The judicial system includes district courts, six courts of appeal and a supreme court, or Court of Cassation. The district courts are trial level courts from which appeal can be taken to the court of appeals and then to the Court of Cassation. At each of the three levels, the courts are divided into civil, criminal and military chambers. Justices of the Supreme Court serve for 7 years.
There is also a Constitutional Court (also known as the High Court) with jurisdiction to resolve questions of constitutional interpretation that arise during the course of any case on appeal. In a 1993 decision, the Constitutional Court invalidated a law that would have disbarred lawyers who were active during the communist era, and ordered the lawyers reinstated. Justices of the Constitutional Court serve a maximum of 9 years.
Parliament appoints the seven members of the Court of Cassation and five of the nine judges on the Constitutional Court, with the rest appointed by the president. A Supreme Judicial Council appoints all other judges. In 1992, the Supreme Judicial Council began to remove judges who had served under the former Communist regime.
Although the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, the system is plagued by a lack of resources and trained staff, and is subject to political pressure, intimidation, and corruption.