The assertion that “the judges are timid”, meaning that they do not feel protected from the influence of the authorities and politicians, made by judge Livia Mitrofan, generated a reaction on the part of the ADEPT director Igor Boțan in IPN’s public debate “State of justice sector reform in the Republic of Moldova on the granting of the EU candidate status: Conception, practical actions, effects, general perception”.
Discussing the expert’s proposal to form associations with a frontman by the example of the Association “Force of Farmers”, the judge said she doesn’t think that the judges are timid at present. “There are vocal and critical judges, but I would change emphases, without diminishing the role of associations, as a judicial system is strong when the judge as a unit, as a personality is strong. This way, as units, they are representatives of the judicial power. If you have a position, state it not only within an association, but also individually or together with a group of persons”.
Livia Mitrofan explained that the professional ethnics require not speaking in public about the subjects they discuss daily, while the public criticism that is often dominated by interests made the judges avoid public attention.
However, the judiciary has supported the reform not only by statements, but also by active and consistent participation in working groups. “We always wanted to be heard, engaged in the reformation of the system. I took part in programs and spoke about the priorities and particularities of our work. But I don’t know why no one treated our statements as a sincere wish to have the system reformed,” stated the judge.
She noted there are now two associations of judges, an old one that is known by everyone, the Association of Judges, and a new one, called “Voice of Justice”, which is more vocal, according to her. “We can say that the Association of Judges has a history. But I expected that those judges who didn’t go over the five-year period (as the press reported, about 40 judges are waiting for the extension of their duties up to the age limit, e.n.) will give a news conference and will state their position. But they ultimately subscribed to the opinion of a judge who stated his stance on the decision of the President (Maia Sandu)”.
Representatives of the Association “Voice of Justice” intended to give a news conference on the extension of the term of judge after the initial period of five years, but this ultimately gave up for unknown reasons. Livia Mitrofan said their court (Centru Court) will have a reaction when all their mates would have passed the five-year probation period.