Soros Foundation Moldova (FSM)

Good Governance

The mission of the department is to enhance transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness of government in accordance with the European agenda.

Justice and Human Rights

The Justice and Human Rights Department’s vision of rule of law is built on the solid grounds of a fair, accessible and predictable justice delivery system, which effectively safeguards fundamental human rights.

The Department develops and implements activities in several areas, crucial for the fulfilment of its vision: Human Rights, Access to Justice, and Criminal Justice.

Public Health

Our mission is to support and contribute to the development and promotion of health policies and practices based on evidence, which promotes human rights, social inclusion, and justice.

Media Program

Media Department's mission: to contribute to the development of an open, participatory, pluralistic and value-based society in Republic of Moldova by organizing, supporting and financing activities aimed at encouraging the development of an independent media sector and improving access to information.

Other initiatives

Education Support Project

The arrest of persons in the Republic of Moldova is often done with violation of legal provisions and international human rights standards

The prosecutors’ motions and the decisions of the investigative judges in Moldova do not always correspond to legal requirements. Usually, these are not motivated or are insufficiently motivated and, therefore, are contrary to the law. These are just some of the findings of the assessment report “Decisions on Arrest by Investigative Judges in the Republic of Moldova” which was launched by the Soros Foundation-Moldova and the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation.

The situation appears to be more serious as the European Court of Human Rights ascertained that there have not been done any noticeable changes within the Moldovan legislation and practice re applying preventive measures, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has reaffirmed this fact recently, including Moldova on the list of states with systemic deficiencies that generate continuous violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to the cited publication, at the current stage neither prosecutors, nor judges from Moldova are fully aware of what does it actually mean "to motivate”. “Without comprehensible reasoning a judicial decision is an empty nutshell. In such conditions, the decision can’t have legal consequences. Probably there is a link between these aspects and the fact that many investigative judges have a career rooted in the Soviet system of criminal prosecution. It seems that the significance and the importance of the motivation, even if it represents the core of any judicial decision, weren’t sufficiently brought to the attention of the Moldovan investigative judges and prosecutors”, said Kurt Albrecht Stange, the international expert who developed the report.

The report further states that it is undesirable and beneath the dignity of a state based on the rule of law that persons subject to the procedural measures of constraint, including preventive arrest, can’t drew up the grounds for such measures from the judicial decisions. Nevertheless, as the report shows, the deficiencies related to motivation, found in the courts` decisions, represent the result of the procedural documents issued by the police and prosecutors. Thus, the issue of faulty reasoning of the procedural measures of constraint can’t be limited to the judiciary only.

The report pays particular attention to the lawyers` role in challenging the violations that may occur when the preventive arrest is applied by the investigative judge. It is noted in this regard that in a state based on the rule of law it is not possible to issue a decision by which the preventive arrest is applied on the basis of facts on which the defense has not presented its opinion. “At the end of the day, the investigative judge isn’t a deity that guarantees the correctness of his decision. Therefore, he should base his decisions only on facts which the defense was also able to get acquainted with”, the report states. Thus, essential improvements as regard the scope and the intervention of Moldovan lawyers are needed.

The report recommends strengthening the capacities of the criminal justice stakeholders with regard to professional reasoning of the documents issued by them and the immediate compliance with international standards and with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. The author highlights that these standards are of immediate implementation, and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights is quite eloquent in this respect. The situation presented in the report can’t be accepted in a country that has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights nearly 15 years ago. Any argument made as an excuse by the Moldovan criminal justice authorities for not respecting these standards is completely unjustified.

The assessment report “Decisions on Arrest by Investigative Judges in the Republic of Moldova” was developed by Kurt Albrecht Stange, former senior prosecutor in Germany, within a common project of the Soros Foundation-Moldova (SFM) and the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ). Kurt Albrecht Stange made a visit to Moldova in July, 2010, having comprehensive discussions on constraints related to the functioning of the investigative judges` institution in Moldova with the decision-makers, as well as with the local professionals. Prior to his visit, Albrecht Stange has documented himself thoroughly with the criminal justice legal framework and got acquainted with latter reports written on this subject. He had also the possibility to study several case files from the courts relevant to the issue.

About the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ)
The IRZ Foundation was established in 1992 as a non-profit making association at the initiative of the former Federal Minister of Justice Dr. Klaus Kinkel. On behalf of the Federal Government, the IRZ supports partner states in reforming their legal systems and their judiciary, but also in the harmonization of the national legal frameworks with the EU Law. Currently, the IRZ Foundation is active in the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine and Yugoslavia.

About Soros Foundation-Moldova (SFM)
The Soros Foundation-Moldova (SFM) is a non-governmental, non-for-profit and non-political organization, which was established in 1992 by the financier and the philanthropist George Soros, in order to promote the development of an open society in Moldova by developing and implementing a range of programs and activities that address specific areas of needs including media, cultural policy, legal reform, good governance, civic engagement and public health.

The Justice Program of the Soros Foundation-Moldova promotes legal reforms based on human rights, legal accountability, social inclusion and good governance. The Program develops, supports and implements projects in the following priority areas: access to justice, access to information, criminal justice, and human rights monitoring. It achieves its mission through advocacy, capacity building and legal policy research. In its work, the Program relies on the principles of democracy, open society and rule of law.

Contacts: Victor Munteanu, Justice Program Director at the Soros Foundation-Moldova, e-mail: vmunteanu@soros.md; Radu Danii, Project Coordinator within the Justice Program, e-mail: rdanii@soros.md. Phone: 27-00-31.