The reformation process is not irreversible and consistent political will is needed to go on. In the absence of such will, a law that annuls pre-vetting can be adopted and the made progress will be lost, Valeriu Pașa, programs coordinator of WatchDog.md Community, stated in an interview with IPN.
According to him, the justice sector reform in the Republic of Moldova started almost 30 years ago, with different views and different actions aimed at improving the system and at achieving the wanted results. However, the situation rather worsened.
“The justice sector in the Republic of Moldova has been reformed since the 1990s, the 2000s. There were different solutions presented as panacea as there was not enough independence, professionalism. At a certain moment, this National Institute of Justice was founded and everyone said: now things will really change. Then, there was the so-called strategy for reforming the justice system that was approved after 2010 and was implemented and led to the development of these self-managing bodies, enhancement of independence, appointments for life, higher salaries, luxury pensions, these so-called “golden parachutes” when a judge leaves the system and is paid the salary for a period of time – sometimes millions of lei – all kinds of instruments for protecting independence from the prosecution bodies, if we speak about the judicial system. The results were every time the opposite ones. Despite the reformation that lasted for almost 30 years, the system only deteriorated. Yes, the number of systemic abuses against the basic rights decreased, but the justice system in the Republic of Moldova turned into a system of racket and outcry auctioning, almost,” said Valeriu Pașa.
He noted that together with the selection of the members of the new Superior Council of Magistracy, there are hopes that the system will change owing to the direction that will be set by the new administrative body.
“There will be that reference point inside the system and the abuses will be at least investigated honestly, not as it often happens now when complaints submitted about evident abuses committed by judges and the SCM are simply rejected, instead of punishing, suspending from posts those to blame. Or there are situations when people who lack integrity and professionalism are promoted to administrative posts. It will be an internal film already and judges will be removed, but not swiftly, not overnight. But the coming of persons who fully lack integrity to important administrative posts in the judiciary and the system of prosecutors will be at least prevented. I’m not so optimistic about the coming of a “Commissar Cattani” in each of the posts. Something like this will not happen. So many such people cannot be found in the current system,” stated Valeriu Pașa.
He also said that education is another sector on which work is needed, especially in the judicial sector.
“During many years most of those who graduated from faculties of law in this country were admitted to the faculty based on bribery and took exams and defended theses based on bribery and found work also based on bribery. So, things start from there too. Control and an anticorruption effort should be ensured over legal professions in the education system. The start should be from there,” stated Valeriu Pașa.
The interview titled “Justice Sector Reform in Theory and Practice” was produced by IPN News Agency in the framework of the project “Support for justice sector reform through multimedia coverage of relevant cases of alleged injustice”.