With few judges and many prosecutors, in the Republic of Moldova justice is done with impressive speed and questionable quality
In 2016, the Republic of Moldova allocated EUR 8 per capita to the justice system and was the country with the smallest amount allocated to this field. In 2018, the amount increased to Eur 17 per capita, which was 3.5 times less than the average of the Council of Europe (CoE) member countries. However, the share of the budget allocated to justice in the state budget, in 2018, was very high, accounting for 1.5% of all expenditures, compared with the average of 0.9% in the CoE member countries.
These data result from the analysis “Justice of the Republic of Moldova in figures – a comparative perspective“, carried out by the Legal Resources Centre from Moldova (LRCM). The report presents a comparison of the justice in the Republic of Moldova with that of 10 countries from the former socialist camp, as well as the average of 45 CoE member countries. Based on the conclusions of the analysis, potential intervention needs at policy level in this area can be identified.
The authors of the analysis found that the bulk of the budgetary increases allocated to justice in recent years have been channeled to increase the salaries of judges and prosecutors. Although salaries were essentially increased, in 2018 the judges and prosecutors at the beginning of their careers in the Republic of Moldova received three times less than the average salary in the CoE countries. At the same time, compared to the average salary in the country, the salary of judges and prosecutors in the Republic of Moldova is close to the average of the CoE countries.
With 14.7 active judges per 100,000 inhabitants, the Republic of Moldova is considerably below average in the CoE member countries, where there are 21.5 judges. At the same time, the number of examined causes by the Moldovan judges is at least 30% lower than the average in the CoE member countries.
The Republic of Moldova is among the countries with the highest number of prosecutors per inhabitant, twice as many as in the CoE member countries. The number of prosecutor positions in the Republic of Moldova (720) is 43% higher than the judge positions (504). In countries with an advanced democracy the number of judges is higher than the prosecutors.
The number of active lawyers in the Republic of Moldova per inhabitant is 2.3 times less than the average in the CoE countries. This seems to be caused by populations` limited possibility to pay for their services and limited attention paid by system to lawyers’ arguments. The number of active lawyers is also determined by the high number of lawyers’ who suspended their activity.
The analysis shows that, on average, the cases in the Republic of Moldova are examined almost three times faster than in CoE member countries – 259 days compared to 735 days. This speed has a price – low quality of justice, which is implicitly confirmed by the high number of convictions of the Republic of Moldova at the European Court of Human Rights. The Republic of Moldova is among the countries where the justice is done with a high speed, after Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation.
The analysis “Justice of the Republic of Moldova in figures – a comparative perspective” was elaborated by the LRCM within the project “Institutional Support for Organizational Development”, implemented with the support of the Swedish Embassy.
The video from the launching event is available here.