What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
State of play: In post-communist Albania a long series of legal instruments were enacted for the ascertainment of property rights, including restitution/compensation of properties including here agricultural land, confiscated during the communist period. A vast number of cases about conflicting claims between new owners and/or the State on one side and former owners on the other side arose and the majority of them still wait to be resolved in a legally, socially [mediation] and financially effective way. The case law includes judgments of the Constitutional Court, while the first crop of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights has already found serious deficiencies of the judicial and administrative system of the country in respect of property restitution and compensation of former owners.
Implementation problems: The whole process is moving too slowly due to delays in setting up new structures of the Property Restitution and Compensation Agency both at central level and in regional departments. In addition, the State-owned land is too small, in comparison with the amount of land supposed to be compensated. Informal and corrupt transactions still dominate, although the Government is now trying to implement the law adopted in 07/2004 that reflects key policy choices.
Problems related to political and social deficiencies: The difficulty in finding effective solutions for property restitution and compensation of former owners and in subsequently implementing them is tightly linked to the post-Communist political situation in the country and the ensuing social and economic instability which, in the particular matter of real property, is deep-rooted in strong divergences among the various groups of population and their politicians. Restitution of land to former owners is viewed by many as if it would recreate a feudal ownership structure, while former land owners and collective farm workers differ strongly on their support to reform policies. However, there is a widely supported consensus that the situation can significantly improve through introduction/enforcement of new legal instruments [harmonised with EU and international standards], legislative review and application of alternative dispute resolution methods.
Tell us about the social innovator—the person—behind this idea.
Admir Duraj is working as a volunteer (Adviser/trainer) on projects related to legislative and justice reforms, good governance and human rights at the Studio D – Centre for Legal & Strategic Research since May 2007 . He studied Law at University of Shkoder, Albania and specialized in EU Law, Policies and Multi-level Governance through a master’s degree programme at University of Bologna . Admir Duraj has a more than ten years of professional experience consisting on legal advisory and consulting services, technical assistance on project development and implementation, teaching and legislative drafting, institutional analysis and regional development. His previous experiences imply a number of well-known national, regional, and international institutions, agencies and organizations such as: University of Tirana, Government of Albania (Ministry of EU integration) European Commission, United Nations Development Programme, World Intellectual Property Organization etc. Duraj is a member of National Bar Association [AL] since 2004, while associate member of The Society of Legal Scholars [UK] 2008 and is currently teaching ‘EU Competition Law’ at University of Tirana, Graduate School of Economics. He speaks fluently English and Italian.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)
If through another source, please provide the information.
Approximately 50 words left (400 characters).