Reform proposed by Ministry of Justice cannot repair the "disaster in the judicial system", opinion

The justice reform aims to eliminate the element of corruption, and the solutions proposed by the Ministry of Justice through the reform draft cannot cope with the "disaster in the judicial system". This is the opinion of public policy expert Stefan Gligor. The expert does not consider the concept of justice reform to be very ambitious, on the contrary, in his opinion, it is very modest compared to the problems within the justice system. Fadei Nagacevschi advisor to the Speaker of Parliament, also believes that the draft is not tough enough for the current situation in the judiciary. The opinions were expressed on "Politics of Natalia Morari" program, TV8, IPN reports.

"The current concept of justice reform provides for the reassessment of 15 chairmen of courts, 4 chairmen and deputy chairmen of the Courts of Appeal and the reorganization of the Supreme Court of Justice into the Court of Cassation, the entire task being incumbent on the Courts of Appeal. The Courts of Appeal are the most corrupt courts in the Republic of Moldova and they are not re-certified and re-evaluated in any way. Three people out of 64 judges will be reassessed. Where do we go with that kind of reform? Nowhere”, considers Stefan Gligor.

In his opinion, this will only lead to an amplification of corruption in the justice system thus reaching an impasse. "My opinion is that we have to rethink the whole concept and following the conclusions of the Venice Commission it is a good opportunity to take a break and think again where we are heading. We need to reassess all the judges, at least at the level of the Courts of Appeal, if we want to have a Court of Cassation instead of the Supreme Court of Justice,” said Stefan Gligor.

The Secretary of State of the Ministry of Justice, Veronica Mihailov, argues that the justice reform draft is very ambitious for the Moldovan society. Its main purpose is to carry out the cleansing of the system. Veronica Mihailov said that the Venice Commission welcomed the ministry's efforts to ensure integrity and independence in the justice field. "The Venice Commission estimated that, in certain situations, when the level of corruption is very high and in exceptional situations, it is possible for the authorities of a state to decide to use certain exceptional judge evaluation exercises," said the Secretary of State.

The advisor to the Speaker of the Parliament, Fadei Nagacevschi, says that the draft decision of the Venice Commission brought shame on the Republic of Moldova. In his opinion, all the Commission's recommendations were foreseeable. The counsellor maintains that it is necessary to declare a political emergency situation on the territory of the Republic of Moldova and this would allow for more radical measures to be taken. "When you want to use exceptional tools, you must declare exceptional status. I am for the declaration of political emergency so as to quickly cleanse the system in two months,” said the councillor.

Furthermore, Fadei Nagacevschi says he is discussing with Members of Parliament to see if such an initiative would get the required number of votes and has noted that part of the ruling coalition would not have sufficient political will for such a project.

Veronica Mihailov specifies that next week the working group will meet again and this draft law will be rethought and finalized in full accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, then it will be proposed for public consultations. "During the public consultations anyone has the right to come up with proposals and if the majority of the proposals suggest tougher provisions in this draft law, the Ministry of Justice will certainly consider them," the secretary of state stated.

Yesterday, October 15, the Council of Europe issued a statement mentioning the high appreciation of the Venice Commission for the effort of the Chisinau executive in combating high-level corruption through the justice reform, which, however, believes that the proposals must respect the effective provisions of the Constitution.  The Commission states that it is up to the Moldovan authorities to decide, if the situation created in the judicial system provides sufficient grounds for subjecting all the judges of the Supreme Court of Justice to an extraordinary assessment, as provided by the draft law. At the same time, it raises serious concerns that this assessment overlaps with the reform of the Supreme Court of Justice, aimed at replacing the current Court with a court with a different jurisdiction and a smaller number of judges.


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