The justice system - more accessible to people thanks to partnerships between public institutions and civil society representatives
December 19, 2022
The creation and functioning of the Dialogue Platforms for Access to Justice in Soroca, Criuleni (Dubăsari), Cimișlia and Comrat contributed to better communication between people and actors in the justice system. This was made possible thanks to the support of the project "Strengthening efficiency and access to justice in Moldova", implemented by UNDP Moldova in partnership with the Institute for Penal Reforms (IRP), with the financial support of Sweden.
”We hope that the results of the Dialogue Platforms for Access to Justice and engagement of the members will serve as a good example of bringing to the attention of the decision makers important issues which affect men and women claiming justice, such as the insufficient number of legal aid providers (paralegals or lawyers) at the local level, or lack of reasonable accommodation in fulfilling civil rights,” mentioned Andrea Cuzyova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.
“We appreciate the time and effort put into building ways of dialogue with colleagues in the justice chain to improve the quality of justice so that human rights are fully realised. We continue to count on the commitment of members of the platforms to develop independently to guarantee access to justice at the local level”, said Karin Borovic, Counsellor – Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden in Moldova.
The Dialogue Platforms for Access to Justice, created in 2020, include judges, prosecutors, lawyers, paralegals, police officers, community mediators, notaries, doctors, representatives of local public administration, and civil society in the respective districts. The members of the platforms have benefited from training on how to manage difficult situations of interaction with litigants, integrated approach to systemic problems in the field of access to justice, referral of cases to public and/or community institutions.
“We have managed to increase cooperation between institutions, to facilitate the exchange of experience between justice actors, which has contributed to improving access to justice for vulnerable and marginalised people. Thus, the dialogue platforms have become a mechanism for intervention at local level, capable of identifying the barriers and problems faced by people in the process of defending their rights, but also of providing a strengthened response to the needs of the justiciable,” underlined Natalia Mardari-Grebencea, Institute for Penal Reforms.
With the support of the project "Strengthening efficiency and access to justice in Moldova", four non-government organisations from the districts of Soroca, Criuleni, Cimișlia and Comrat strengthened their capacities: "Everybody Contributes for Change", Local Democracy Agency of Moldova, Legal Clinic Comrat and Youth Resource Centre DACIA.
The four organisations implemented initiatives to improve access to justice for people from vulnerable and marginalised groups:
- More than 200 people from Criuleni and Dubăsari districts benefited from primary legal assistance, psychological and social assistance, and another 220 people with disabilities, including their family members or personal assistants, were informed about their rights and mechanisms of access to justice;
- About 280 people from Cimișlia district received primary legal assistance, more than 600 people from vulnerable groups were informed about national mechanisms to claim their rights and about 70 students participated in thematic activities on access to justice;
- During 40 public lectures, conducted in 20 localities of Comrat, more than 420 beneficiaries were informed about their rights and more than 150 were consulted on various issues;
- More than 400 pupils from Soroca district have improved their knowledge in the field of access to justice and about 220 young people/young women have been offered free legal consultations.
Also with the support of the project "Strengthening efficiency and access to justice in Moldova", several reference publications for justice professionals as well as for representatives of public institutions interacting with beneficiaries have been developed: Forensic Expertise Ordinator's Guide, the Guide for Judicial Experts and the Guide "Access to Justice", as well as a digitised course for the Center for Legal Medicine.