On 6 March 2019, over 50 investigative judges and relevant representatives of the National Administration of Penitentiaries of the Republic of Moldova participated in the workshop on the implementation of new domestic remedy to challenge conditions of detention in the Republic of Moldova.
This is a follow-up event organised under the Council of Europe Programme ”Promoting a human rights compliant justice system in the Republic of Moldova” in cooperation with the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in October 2018.
The Committee of Ministers has been examining the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights related to poor conditions of detention in Moldova since 2006. These judgments concern mainly the inhuman and/or degrading treatment suffered by the applicants on account of overcrowding and poor material conditions in establishments under the authority of the Ministries of Justice and of the Interior, the lack of access to adequate medical care in these facilities and the lack of an effective domestic remedy in all respects.
In Shishanov case (final on 15/12/2015), the European Court of Human Rights indicated that the authorities should put in place an effective preventive and compensatory remedy, or a combination of remedies, in respect of inadequate conditions of detention. Following the judgment in Shishanov v. the Republic of Moldova, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova adopted two laws (Law No. 163 of 20 July 2017 and Law No. 272 of 29 November 2018) introducing, among other things, a preventive and compensatory remedy to challenge conditions of detention. The provisions concerning the new remedy entered into force on 1 January 2019.
”The legislators hoped that the introduction of these remedies would coincide at the beginning of 2019 with the finalization of the construction of a new penitentiary facility in Chisinau. However, the construction of this new prison has been delayed for reasons beyond the Council of Europe’s control. The prison is now envisaged to be completed not earlier than 2021. The new legislation came into force and now it is the right time to discuss the situation in which the domestic courts and penitentiaries find themselves.”, mentioned in his opening speech Mr William Massolin, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Chisinau.
Mr Anatolie Munteanu, General State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova pointed out during the workshop: “Currently the efficiency of the new remedy is evident. The European Court of Human Rights has issued its first decision (case of Draniceru v. the Republic of Moldova) where it mentions that the new remedy, introduced in the national legal order, could be considered effective to challenge the poor conditions of detention. This decision makes us responsible for the qualitative application of the new remedy.”
During the workshop the discussions focused on the state of play in the implementation of the new preventive and compensatory remedies to challenge conditions of detention, procedural aspects related to the examination of complaints lodged by detainees as well as best practices of other Council of Europe member states that had similar experience, such as Romania and Bulgaria, represented at the event by Ms Daniela Simona Tatu, Lawyer at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights and Ms Mira Raycheva-Shekerdzhieva, Judge at the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria.
The Programme “Promoting a human rights compliant criminal justice system in the Republic of Moldova” is part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for the Republic of Moldova for 2017-2020, and is funded by the Norwegian government.