Metallic or concrete rails instead of ramps, inappropriate angle of the ramp or slippery ramps, not of antiskid material, are the most spread mistakes made when ensuring the accessibility of persons with disabilities to courts of law. Also, there are ramps without support bars or with bars on one side only or at an inappropriate distance. Such conclusions were reached by the public association Center for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CDPD) after assessing the buildings of 25 courts of law.
In a news conference at IPN, project coordinator Elena Stajila mentioned also other mistakes, such as the high threshold at entrance doors and internal doors, which should not be higher than 1.4 cm, narrow doors, which should have a width of at least 90 cm, turnstiles installed on the way, which causes obstacles, the insufficiently wide toilet cubicles that should be 1.4 x1.4 m in area, lack of visual contact for persons with hearing impairments and use of slippery surfaces on walls and floors.
Vitalie Meşter, executive director of the Center for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said the right to justice is a fundamental right and this must be ensured for any person, regardless of the social status or disability. “The access to justice does not mean only offering of a qualified lawyer for the representation of the person with disabilities in court. If the person cannot hire a lawyer, access to justice also means effective participation by the person with disabilities in trials involving this. This means accessibility of the information, procedural infrastructure and communication accessibility to persons with disabilities,” stated Vitalie Meşter.
The results of the assessments show that positive practices for ensuring the accessibility are applied by the Comrat Appeals Court, the Chisinau City Appeals Court, the Buiucani branch and the Centru branch of the Chisinau City Court.
Within the assessment activity, the CDPD offered methodological support to courts of law to apply the accessibility norms, prepared methodological standards for ensuring the accessibility of buildings to persons with disabilities and presented them to the presidents of courts of law. It also compiled reports on each assessed building and submitted them to the court presidents for an eventual approval and proposed working out a plan for gradually making the courts accessible in accordance with the recommendations formulated in the report.
The audit of the accessibility of the 25 national courts of law, which was carried out in June-August this year, forms part of the nationwide campaign for healthy justice. The audit centered on physical and informational accessibility.
The CDPD is an association founded in 2006 by a group of persons with disabilities. It deals with the promotion, protection and realization of the rights of persons with disabilities.
The news conference forms part of the series of conferences held in the framework of IPN’s project “Injustice Revealed through Multimedia”. 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.