UPDATE: Legal Research in Moldova
By Ecaterina Eriju and Elena Croitor
Ecaterina Erjiu holds the LLM degree from Saint Louis University (Saint Louis, USA) and worked as a lecturer at the Law Department of Moldova State University (2004-2008).
Elena Croitor holds a Ph.D. of Law and is a former lecturer at the Law Department of Moldova State University (2005-2019).
Published November/December 2020
(Previously updated by Mariana Harjevschi and Svetlana Andritchi in February 2006; by Mriana Harjeschi in March 2010; and by Mariana Harjevschi and Ecaterina Eriju in April 2012)
Table of Contents
- 1. Moldovan Legal System
- 2. The Historical Roots of the Moldovan Legal System
- 3. Moldovan Constitution and Constitutional Jurisdiction
- 4. The Executive Power
- 4.1. The President
- 4.2. Government
- 5. The Legislative Power
- 6. The Judicial Power
- 6.1. Supreme Court
- 6.2. Courts of Appeal
- 6.3. First instance Courts
- 6.4. The Prosecutor’s Office
- 7. Other Authorities
- 8. Sources of Law
- 8.1. Primary Sources
- 8.1.1. Codes
- 8.1.2. Commentaries
- 8.1.3. Court Reports
- 8.1.4. International Treaties
- 8.2. Secondary Sources
- 8.2.1. Law Reviews
- 8.2.2. Indexes
- 8.1. Primary Sources
- 9. Legal Education
- 10. Features of the Moldovan Legal Information System
- 11. Legal Publishing Activity
- 12. Law Libraries
- 12.1. Law Librarians
- 13. Access to Legal Information Electronically
1. Moldovan Legal System
The Moldovan Legal system, as any legal system, presents a dynamic and very complex body of legal materials and institutions. While a detailed examination of the Moldovan legal system would require more focus on its historical roots and development as well as more attention to particular regulations and legal institutions, the purpose of this article is to provide a short overview of the main legal institutions and regulations. Our goal is to provide initial information about the Moldovan legal system which can efficiently help in legal research. The following issues are to be touched upon: the structure of the government (main authorities and separation of powers), the constitutional court and the judicial system, the classification of law sources and legal education. It should be noted that the article focuses selectively on legal information systems with no pretension of being exhaustive.
The electronic legal environment in Moldova has made significant progress in the last decade, although its development is a continuous process. And even though an open-access legal database is available, printed resources are still reliable and accurate sources for performing legal research. The present article emphasizes the primary legal documents and provides an insight into secondary legal materials. All citations include legal materials, written in Romanian and Russian, as no authorized translations in foreign languages are publicly available.
2. The Historical Roots of the Moldovan Legal System
Historically, the Moldovan legal system has been categorized as a legal system of the civil law family. Geographic reasons also lead one to note that Moldova’s legal system should fall within the civil law family, mixed with Germanic features. However, during Soviet times the Moldovan legal system was adjusted to the Soviet Union’s legal norms, representing an overlap of the Soviet and Continental legal systems. Beginning with 1990, the legal system was reformed in order to harmonize it, following the national historical traditions and the European legal models.
On July 28, 1994, the Moldovan Parliament approved a new Constitution, declaring Moldova a Republic and annunciating its enduring neutrality. The document proclaimed the Republic of Moldova as an independent state and pronounced its commitment to democracy. Moreover, in 2003, the new Moldovan Civil Code, Penal Code, Code of Civil Procedure, and Code of Criminal Procedure were adopted, and those dated in Soviet times were repealed. Accordingly, the entire legal system underwent major changes.
Currently, the judicial system is divided into three branches: the ordinary Courts, the Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Justice. Correspondingly, appeals and recourses are examined by the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Justice. In previous years, the Supreme Court of Justice selectively examined only the judicial cases which went through a complex formal procedure. Nowadays, the number of cases that can potentially be examined by the Supreme Court of Justice has significantly increased. This tremendously changed and expanded the petitioner’s rights.
