Moldova: ICJ releases fact-finding mission report

“Despite efforts by the Government in the early years of independence to reform its justice system, the rule of law suffers serious shortcomings that must be addressed,” concluded a report issued today by the ICJ.

“The last three years have witnessed unlawful practices such as “telephone justice”, which we thought had been left in the past,” said the ICJ.

The report concludes that the independence of the judiciary is seriously undermined in Moldova and that corruption is widespread. Furthermore, the ICJ is concerned that the executive is able to substantially influence judicial appointments through the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, which lacks independence.

“Beyond allegations of corruption, the Moldovan judiciary has seriously regressed in the last three years, resulting in court decisions that can pervert the course of justice when the interests of the Government are at stake,” said the ICJ. “It is vital for Moldova’s future that democratic principles are incorporated into its institutions and that the fundamental concepts of the separation of powers are made a reality.”

Among its recommendations, the ICJ calls for a Supreme Council of the Magistracy that is independent from the executive and the legislature, the withdrawal of the Presidential power to select and confirm the appointment of judges, the institutionalisation of adequate proceedings for the removal of judges and an effective end to corrupt practices.

Moldova-rule of law-factfinding report-2004 (full text, PDF)

Moldova-rule of law-annex-factfinding report-2004 (full text, PDF)

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