Dozens of judges, lawyers, prosecutors, bailiffs, police officers, probation inspectors, legal assistants, representatives of the academia and mediators from Soroca, Cimișlia, Criuleni and Comrat met on 16 December 2021 at the National Conference of Professionals in Law, entitled "Critical competencies for human-centered justice". The event was organized by INVENTO, within the project "Strengthening efficiency and access to justice in Moldova", implemented by UNDP Moldova, with the financial support of Sweden.

During the current year, justice professionals from the four districts benefited from a soft skills capacity development program, the results of which were presented at the conference. At the same time, the participants addressed the challenges in the justice sector and the solutions offered by the digital justice.

Present at the opening of the event, the Minister of Justice, Sergiu Litvinenco, appreciated the interest of professionals from the justice sector to strengthen their skills, so that their capacities are justice seekers oriented. "I urge all professionals in the field of justice, but also representatives of civil society to get proactively involved in strengthening the efficiency and access to justice in the Republic of Moldova. It is important that the process of delivery of justice is independent, transparent and fair, citizen-oriented.”

In her welcome address, Katarina Fried, Swedish Ambassador to Chisinau said: “Legal professionals are more than ever called to find practical and reasonable solutions for issues that affect access to justice of various groups who find themselves in vulnerable situations in their local communities. More than ever, now, it is of a great importance to develop large professional dialogues between legal actors to share experience, to advocate for changes and learn continuously.”

Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova, underlined the importance of creating fair, impartial, independent and accessible justice systems for all: "Access to justice is an essential condition to upholding human rights, peace and security, being central to the promise of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind. Justice actors play a critical role in ensuring that these principles are respected, and that people are treated fairly and inclusively. This in turn will help to reduce inequalities and marginalization while support the rebuilding the trust in the justice and the impartiality of the law and institutions.”

For one year, 60 justice professionals (judges, clerks, prosecutors, police officers, lawyers) from Criuleni, Cimișlia, Soroca and Comrat districts participated in eight training modules on soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, communication, empathy, conflict resolution. These, in addition to technical skills, can improve the quality and performance of justice professionals and contribute to a better understanding and appreciation of the grievances of the justice seekers.

"The acquired experience and knowledge will help us communicate more effectively with litigants. I acquired skills which contributed to a beautiful result, which is the creation of the library with literature in Romanian, at the Criuleni Court, Dubasari region, which will serve as a support for self-training of legal professionals in the Transnistrian region. So, we will have a qualitative act of justice, aligned with the ECHR standards," said Judge Adrian Cerbu, beneficiary of the program.

Participants in the program came up with initiatives to improve access to justice or effective coordination of justice at the local level, four of which were carried out with the support of Sweden and UNDP:

  1. Creation of the first special hearing room with audio-video recording in Cimișlia;
  2. Installation of an access ramp at the entrance to the Soroca court, in order to facilitate access to justice for persons with locomotor disabilities, on equal and non-discriminatory terms;
  3. Creation of a law library with literature in Romanian, at the Criuleni Court, Dubasari region;
  4. Conducting training sessions dedicated to increasing the level of efficiency of the response to cases of domestic violence in 16 localities in Criuleni.

"The quality of justice starts from the quality of the people who contribute to its realization. That is why we choose to invest in the skills of local legal professionals, in empowering them with leadership and the ability to respond to challenges. The realization of the program in the four districts covered by the project confirmed once again that such an intervention determines long-term results, capitalizing on the human potential at the local level," said the director of INVENTO, Ana Indoitu.

In 2020, with the support of the project "Strengthening efficiency and access to justice in Moldova", Dialogue Platforms for Access to Justice were created in Criuleni, Soroca, Cimișlia and Comrat districts. Platform members - judges, prosecutors, lawyers, paralegals, police officers, mediators, doctors, representatives of district councils, town halls, civil society - identify barriers to ensuring access to justice and examine solutions to eliminate them.

Contact person for the media: Ana Indoitu, ana.indoitu@invento.md, +373 600 067 681

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