3. Moldovan Constitution and Constitutional Jurisdiction
The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova is the supreme law for the system of Moldovan legislation. No laws, other legal acts, or regulations in contradiction with the provisions of the Constitution may have any legal power. Such legal hierarchy assumes the subordination of normative acts of a lower level to normative acts of a higher level and, ultimately, to the Constitution as the normative act of the highest legal power. All constitutional amendments have to pass a prolonged and specifically defined legislative process, the Constitution’s supremacy being guaranteed by the Constitutional Court.
Constitutia Republicii Moldova [The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova] was adopted on July 29th, 1994 and published in the 1st Monitorul Oficial (Official Gazette), on August 12, 1994. The latest update of the Constitution was published in Monitorul Oficial 467-479 on 12/14/2018.
The Constitutional Court is the sole and highest authority of constitutional jurisdiction in Moldova. It is a unique judicial body, independent from the executive, legislative and judiciary powers. It deals exclusively with constitutionality issues of the law (the judicial review). The Constitutional Court consists of six judges nominated for a six-year term. Two judges are appointed by the Parliament, two by the Government, and two by the Supreme Council of Magistracy.
4. The Executive Power
4.1. The President
The President of the Republic of Moldova is the representative of the executive power with basic supervisory and guarantor functions. The President is directly elected by the citizens of the Republic of Moldova for a four-year term and is eligible for one subsequent re-election. In relation to the legislative branch of government, his powers include the promulgation of laws and the suspension of the promulgation, when a re-examination of the law is requested. Also, the President, following consultations with parliamentary fractions, is responsible for the nomination of the Prime Minister. Based on a vote of confidence, granted by the Parliament to the Prime Minister and their program, the President of the Republic of Moldova appoints the Government.
Further roles include the power to conduct negotiations and conclude international treaties on behalf of the Republic of Moldova, accrediting official representatives of Moldova in other countries, and decreeing diplomatic missions abroad, among others. In relation to the judicial branch, the main function of the President is to appoint the judges, following the proposal of the Supreme Council of Magistracy.
The President of the Republic of Moldova is elected by freely expressed, universal, equal, direct, and secret suffrage. The candidate obtaining at least half the votes cast in the presidential election shall be proclaimed as the new President. If, after the first ballot no candidate will have obtained the above-mentioned majority of votes, a second ballot shall be held to choose from the two candidates with the most votes. On condition that the number of the votes cast for him/her is bigger than the number of the votes cast against him/her, the candidate obtaining most of the votes in the second ballot shall be proclaimed as the new President.
In addition to the President, the executive authority is represented by the Government (the Cabinet of Ministers). The Government is the central authority of the executive branch. The role of the Government is to carry out the domestic and foreign policy of the State and to apply general control over the work of public administration. The Government consists of a Prime Minister, a first vice-prime-minister, vice-prime-ministers, of ministries and other members as determined by organic law. The President of the Republic of Moldova, after consulting parliamentary factions designates a nominee for the post of Prime Minister. The candidate for the prime minister post, within 15 days, shall request the Parliament’s vote of confidence for their program of activity (manifesto) and the structure of the Government. The President of the Republic of Moldova, based on the vote of confidence expressed by Parliament, will appoint the Government. The Government shall enter into the exercise of its powers on the very day of taking the oath by its members before the President of the Republic of Moldova.
The following ministries represent the state’s specialized agencies: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection.
5. The Legislative Power
The Moldovan Parliament is a unicameral assembly, considered the supreme representative authority of the people and the sole legislative body of the state. It consists of 101 members. The members of the Parliament are elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term. The Parliament may also meet in extraordinary or special sessions at the specific request of the President of the Republic of Moldova, of the President of Parliament or a third of its members.
