Mediation in Albania is a free legal profession. The mediation system in Albania can be classified as voluntary with practically no mandatory elements of referral. The law itself prescribes the areas that can be solved through mediation as the following:
- Civil law and family law cases involving interests of juveniles, reconciliation cases regarding dissolution of marriage and cases relating to ownership rights, division of property, breach of contractual obligations, compensation for non-contractual damages between parties, etc.
In all these cases the parties should be informed by the court about the possibility of mediation.
Referral to mediation is mandatory only:
- If the parties have provided in their contract or written agreement the condition that mediation will be the first alternative to resolve their dispute, the court does not consider the case without applying the mediation.
- In criminal matters at the request of the accusing victim, or upon complaint of the injured party
In juvenile criminal cases specific reference to the possibility of diverting certain types of cases to mediation is made by the Criminal Code on Juvenile Justice. In addition to the above, the amended Mediation law provides also for the possibility to use mediation in disputes between private entities and the public administration bodies.It is, however, reported that this happens irregularly in practice.
The central actor for mediation is the National Chamber of Mediators, an independent public entity responsible for representing mediators, supporting mediation activities such as continuous trainings and, alongside with other Institutions of Higher Education offering certified initial trainings.The Mediation Law and the implementing sublegal acts foresee that the Ministry of Justice is the entity in charge for licensing mediators in coordination with the Chamber.
Under the umbrella of the project “Strengthening the Mediation System in Albania”, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and led by CSSP in partnership with the National Chamber of Mediators and the Albanian Foundation for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation of Disputes (AFCR), two Mediation Centers in Tirana and Durres were created to offer spaces to local mediators to provide their services. The aim is to strengthen relations with public referral institutions as well as the general public and this way increase the number of disputes solved through mediation.
The latest legal document on mediation dates from 2018 as an amendment to the 2011 Mediation Law). While the 2011 version had been approximated to the EU Directive 2008/52 / EC, “On specific aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters” in line with the requirements of the Stabilization and Association Agreement and the principles of the European Union, the last updates of 2018, can be seen within the framework of the extensive justice reform the country has been undergoing since 2016 within the context of the EU accession preparations.
- 2011 Law No. 10 385 “Për ndërmjetësimin në zgjidhjen e mosmarrëveshjeve” (“On Mediation in Dispute Resolution“) (ALB, ENG)
- 2018 Law No. 26/2018 “”Për disa shtesa dhe ndryshime në ligjin Nr.10 38” (”On some Supplements and Amendments to Law No. 10 38“) (ALB, ENG)
- 2017 Law No. 37/2017 (“Code of Criminal Justice for Children“) (ENG)