Moldovan Criminal Procedure Amendment to Strengthen Defense Attorneys’ Role

October 2012

This month, amendments to Moldova’s Criminal Procedure Code, which grant defense attorneys the right to access evidence that can be used as ground for preventive or house arrest in criminal cases, went into effect. Drafted by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI)—in coordination with local civil society organizations and the Norwegian mission’s rule of law advisor—the amendments were adopted by Moldova’s Parliament in April.

The amendments alleviate defense attorneys’ disadvantaged position vis-à-vis prosecutors, and they will allow defense attorneys to play a bigger role in representing their clients. The amendments will also help ensure defendants’ right to fair trial, enabling defense attorneys to more easily challenge pre-trial detentions, which can lead to other human rights violations such as overcrowding and ill-treatment in detention centers and coerced confessions. Furthermore, the amendments will help create a legal framework compliant with international standards and norms guaranteeing equal rights.

Supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, ABA ROLI also trains Moldova’s criminal defense attorneys in practical legal skills and human rights, supports legislative reforms and works to develop the capacity of legal institutions and organizations.

To learn more about our work in Moldova, contact the ABA rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.

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