Parliamentary leadership consists of a chair and several deputy chairs elected by the members of Parliament. The work of Parliament is carried out by eleven permanent committees, which have purview in the following areas: public administration; public finance control, agriculture and food industry; culture, education, research, youth, sport, and mass media; human rights and interethnic relations; economy, budget, and finance; law, appointments, and immunities; environment and regional development; foreign policy and European integration; social protection, health, and family; national security, defense, and public order.
The structure, organization, and functioning of the Parliament are set out by its Internal Rules. The Moldovan Parliament consists of a permanent bureau, parliamentary fractions and commissions sharing the following powers: to pass laws, decisions and motions; to declare the holding of referendums; to provide legislative interpretations and ensure the legislative unity of regulations throughout the country; to approve the main directions of the state’s internal and external policy; to approve the state’s military doctrine; to exercise parliamentary control over executive power in the ways and within the limits provided for by the Constitution; to ratify, denounce, suspend and abrogate the action of the international treaties concluded by the Republic of Moldova; to approve and control the national budget; to supervise and control the allocation of state loans, the aid granted to foreign countries, as well as to elect and nominate state officials as foreseen by law; to approve the orders, medals and awards of the Republic of Moldova; to declare partial or general mobilization of the armed forces; to declare the state of national emergency, martial law, and war; to initiate investigations and hearings concerning any matters touching upon the interests of society, to suspend the activity of local institutions of public administration under the law, etc.
6. The Judicial Power
6.1. Supreme Court
The judicial authority in Moldova is exercised through the court system, regulated by the Constitution and specific laws. According to the actual legislation on the judicial system, justice is carried out by the following judicial institutions: the Supreme Court of Justice, the Courts of Appeal, and the first-instance Courts. In compliance with the law, for separate categories of proceedings, specialized courts (economic, military, etc.) may operate.
The Supreme Court of Justice is the highest court of law which, besides its direct jurisdictional functions, ensures the correct and unitary implementation of the law by all courts of law in Moldova. The organization and functioning of the Supreme Court of Justice are regulated by a special Law on the Supreme Court of Justice.
The official periodical published by the Supreme Court of Justice is The Supreme Court Bulletin (Buletinul Curtii Supreme), which ordinarily appears every month.
6.2. Courts of Appeal
The Courts of Appeal examine all the appeals and the majority of ordinary recourses in both civil and criminal cases. For the appeals and first-degree recourses the Courts of Appeal are the highest jurisdiction instance. However, the Courts of Appeals may serve as first instance courts for certain cases, as provided by law.
6.3. First Instance Courts
The first instance Courts operate in the sectors (catchment areas) established by the Parliament under the recommendations of the Supreme Council of Magistracy. The first instance courts are ordinary courts that have a general jurisdiction over all cases unless otherwise is provided by law.
On April 1st, 2017, the two existing specialized courts, the Military Court and the District Commercial Court, have ceased to operate. According to a new law, specialized judges are to replace the previous specialized courts of law. Based on the same law, the Supreme Council of Magistracy has adopted the decision nr. 555/25 of 11/27/2018 on the specialization of the Chisinau district court offices in insolvency, civil, criminal, contraventions, the activity of the criminal investigation judge, and legal charges matters. Currently, this is the only specialized court in the Republic of Moldova.
6.4. The Prosecutor’s Office
The Prosecutor's Office is an autonomous public institution, within the judiciary, which in criminal proceedings and other procedures determined by law, contributes towards the respect for the rule of law, the realization of justice, and the protection of the person’s and society ‘s legal rights and interests. The Prosecutor's Office represents an organic system, consisting of the General Prosecutor’s Office, specialized prosecutor’s offices, and territorial prosecutor’s offices.
7. Other Authorities
The Information and Security Service is a governmental agency responsible for safeguarding the state’s security. It is a centralized state authority subjected to parliamentary control. The Information and Security Service activity is coordinated by the President of the Republic of Moldova, within the limits provided by the law. Upon request, the Information and Security Service is bound to present activity reports to the President of the Republic of Moldova, to the Government, and the Parliament.
