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Moldova Table of Contents


The Judicial System

Independent Moldova's judicial and legal systems are carryovers from the Soviet period and conform to practices that were standard throughout the former Soviet Union. The most powerful legal institution is the General Prosecution Office, formerly called the Procuracy (see Glossary). Headed by the prosecutor general, the General Prosecution Office directs investigations, orders arrests, and prosecutes criminal cases. It is also charged with administering the judicial system and ensuring the legality of government actions. In the early 1990s, the Procuracy's corruption and political ties to the Communist Party of Moldavia made it the subject of substantial controversy in discussions on constitutional reform. A significant element of political opinion advocated the abolition of or the radical transformation of the Procuracy.

Moldova's judicial system is based on a network of local courts and higher-level appeals courts, with the highest court being the Supreme Court (Curte Suprema). Judges do not have a tradition of political impartiality and independence, and the role of defense attorneys is limited. The government of Moldova has initiated reform efforts, but corruption and a lack of organization continue to plague the legal system. Many former Soviet-era judges and chief prosecutors were replaced in 1990 and 1991 during a parliamentary review, but an independent judiciary was still not realized. The system was being reviewed in 1995.

Data as of June 1995