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21 Apr 2023

Fjori Sinoruka, Balkan Insight

Albania considering withdrawing from international investment protection tribunal

'Albania Moves to Establish Local Arbitration Court to Replace ICSID', 21 April 2023

"Albania’s Justice Minister, Ulsi Manja, presented a draft law on Thursday for the establishment of a local court to settle commercial disputes, after the PM announced that Albania might leave the international arbitration body.

The Prime Minister Edi Rama has said Albania is considering quitting the Washington-based International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, ICSID, after it decided in favour of Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti, who claimed he was politically persecuted in Albania, granting him around 110 million euros in compensation.

Manja said the new draft law would make it easier for businesses to solve issues if they have disputes with each other, or with institutions.

“This draft law creates the opportunity to resolve disputes, whether between the state and private individuals or between private individuals, to resolve them completely,” Manja said on Thursday.

“It would be a quick choice and eliminate informalities, but at the same time fulfill the obligations arising from commercial disputes,” Manja added, predicting that it would also encourage investments in the country.

The draft law establishes as a basic condition that local arbitration is raised only in cases where two businesses have previously signed an agreement that defines arbitration as a possible solution for disputes, so avoiding domestic courts or international arbitration.

The draft law also states there are cases where Albania might not implement decisions of the ICSID, such when disputes cannot be solved through Albanian legislation and when implementation of the ICSID decision would go against public order...."