In a lawsuit against state or public authority, chances are much smaller

The justice system of the Republic of Moldova cannot be yet perceived as a separate power or an independent referee that solves disputes between the state powers or between the state and a private individual or a private legal entity. This way, in a suit against the state or a public authority, the chances are much smaller. The courts’ impartiality and the favoring of the public authorities are signaled in many cases, as in the case of ElectronService-Nord SA, which had been in litigation with a local cadastral office and Moldova was consequently convicted by the European Court of Human Rights, said members of the law firm “Bivol Soțchi & Partners”, which represented the applicant in the High Court.

The ECHR passed its judgment in the case of Electronservice-Nord SA v. Moldova, by which the state was obliged to pay €51,500 to the applicant. The Court’s judgment comes after the Chisinau City Appeals Court accepted an appeal two years after the judgment that was favorable to the complaining company became final.

In a news conference at IPN, lawyer Andrei Bivol, associate expert of the consulting company Fides BSP, operating in the field of human rights, said that this case generates a number of questions. First of all, it goes to the path covered by this case – from the Edineț Court to the Bălți Appeals Court, the Supreme Court of Justice and then, for unclear reasons, to the Chisinau City Appeals Court.

Andrei Bivol said the principle of security of juridical relations was violated in this case. But the security of juridical relations and the stability of judicial practice are two crucial elements on which justice is based. “We all know where the level of confidence in justice is, but when you have a final and irrevocable judgment and expect someone to lodge an appeal out of time in two, three or seven years, or to order a revision, as in this case, and your decision will be annulled and you will be deprived of property, we cannot speak about the security of judicial relations. The European Court spoke about this principle in a number of judgments against Moldova,” noted the expert.

According to him, when a court decision is annulled based on a revision, the security of judicial relations and the principle of work in the courts of law are encroached upon. “In our situation, a revision was accepted and this is an extraordinary appeal that is admissible only based on very strict reasons. The reason invoked in this case – new circumstances or evidence that appealed after the examination of the case – is applied in an absolutely ordinary way. But a regulation or a Government decision that is published in the Official Gazette cannot be considered an act about which a public authority didn’t know,” stated Andrei Bivol.

He noted the ensuring of the protection of property is another problem. The plaintiff bought those facilities from the state, while the public authority responsible for the registration of the ownership right refused to register this. “We do not mention the abusive way in which this authority refused to register a legitimate ownership right and to actually fulfill its duties defined by law, preferring to become involved in a direct dispute with the interested person,” stated the lawyer.

The news conference titled “Case of ElectronService-Nord SA v. Moldova from the angle of right to a fair trial. Why was the Republic of Moldova convicted by ECHR and who answers for this?” forms part of the series of conferences held in the framework of IPN’s project “Injustice Revealed through Multimedia”. The project’s partner is the Lawyers Union of Moldova. IPN Agency does not assume the right to decide if the organizers of news conferences are right in the cases about which they will speak as this is the exclusive prerogative of justice, but the exaggeratedly long examination period of these cases, which is much longer than the law allows, can be considered an act of evident unfairness and injustice. IPN News Agency does not bear responsibility for the public statements made in the public sphere by the organizers of news conferences.

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