The importance of fair selection and accountability of judges was the focus of a roundtable meeting on the independence of the judiciary held by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Mission to Moldova and the Moldovan Superior Council of Magistrates on 14 November 2011 in Chisinau.
State officials, judges, representatives from the judicial administration, civil society and international experts developed recommendations on further improving the system of selecting and appointing judges, evaluating their performance and reforming disciplinary procedures in the judiciary.
“While most guarantees of independence and impartiality relate to the institutional framework of the judiciary, the social context is equally important,” said the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Philip Remler. “Judges need to feel safe and well-protected against political influence.”
Nicolae Timofti, the Chair of the Superior Council of Magistrates, said: “Transparent judicial administration, merit-based selection of judges, fair performance evaluation and accountability are crucial features of judicial independence. Today’s event is an important step towards ensuring the full application of these principles in Moldova’s judiciary through close co-operation with all national stakeholders.”
Participants discussed current practice and draft laws as part of ongoing judicial reforms, and shared positive examples from other countries of the OSCE region.
Judicial and executive policy-makers, the Superior Council of Magistrates and the Justice Ministry will consider jointly the meeting’s recommendations as part of the continuing reform process.
This event was a follow-up to last year’s OSCE roundtable meeting on identifying ways to strengthen the independence and accountability of Moldova's judiciary, in line with a set of policy suggestions developed by ODIHR called the Kyiv Recommendations on Judicial Independence in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia.