Military servicemen on active duty cannot be chosen or nominated for other duties nor participate in a party or political activity.
- Members of the armed forces or persons who perform an alternative service enjoy all the constitutional rights and freedoms, apart from cases when the law provides otherwise.
- The freedoms and rights contemplated in Articles 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 32, 34, 35, 36, 39, 41, 43, 47, 48, 55, 57, >58, cannot be limited.
- The Armed Forces of the Republic of Albania are composed of the army, navy, and air force.
- The President of the Republic is the General Commander of the Armed Forces.
- The National Security Council is an advisory organ of the President of the Republic.
- The President of the Republic in peacetime exercises the command of the Armed Forces through the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
- The President of the Republic in wartime appoints and dismisses the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces upon proposal of the Prime Minister.
- The President of the Republic, upon proposal of the Prime Minister, appoints and dismisses the Chief of the General Staff, and upon the proposal of the Minister of Defense appoints and dismisses the commanders of the army, navy, and air force.
- The powers of the President of the Republic, as General Commander of the Armed Forces and Chief Commander of the Armed Forces, their subordination to constitutional organs, are defined by law.
Part XV Extraordinary Measures
- Extraordinary measures can be taken due to a state of war, state of emergency, or natural disaster and exist for as long as these states exist.
- The principles for actions of public organs, as well as the extent of limitations on human rights and freedoms during the existence of such situations that require extraordinary measures, are defined by law.
- The law should define the principles, the scope, and the manner of compensation for losses caused as a result of the limitation of human rights and freedoms during the period in which extraordinary measures are taken.
- Acts taken as a result of extraordinary measures must be in proportion with the level of risk and must aim to re-establish the conditions for the normal functioning of the state, as soon as possible.
- During the situations that require extraordinary measures to be taken, none of the following acts should be changed: Constitution, the law on the election of the Assembly and local government organs, as well as the laws on extraordinary measures.
- During the implementation period of extraordinary measures, there may not be elections for local government organs, there may not be a referendum, and a new President of the Republic cannot be elected. The elections for the local government organs can be held only in those places were the extraordinary measures are not implemented.
- In case of armed aggression against the Republic of Albania, the President of the Republic upon request of the Council of Ministers can declare the state of war.
- In case of external threat, or when a common defense obligation derives from an international agreement, the Assembly, upon proposal of the President of the Republic, declares the state of war, decides the state of general or partial mobilization or demobilization.
- In case of risk to the constitutional order and to public security, the Assembly, with request of the Council of Ministers, may decide for a state of emergency in one part or in the whole state territory, which lasts for as long as this state continues but not longer than 60 days.
- When such a state is decided, the intervention of armed forces may be ordered only when police forces are not able to restore order.
- The extension of the term of the state of emergency may be done only with the consent of the Assembly, for each 30 days, for a period of time not longer than 90 days.
- In the case of Paragraph # of Article 162, the President of the Republic presents to the Assembly the decree for establishing the state of war within 48 hours from its signing, by specifying the rights to be limited.
- The Assembly, with the majority of all its members, takes under review and decides immediately upon the decree of the President.
- For the prevention or the avoidance of the consequences of natural disasters or technological accidents, the Council of Ministers can decide for a period not longer than 30 days, on the state of natural disaster in one part or in the whole territory of the state.
- The extension of the state of natural disaster can be done only with the consent of the Assembly.
- During the state of war or state of emergency the rights and freedoms contemplated by articles: 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 41, 42, 47, 54, 55, cannot be limited.
- During the state of natural disaster the rights and freedoms contemplated by Articles: 37, 38, 48 # and (4), 49, 51 can be limited.
- The acts for declaring the state of war or emergency must specify the rights and freedoms which are limited according to Paragraphs # and # of this article.
Article 167 When the Assembly cannot be assembled during the state of war, the President of the Republic, with the proposal of the Council of Ministers, has the right to issue acts that have the force of the law, which have to be approved by the Assembly in its first meeting.
Part XVI Constitutional Court
- The Constitutional Court guarantees respect for the Constitution and makes final interpretations of it.
- The Constitutional Court is subject only to the Constitution.
- The Constitutional Court is composed of 9 members, which are appointed by the President of the Republic with the consent of Assembly.
- Judges are named for 9 years without the right to be re-elected, among lawyers with high qualification and with work experience not less than 15 years in the profession.
- One-third of the composition of the Constitutional Court is renewed every 3 years, according to the procedure determined by law.
- The Chairman of the Constitutional Court is appointed from the ranks of the members by the President of the Republic with the consent of the Assembly for a 3 year term.
- The judge of the Constitutional Court continues his duty until the election of his successor.
- The judge of the Constitutional Court cannot be criminally prosecuted without the consent of the Constitutional Court. In case of refusal, the criminal prosecution is permanently quashed.