The Police is a specialized public institution, subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, whose mission is to protect the persons’ fundamental rights and freedoms by maintaining, ensuring, and restoring the public order and safety, and by preventing, investigating and uncovering the crimes and contraventions.
The Court of Accounts is the supreme audit institution of the Republic of Moldova, empowered to control the formation, administration, and use of the financial public resources and of the public patrimony. It is composed of seven members. The President of the Court of Accounts is appointed by the Parliament for a five-year term, based on the proposal submitted by the President of Parliament. Annually, the Court of Accounts submits to the Parliament the report on the administration and utilization of the financial public resources. The report shall present, in a generalized, manner the analysis of the conclusions coming from all audit activities performed throughout the preceding year.
8. Sources of Law
8.1. Primary Sources
Statutory laws are created by the Parliament, which is the sole (unicameral) body endowed with the powers to pass them. The law system is a hierarchic structure, with the Constitution - at the top, followed by the codes, organic and ordinary laws, and with the executive power regulatory acts - at the bottom. According to their importance and legal force, the laws are divided into three categories, as follows: the constitutional laws, the organic and ordinary laws.
During 1960-1990 laws and other legal acts were published in an official journal called Vestile Sovietului Suprem RSS Moldovenesti, issued by the supreme legislative authority Sovietul Suprem. After Moldova proclaimed its independence, all Moldova’s laws started to be published in Monitorul Parlamentului Republicii Moldova (since 1991 through July 1994). From August 1994 to the present day, the official gazette became Monitorul Oficial al Republicii Moldova (The Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova), which is currently the main source of all legislative documents and is considered the major official publication. The Official Gazette is published in two parallel issues (Moldovan and Russian versions) by State Informational Agency - Moldpress and begins its numbering from August 1994. Issues are published on the base of passing a certain amount of enforced laws (e.g. weekly). The following structure is characteristic for all Official Gazette issues, even if it differs from one issue to another, according to the legislation that was enacted:
- Part I - Legi, hotariri ale Parlamentului Republicii Moldova, decrete ale Presedintelui Republicii Moldova [Laws, Decisions of Parliament and Presidential Decrees]. Part I may also include the Constitutional Court’s and Court of Accounts’ decisions.
- Part II – Hotariri ale Guvernului Republicii Moldova [Decisions of the Government of the Republic of Moldova]. This section also includes the documents adopted by the Central Electoral Commission.
- Part III – Acte normative ale ministerelor, departamentelor si ale Bancii Nationale [Acts of ministries, departments, and acts ofNational Bank of Moldova]. It also includes the acts of different state agencies, such as theInformation and Security Service, National Commission for Financial Markets, the Competition Council, etc.
- Part IV – Avize functii publice vacante. Publicatii ale agentilor economici [Public service vacancy announcements. Publications of Business Agents]
- Part V – Pierderi de documente [Lost documents].
The entire law system is composed of the legal norms included in the enactments adopted by the Parliament. The enactments refer to laws (the three types of laws mentioned above) but also regulatory documents that are adopted by other entities rather than the Parliament. Such pieces of legislation can only be subordinate to laws.
Codification, in the civil law system, is a complex systematization of the unitary concept legal norms. It usually represents the integration, in a unitary system, of the most important norms from the same area of the legal system. All codes are published initially in the Official Gazette, with all updates continuing to be included, correspondingly, in later editions. Government agencies, state organizations or private companies can as well print the codes as separate publications. However, it is a must that those publications make references to the legal act published in the Official Gazette.
The following codes are currently applicable in the Republic of Moldova:
- Penal Code:Codul Penal al RM. Legea RM 985-XV from 04/18/2002. In: Monitorul Oficial, 128-129/1012 published on 09/13/2002. Last revision: 03/12/2020.
- Civil Code: Codul Civil al RM. Legea RM 1107-XV from 06/06/2002. In: Monitorul Oficial, 82-86/661 published on 06/ 22/2002. Last revision: 12/19/2019.
- Code of Criminal Procedure: Codul de Procedura Penala al RM. Legea RM 122-XV from 03/14/2003. In: Monitorul Oficial 104-110/447 published on 06/07/2003. Last revision: 02/06/2020.
- Code of Civil Procedure: Codul de Procedura Civila al RM. Legea RM 225-XV from 05/30/2003. In: Monitorul Oficial 111-115/451 published on 06/12/2003. Last revision: 03/19/2019.
- Code of Land Use: Codul Funciar al RM. Legea RM nr.828-XII from 12/25/.199125.12. In: Monitorul Oficial nr.107/817 published 09/04/2001. Last revision: 11/23/2018.
- Code of Subsoil: Codul Subsolului al RM, Legea RM nr.3-XVI from 02/02/2009. In: Monitorul Oficial nr.75-77/197 published on 04/17/2009. Last revision: 07/27/2018.
- Code of Constitutional Jurisdiction:
- Codul jurisdictiei constitutionale al RM. Legea RM 502-XIII from 06/16/1995. In: Monitorul Oficial 53-54/597 from 09/28/.1995. Last revision: 02/28/2020.
- Code of Forestry: Codul silvic al RM, Legea RM 887-XIII from 06/21/1996. In: Monitorul Oficial 4-5/36 from 16.01.1997. Last revision: 09/21/2017.
- Code of Income Tax: Codul Fiscal al RM. Legea RM 1163-XIII from 04/24/1997. In: Monitorul Oficial, Special Edition published on 08.02.2007. Last revision: 04/23/2020.
- Code of Elections: Codul electoral al RM. Legea RM 1381-XIII from 11/21/1997. In: Monitorul Oficial 81/667 from 08.12.1997. Last revision: 02/28/2020.
- Code of Commercial Navy: Legea RM 599-XIV pentru aprobarea Codului navigatiei maritime comerciale, from 09/30/1999. In: Monitorul Oficial 1-4/2 from 11/23/2011. Last revision: 07/27/2018.
- Customs Code: Codul vamal al RM. Legea RM 1149-XIV, from 07/20/.2000. In: Monitorul Oficial 160-162/1201 from 12/23/2000 Last revision: 04/23/2020.
- Family Code: Codul Familiei al RM. Legea RM 1316-XIV, from 26.10.2000. In: Monitorul Oficial 47-48/210 from 04/26/2001 Last revision: 11/15/2018.
- Labor Code: Codul Muncii al RM. Legea RM 154-XV from 03/28/2003. In: Monitorul Oficial 159-162/648 from 07/29/2003 Last revision: 02/04/2020
- Code of Railway Transportation: Codul transportului feroviar al RM. Legea RM 309-XV, from 07/17/2003. In: Monitorul Oficial 226-228/892 from 11/14/2003. Last revision: 05/24/2018.
- Code of Road Transportation: Codul transporturilor rutiere. Legea RM, nr. 150 from 07/17/2014. In: Monitorul Oficial 247-248 from 08/15/2014. Last revision: 11/29/2018.
- Code of Science and Innovation: Codul cu privire la stiinta si inovare al RM. Legea RM 259-XV, from 07/15/2004. In: Monitorul Oficial 125-129/663 from 07/30/2004. Last revision: 11/23/2018.
- Code of Execution: Codul de executare al RM. Legea RM 443-XV from 24.12.2004. In: Monitorul Oficial nr.214-220/704 republished on 11/05/2010. Last revision: 10/08/2019.
- Contraventions Code: Codul Contraventional al RM, Legea RM.218-XVI from 24.10.2008. In Monitorul Oficial nr.3-6/15 published on 01/16/2009. Last revision: 03/12/2020.
- Code of Audiovisual Media Services: Codul serviciilor media audiovizuale al RM, Legea RM 174, from 11/08/2018. In: Monitorul Oficial nr.462-466, published on 12/12/2018. Last revision: 12/19/2019.
