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Recent developments in the area of justice in the Republic of Moldova do nothing to dispel the concern expressed by the Foreign Affairs Council in its February Council conclusions on the lack of independence of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies in the country, said the spokesperson for the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, IPN reports.
In a comment for Radio Free Europe on the recent developments in the justice sector in Moldova, the spokesperson said the European Union calls on the Republic of Moldova to implement the recommendations of the Council of Europe on the independence, efficiency and responsibilities of judges of 2010, which state inter alia that “the interpretation of the law, assessment of facts or weighing of evidence carried out by judges to determine cases should not give rise to criminal liability, except in cases of malice”, that “judges should not be personally accountable where their decision is overruled or modified on appeal”, and that “the interpretation of the law, assessment of facts or weighing of evidence carried out by judges to determine cases should not give rise to civil or disciplinary liability, except in cases of malice and gross negligence”.
The European Union underlines as well that, in line with the recommendations of the Council of Europe, disciplinary proceedings should in all circumstances be conducted by an independent authority or a court with all the guarantees of a fair trial.
The European Union is of the firm opinion that this comprises not only that any decision to lift or uphold the functional immunity of a judge must be reasoned and that the reasoning must be made accessible to the public, but also to provide the judge in question with the right to challenge the decision.
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