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Our Rule of Law Work in Moldova

Through past and current programming, ABA ROLI has sought to build stronger institutions, train local change makers to more effectively uphold the rule of law, and provide essential access to justice for vulnerable citizens. Among the most notable accomplishments in Moldova:

  • ABA ROLI supported the Ministry of Justice to implement the country’s 2011-2016 Strategy for Judicial Sector Reform and Action Plan, 

  • ABA ROLI assisted in the development of the Strategic Development Plan (2016-2020) for the Prosecution Service (PS), which enhanced the PS’s capacity to design and implement reform initiatives.

  • ABA ROLI has provided support to Moldova’s Prosecutor General Office (PGO) in undertaking significant internal reforms. This has led to engagement with leadership in a strategic development process. The work resulted in a comprehensive management and leadership training course institutionalized by the National Institute of Justice that was made available to chief prosecutors and deputy chief prosecutors. ABA ROLI’s programs have supported student legal clinics, a traveling-lawyer program, and specialized pro bono legal services.

  • ABA ROLI provides ongoing technical assistance and training to Moldovan anti-corruption agencies and their staff.

  • ABA ROLI supported the establishment of the Lawyers’ Training Center as part of the Union of Lawyers (Moldovan Bar Association) and assisted with the implementation of the initial training curriculum for legal apprentices.

  • Through training and professional development initiatives of young legal professionals, ABA ROLI contributed to the creation in 2019 of three new professional associations— Association of Prosecutors for Order and Justice and Association of Judges “Voice of Justice, and Association of Female Prosecutors in 2022.”

  • ABA ROLI facilitated the participation of Moldovan public and private universities in Jessup national competitions in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and the highest-ranking Moldovan team in the International Round (2022) and Global Round (2021) of the Jessup Competition  ABA ROLI also provided technical support to develop the capacity of law schools to prepare and coach teams of law students in the moot court competition, thus reaching more than 800 students from nine universities. 

  • ABA ROLI supported the Women and Girls Empowered (WAGE) global consortium funded by the U.S. State Department Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) to advance the status of women and girls. The Moldova initiative ran from 2020-2023 was a multi-disciplinary program aimed at building and supporting an alliance of women’s organizations to improve the enabling environment for Moldovan women engaged in economic activity. 

Supporting the Development of the Criminal Justice System

Under our Supporting Criminal Justice Reform and Strengthening Anticorruption Efforts in Moldova (CJ AC) program, ABA ROLI continues to support the development of the criminal justice system and actors in Moldova. ABA ROLI is partnering with the University of South Carolina Rule of Law Collaborative (USC) and the Central and Eastern European Law Initiative Institute (CEELI Institute) to achieve the program objectives.

Strengthening the Legal Education in Moldova 

Under our Legal Empowerment through Advancing Debate (LEAD) – Moldova program, ABA ROLI provides technical support, guidance, and training to Moldovan law schools. They will be able to develop their capacity to prepare and coach teams of law students in a well-known national and international moot court competition, which in turn will strengthen legal education in Moldova. ABA ROLI is working with local law faculties and student groups to set up the Jessup Moot Court Competition in Moldova. This program will see the creation of a Moldovan Moot Court Board that will lead the charge on organizing and conducting outreach for the national Jessup competition but also integrating mooting and public speaking into legal curricula more broadly with the goal of improving critical thinking, legal research capacities, and oral advocacy among Moldovan law students.

Reducing Barriers to Women’s Economic Empowerment in Moldova

Launched in October 2020, the multi-disciplinary program, Reducing Barriers to Women’s Economic Empowerment in Moldova works to strengthen the organizational capacities of women’s business associations (WBAs) and women’s civil society organizations (WCSOs) to represent and provide business development support and other services to Moldovan women and to foster collective action among WBAs and WCSOs to address legal and societal barriers to women’s participation in the economy. ABA ROLI and in partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) will continue implementing the program through June 2022.

Past Programs 

National Partnership for Equal Rights (2013-2016)

ABA ROLI and local LGBT NGO partner GENDERDOC-M led a successful LGBT advocacy program in Moldova, the “National Partnership for Equal Rights” (NPER) from 2013 – 2016, with funding from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL). The program advanced LGBT rights in Moldova through five priority areas: 1) improved enforcement against hate crimes through legislative advocacy and justice sector trainings; 2) educated and empowered the LGBT community to assert their rights; 3) built the capacity of GENDERDOC-M and other human rights NGOs; 4) galvanized political support and pursued strategic cases to create beneficial case precedent; and 5) improved public opinion on LGBT persons and combatted stigma and negative stereotypes.

Criminal Law Program (2012-2016) 

Implemented from September 24, 2012 to August 31, 2016, the ABA ROLI Criminal Law Program in Moldova supported the rule of law through reforms and improvements to the criminal justice sector with funding from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. The program worked to increase the competence and professionalism of the defense bar and supported judges, prosecutors, and investigators involved in the prosecution of crimes of corruption within the judiciary. This program saw ABA ROLI's move into a new strategic area of work, collaborating directly with the Prosecution Service in Moldova to improve its managerial effectiveness as a precursor to substantive reforms.

Support to Moldovan Criminal Justice Sector Program (2016-2020)

From September 26, 2016 to September 25, 2020, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) implemented the Support to Moldovan Criminal Justice Sector Program with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), with a goal to support continued development of the criminal justice system in Moldova. This program continued ABA ROLI’s decades-long work to harmonize efforts to improve the administration of criminal justice in Moldova.