- Code of Education: Codul educatiei al RM. Legea RM 152, from 07/17/2014. In: Monitorul Oficial nr. 319-324 published on 10/24/.2014. Last revision: 11/30/2018.
- Code of Civil Aviation: Codul aerian al Republicii Moldova. Legea RM 301, from 12/21/2017. In: Monitorul Oficial nr. 95-104, published on 03/23/2018. Last revision: 07/27/.2018.
- Constitutional Law Constitutia Republicii Moldova: comentata articol cu articol: Vol. 1: Titlul I Principii generale. (2000). Chisinau: CIVITAS.
- Constitutia Republicii Moldova: comentariu. (2012). Chisinau: Arc.
- Codul Penal: Comentat si adonotat (2009). Chisinau: Sarmis.
- Codul penal al Republicii Moldova. Comentariu (2009). Chisinau: Reclama.
- Codul de procedura penala: Comentariu (2005). Chisinau: Cartier juridic.
- Codul de procedura penala. Comentariu aplicativ (2016). Chisinau: Cartea Juridica.
- Civil Code Comentariul Codului civil al Republicii Moldova. Vol. I. (2005) Chisinau. Editura Arc.
- Comentariul Codului civil al Republicii Moldova. Vol. II (2006) Chisinau. Editura Arc.
- Comentariu științifico-practic la Codul Muncii al Republicii Moldova. Vol. I (2010). Chisinau: Dreptul muncii.
- Comentariu științifico-practic la Codul Muncii al Republicii Moldova. Vol. II (2010). Chisinau: Dreptul muncii.
- Comentariu științifico-practic la Codul Muncii al Republicii Moldova. Vol. III (2010). Chisinau: Dreptul muncii.
8.1.3. Court Reports
The Moldovan legal system, similar to other civil law countries, does not recognize legal precedent as stare decisis. However, currently, the court reports are given more and more weight in the process of applying the legal rules, as it ensures a more uniform and prudent approach to the implementation of the national law.
Moreover, in 2012, an amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code has implemented a new procedural remedy - recourse in the interest of the law. It represents an extraordinary appeal, judged by the Supreme Court of Justice, to ensure uniform application of legal norms, previously differently interpreted by the inferior courts of law. The Supreme Court of Justice’s decision in these cases is beyond recall and does not influence on the previously adopted judgments.
188.8.131.52. Deciziile Curtii Constitutionale [Constitutional Court Decisions]
The Constitutional Court used to annually publish the “Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii" (Constitutional Court: Rulings and decisions) - a collection of judgments on the interpretation of the Constitution and the constitutionality of the inferior laws. The first volume was issued in 1998, with the reports commencing officially in 1995, February 23rd, when the Constitutional Court was founded. Court reports are compilations of judicially decided cases, the decisions, and reports on which were published simultaneously or previously in the Official Gazette. The cases are arranged according to court competencies or decisions’ significance. Below are the published compendia of Constitutional Court judgments and decisions:
- Tanase, Alexandru (2017). Compendiu al jurisprudentei Curtii Constitutionale a Republicii Moldova, (1995 -2017). Romania: Wolters Kluwer
- Pulbere, Dumitru (2011). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotarari si decizii2010. Chisinau: Reclama
- Pulbere, Dumitru (2010). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotarari si decizii 2009. Chisinau: Reclama
- Pulbere, Dumitru (2009). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotarari si decizii 2008. Chisinau: ReclamaPulbere, Dumitru (2008).Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotarari si decizii 2007. Chisinau: Bons Offices
- Puscas, Victor (2007). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii 2006. Chisinau: Cartdidact
- Puscas, Victor (2006). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii 2005. Chisinau: Balacron
- Rusu, V. (Ed.) (2005). CurteaConstitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii 2004. Chisinau: Reclama
- Puscas, V. (Ed.) (2004). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii 2003. Chisinau: Museum
- Rusu, V. (2003) Curtea Constitutionala: culegere de hotariri si decizii 2002. Chisinau: Museum.
