- Published: July 10, 2019
Legal Policy Starting Point
The EU Association Agreement that entered into force in July 2016 provides the foundation for the reforms that are necessary for a European integration of the Republic of Moldova, although stronger indications of a rapprochement with Russia have returned since election of the Moldovan State President in 2016. Of particular significance in this regard are operative instruments that promote democracy and rule of law, as well as mechanisms to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and to prevent corruption through transparent and effective criminal prosecution, also and especially in cases such as the bank scandal that has been smouldering since 2014. Moreover, it is important to ensure the greater involvement of civil organisations, particularly those with young legal professionals. Legal and judicial reforms are especially challenging for all stakeholders in this complex and multi-layered political situation. Originally scheduled for late 2018, parliamentary elections are now planned in spring 2019. It remains to be seen whether these elections will provide impetus for reforms.
Within this situation, the IRZ uses the available methods of technical counselling and suitable further training of all legal professionals in an attempt to support legal and judicial reforms in the Republic of Moldova and in doing so to contribute to strengthening the rule of law. Cooperation during the reporting year prioritised the fields of administrative procedure law and administrative court procedure law, including the introduction of administrative court jurisdiction integrated within the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts, reform of criminal procedure law and, in consequence, of penitentiary law. An Administrative Code, comprising a general part, an administrative procedure law part and an administrative court procedure law part, was adopted in 2018 and will enter into force on 1 April 2019 after more than ten years of cooperation. Among the priorities of the IRZ‘s work will be to provide basic and further training for the future administrative judges, as well as civil servants and students. Counselling on the reform of criminal procedure law has not yet been completed and will be continued, while advice on penitentiary law is in its early stages. The strategy paper developed by the Moldovan Ministry of Justice in 2016 set out systematic reform ideas for the period from 2016 to 2020. The IRZ has been asked to provide technical assistance in this regard. A new penitentiary administration act entered into force in June 2018. In addition, the law on penitentiary system requires amendment. The IRZ also cooperates in EU projects in the Republic of Moldova, in which it attempts to provide technical support for legal and judicial reforms and to ensure they reach a successful conclusion.
Foci of Activity in 2018
Civil and Commercial Law
- Conference on the Moldovan Civil Code with the State University in Chişinău
- Preparation of a manual on relational and judgement technique
Administration of Justice
- Conference on the current status of notarial law in Moldova and on the establishment of a Chamber of Notaries in Chişinău
Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law
- Third working meeting in Chişinău to discuss the prepared textual amendments of the Moldovan Code of Criminal Procedure
- Expert talks on the legislative amendments in criminal procedure law with a wider professional audience in Chişinău
- Practical further training in Chişinău on the efficient investigation of white-collar crime involving offshore companies, prioritising undercover investigation measures
- Basic training for penitentiary staff at the intake department in Gojan
- Conclave and expert talk in Chişinău to discuss the new draft legislation for Moldovan penitentiary law
- Conference in Chişinău by the General Prosecutor’s Office on the role of the criminal prosecution authorities
- Expert talk on the third part of the Administrative Code (administrative court procedure law) in Chişinău
- Working visit by a Moldovan delegation to the administrative court jurisdiction in Berlin and Leipzig
- National conference in Chişinău attended by members of the legal professions to mark adoption of the Moldovan Administrative Code
- First further training measure in Chişinău to implement the Administrative Code
- Second further training measure in Chişinău to implement the Administrative Code
Basic and Further Training
- Study trip by young lawyers to Bonn and Cologne on the issue of “Basics of the judicial system in Germany“, organised in cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation
- Research trip in Cologne and Düsseldorf by a Board member of the Moldovan NGO Invento to study the resocialisation of criminal adolescents
- Further training seminar for Moldovan public prosecutors in the field of press and media, organised in cooperation with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in Chişinău, Bălţi and Cahul.
- Seminar on legislation technique in cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation during the second Youth Parliament in Chişinău
Projects funded by the European Union
EU Technical Assistance project: Support to the Police Reform in the Republic of Moldova
Working under the Belgian lead partner B&S, the IRZ has been involved in implementing the project “Support to the Police Reform in the Republic of Moldova“ since October 2018. The project is scheduled to run for 38 months and has a budget of just over €2.7 million. The aim is to harmonise the work of the Moldovan police force with European and international standards. Work focuses on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Inspectorate of Police as the beneficiary authorities. The content of the project builds in some areas on the project “Support to the Pre-Trial Investigation, Prosecution and Defence Set-Up“, which the IRZ implemented as lead organisation until early 2017.
The project focuses on the following areas, among others: increasing the efficiency, transparency and professionalism of the police force; support for a transparent recruitment and promotions procedure; improvements in the basic and further training of police officers and police enforcement as well as cooperation between the agencies; support for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Inspectorate of Police in public relations and education; as well as internal planning and budgeting procedures.
EU Twinning project: Capacity Building of the National Centre for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Moldova
This Twinning project has been implemented by the IRZ and the Latvian Ministry of Justice as junior partner since October 2017. Scheduled to run for 24 months, the project has a total budget of €1 million.
It seeks to support the National Centre for Data Protection of the Republic of Moldova (NCPDP) in the harmonisation of personal data protection and privacy with the legal frameworks and standards that apply in the EU. They have changed fundamentally since introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018. Moreover, attempts are under way to safeguard the sharing of data between EU Member States and the Republic of Moldova, among other things by implementing EU Directive 2016/680 on the processing of personal data.
The project is divided into three components, in which the following objectives were achieved during the reporting year:
- Harmonisation of national legislation in the field of personal data protection with EU Acquis | A new law for the protection of personal data was drafted following a comparative analysis. Planned adoption of this draft legislation in Moldovan law is intended to place the future work of the NCPDP on a solid legal footing. This is an important precondition for the exchange of personal data between Moldova and the EU Member States.
- Support of the NCPDP and other relevant institutions in the implementation of the new Data Protection Act | The necessary measures will continue in the second half of the project. This will include familiarising the NCPDP staff with investigative and complaints procedures.
- Raising awareness within the general public and among persons who verify and process data | Communication measures designed for the general public, further training and workshops for the private sector, media and NCPDP staff are intended to help convey a positive impression of the NCPDP‘s role in the country and to raise awareness for the issue of data protection in general. Events are also planned to take place in the regions as a means of addressing the widest possible audience. It is imperative that the various stakeholders enjoy trust and acceptance within Moldovan society in order to ensure that the work of the NCPDP is successful and to foster the sustainability of the project.
The further training measures for legal professionals to implement the Administrative Code will continue in 2019. Necessary advice on the Code of Criminal Procedure, especially further training seminars on criminal procedure law, will also extend into the new year. Cooperation with the Moldovan Department of Penitentiary Institutions will be expanded within the framework of the strategy paper for reform of the penitentiary system and will, in future, include counselling on draft legislation and progressive execution of sentence. Moreover, the IRZ will make efforts to rebuild its earlier cooperation with Moldovan partners on lawyers‘ notarial law. The practical further training of judges at civil and criminal courts, possibly also the Constitutional Court, will be continued as well in order to increase the quality and transparency of adjudications.