Albania Passes a Judicial Reform Law, Path to EU

     TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s parliament has approved a law to check the personal and professional backgrounds of judges and prosecutors in a move to convince the European Union to launch membership negotiations.
     An extraordinary session of the 140-seat parliament passed the law, part of the country’s judicial reform efforts, with 88 votes in favor and one abstention on Tuesday. The opposition boycotted the vote.
     The law, prepared with help from EU and U.S. experts and reviewed by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, allows authorities to check the incomes and property holdings of judges and prosecutors and their professional backgrounds.
     The justice system will be restructured to ensure that judges and prosecutors are independent from politics, and to root out bribery.
     Albania was granted EU candidate status in 2014.
     Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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