- Lozovanu C. (Ed.) (2002). CurteaConstitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii 2001. Chisinau: Cartier juridic
- Lozovanu, Constantin (Ed.) (2001). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii 2000. Chisinau: Tipografia Centrala
- Lozovanu C. (Ed.) (2001). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii 1999 / resp. C. Lozovanu, L. Popa. - Chisinau: Tipografia Centrala.
- Susarenco, Gheorghe (Ed.) (1999). Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotariri si decizii1995 – 1998. Chisinau: Garuda Art
- Lozovanu, Constantin (1997) Curtea Constitutionala: Culegere de hotarari si decizii, 1995-1996. – Chisinau: Moldpress
All the judgments and decisions of the Constitutional Court are also available online.
184.108.40.206. Deciziile Curtii Supreme de Justitie [Supreme Court of Justice Decisions]
“The Supreme Court of Justice Decisions” was an annual publication consisting of the most important judgments given by the Supreme Court of Justice. As a general rule, the decisions on lawsuits and those regarding the criminal cases were published separately. The following compendia were issued between 1999 and 2013:
- Poalelungi, Mihai (Ed.) (2013). Jurisprudenta Curtii Supreme de Justitie (2012). Chisinau: S.n.
- Gurschi, Consatntin (Ed.) (2012). Jurisprudenta Curtii Supreme de Justitie in materie penala (2008-2010). Chisinau: Tipogr. Centrala.Poalelungi, Mihai (Ed.) (2009). Culegere de practica judiciara a Colegiului civil si de contencios administrative al Curtii Supreme de Justitie (2008). Chisinau: Cartier
- Poalelungi, Mihai (Ed.) (2008). Culegere de practica judiciara a Colegiului civil si de contencios administrativ al Curtii Supreme de Justitie (2007). Chisinau. Cartier
- Poalelungi, Mihai (Ed.) (2007). Culegere de practica judiciara a Colegiului civil si de contencios administrativ al Curtii Supreme de Justitie (2005-2006). Chisinau. Cartier
- Sterbet, Valeria (Ed.) (2006). Curtea Suprema de Justitie. Hotariri explicative (oct. 2003-dec.2005). Chisinau. Cartier
- Sterbet, Valeria (Ed.) (2002). Culegere de hotariri ale Plenului Curtii de Justitie (mai 1974 - iulie 2002). Chisinau. Tipografia Centrala [It contains 24 decisions of the Supreme Court from May, 1974 – March, 1996 and 43 decisions the Supreme Court of Justice from December, 1996 – July, 2002]
- Puscas, Victor (Ed.) (2000). Sinteza practicii judiciare (1989-1999). Chisinau: Tipografia Centrala [It includes selective Civil and Criminal decisions of the Court from January 1989 through August 1996, and September 1996 through December 1999
The Supreme Court of Justice decisions on criminal cases and lawsuits are available online.
220.127.116.11. Deciziile Curtii de Apel [Court of Appeal Decisions]
In 2003, according to the Law 191-XV of 05/08/2003, the judicial system was reorganized, the Court of Appeal (considered republican or national) was dissolved, and five new territorial courts were institutionalized – Chisinau Court of Appeal, Balti Court of Appeal, Bender Court of Appeal, Cahul Court of Appeal, Comrat Court of Appeal, and the specialized Curtea de Apel economica (Economic Court of Appeal). In 2012 the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova dissolved the Economic Court of Appeal, and in 2014 a similar decision was taken for the Bender Court of Appeal. No publications of the Courts of Appeal decisions have been issued after 2002. Hence, these are the published compendia of the Court of Appeal judgments:
- Curtea de Apel: culegere de practica judiciara 2001-2002 (2002) Chisinau: Cartier juridic
- