Choice of dispute resolution forum
Both domestic and foreign investors in Albania are entitled to judicial protection of the rights related to their investments. Parties in a contract may choose to submit their dispute to local courts or to arbitration (local or international). Pursuant to the Foreign Investment Law or the relevant Bilateral Investment Treaty, in case of an investment dispute between the hosting country and a foreign investor, a foreign investor may submit the dispute to be tried by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID).
Dispute before the Local Courts
Any party can submit its dispute to the local courts. The Albanian Courts have exclusive jurisdiction if the dispute concerns:
Dispute before a foreign court or arbitration
Where the dispute is outside the exclusive jurisdiction of the Albanian courts, any such action may be submitted to a foreign court or arbitration by an agreement in writing between the parties.
Choice of law
Parties can choose the law applicable to the whole or to a part of the agreement and the Albanian courts will respect this choice. However, in some specific circumstances Albanian mandatory laws can apply in any case, for instance where the agreement concerned involves consumers or labor matters, as well as art and cultural heritage.
Enforcement of a local judgement
Before enforcing a local judgment over the debtor's assets, the Bailiff must serve on the debtor a formal request to pay the amount due in ten days.
If the debtor fails to process payment by the given deadline, the creditor can start enforcement by:
Enforcement of a foreign judgement
A final judgment rendered by a foreign court would be enforceable (i) upon the completion of appropriate judicial proceedings in Albania against the counterparty or any of its properties located in Albania according to the procedure provided by the Albanian legislation in force, and (ii) if the Albanian Court of Appeal does not ascertain any of the conditions below rendering foreign judgement unenforceable as follows:
The Albanian Court of Appeal conducts a review of the foreign court judgment, but only from a procedural perspective and it does not enter into the merits of the case.
Enforcement of a foreign arbitration award
Republic of Albania is a member of the New York Convention 1958 “On recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards” which is ratified by Albanian Parliament in 2000. The procedure on the recognition of the arbitration award based on the New York Convention “On recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards” is largely tested before the Albanian Courts of Appeal. The process of recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards in Albania is procedurally carried out through a two-layered regime made up by a) The imported provisions of and b) rules of procedure as provided for in Albania Code of Civil Procedure (Code). However, the procedure of the recognition is quick and efficient. The enforcement process is similar to the enforcement of the local judgements.