- The judge of the Constitutional Court can be arrested only if caught in the commission of a crime or immediately after its commission. The competent organ immediately notifies the Chairman of the Constitutional Court. If the Court does not give its consent within 24 hours to send the arrested judge to court, the competent organ is obliged to release him.
- The Court in cases of Paragraphs # and # of this article decides with the majority of all its members.
- The term of a judge ends when:
- sentenced with a final decision for commission of a crime;
- he does not show up for duty, without reason, for more than 6 months;
- he has reached 65 years of age;
- he is declared incompetent to act with a final judicial decision.
- The end of the term of a judge is declared with a decision of the Constitutional Court.
- If the seat of a judge is vacant, the President of the Republic with the consent of the Assembly appoints a new judge, who remains on duty until the mandate of the dismissed judge ends.
Article 172 The judge of the Constitutional Court starts the duty after he makes an oath in front of the President of the Republic.
Article 173 Being a judge is incompatible with any other state, political or private activity.
Article 174 The Constitutional Court decides on:
- compatibility of the law with the Constitution or with international agreements as provided in Article 126;
- compatibility of international agreements with the Constitution, prior to their ratification;
- compatibility of normative acts of the central and local organs with the Constitution and international agreements;
- conflicts of competencies between powers, as well as between central government and local government;
- constitutionality of the parties and other political organizations as well as their activity according to Article 9 of the Constitution;
- dismissal from duty of the President of the Republic and verification of the impossibility for him to exercise his functions;
- issues related with the election and incompatibility in exercising the functions of the President of the Republic and of the deputies, as well as the verification of election results;
- constitutionality of the referendum and verification of its results;
- final adjudication of the individual complaints for the violation of their constitutional rights, after all legal means for the protection of their rights have been exhausted.
- The decisions of the Constitutional Court have general binding force and are final. The Constitutional Court only has the right to invalidate the acts it reviews.
- The decisions of the Constitutional Court enter in force the day of their publication in the Official Gazette. Constitutional Court can decide that the law or normative act is to be invalidated on another date. The minority opinions are published together with the decision.
- Acceptance of complaints for judgement is decided from a number of judges as determined by law.
- The Constitutional Court decides with the majority of all its members.
- The Constitutional Court is put into motion only on the request of:
- the President of the Republic;
- Prime Minister;
- a group of not less than one-fifth of the deputies;
- the Chairman of High State Control;
- every court according to Article 136 of the Constitution;
- People's Advocate;
- organs of the local government;
- organs of religious communities;
- political parties and other organizations;
- Those provided for in Subparagraphs f), g), h), i), and j) of Paragraph # may make a request only for issues related with their interests.
Part XVII Revision of the Constitution
- Initiative for revision of the Constitution may be undertaken by not less than one-fifth of the members of the Assembly.
- No revision of the Constitution may be undertaken during the time when the extraordinary measures are taken.
- The draft law for revision of the Constitution is voted upon two times. The time period between two votes should not be shorter than 30 days.
- The draft law is approved by not less then two-thirds of all members of the Assembly.
- One-fifth of the members of the Assembly have the right to put to a referendum approved amendment;
- The Assembly may decide for the revision of the Constitution in a referendum with two-thirds of all its members. The draft law for the revision of the Constitution enters into force after ratification by referendum, which takes place not later than 60 days after its approval in the Assembly.
- The President of the Republic does not have the right to return for review the law approved by the Assembly for revision of the Constitution.
- The law approved by referendum is declared by the President of the Republic and enters into force on the date provided for in this law.
- Revision of the Constitution for the same issue, cannot be done before a year from the day of the rejection of the draft law by the Assembly and three years from the day of its rejection by the referendum.
Part XVIII Transitory and Final Dispositions
- Laws and other normative acts approved before the date this Constitution enters into force will be applied as long as they have not been abrogated.
- The Council of Ministers presents to the Assembly draft laws necessary for implementing the Constitution.
Article 180 The mandate of the constitutional organs and people elected or appointed before the Constitution enters into force, ends in the time period provided in the provisions that were in force at the time of their election or appointment.
- International agreements ratified by the Republic of Albania before the Constitution enters into force are considered ratified according to this Constitution.
- The Council of Ministers presents to the Constitutional Court the international agreements which contain provisions that conflict with the Constitution.
Article 182 Assembly, within two to three years from the date this Constitution enters into force, issues laws necessary for the just resolution of different issues related to expropriations and confiscations done before the date this Constitution enters in force, guided by criteria of Article 48.
Article 183 Law No. 7491 dated 29.04.1991 "For Main Constitutional Provisions" as well as other constitutional laws are abrogated the day this Constitution enters into force.