When it was in opposition, the current government declared that it would solve the problems of justice in a very short period of time, and many Moldovans gave their votes precisely because they believed in the promises about the judicial reform, says Victor Juc, director of the Institute for Legal, Political and Sociological Research.
“The government initiated this process being in a bit of a romantic mindset, I would say, because it did not carry out an expert assessment, which would have shown that this process is much more complicated. One thing is when you are in opposition and make a ton of promises, and another when you take power and have to actually implement these promises. So naturally, there are these critical voices in our society saying that the government has not yet fulfilled those commitments”, Victor Juc commented on the progress of the justice reform during an IPN debate.
While disagreeing with his fellow panelists that the government is “now bulldozing” through the judicial reform, Victor Juc admitted there is problem with communication and cooperation. According to him, when public consultations are organized with civil society members, their proposals are rarely taken into consideration by the government, leading the number of those interested in such meetings to decrease with every event.
“In addition, the government does not take into account the opinions of some parties in the immediate vicinity on the political spectrum. There are several parties whose leaders offer competent expertise in this field, but they say the government doesn’t listen”, added the expert.
In this context, Victor Juc emphasized that the relations between the state powers do not only involve separation, but also cooperation, as per Article 6 of the Constitution. “But this is ignored in Moldova, perhaps partially due to the lack of a political culture, a legal culture, a culture of cooperation”, says the expert.
Victor Juc also suggested that the government uses unorthodox methods to clean up the judiciary. “You cannot build a democracy with undemocratic methods. What is being tried in the Republic of Moldova - let us first fix the situation, and this will lead to democracy - is not correct. (...) I wouldn’t say that the self-administration bodies of justice are weak, as some say, but probably the people in the justice system understood a truth: politicians try to keep them under control, and even if there is a corporate solidarity in system, many still choose to submit rather than fight. This is a big problem for the Republic of Moldova”.
Regarding the bad opinion that many citizens have about the justice system, Victor Juc admitted that there are people in the system who have contributed to such a perception. “But there are two other determining factors. First of all, there is the political-administrative factor, that is, those people who argue the need for reform, claiming that the system is corrupt and ineffective, and here are the solutions”. And the second factor, according to Victor Juc, is the media coverage, because only errors and bad things get to be news.
Concluding on a more optimistic note, Victor Juc mentioned that “steps are being taken” in the justice reform, and for it to be successful, the support and supervision of Moldova’s development partners is needed.
The debate, titled “Justice reform: actions, results and consequences”, was held as part of IPN’s project “Support for the justice reform through media coverage in multimedia format of relevant cases of alleged injustice”.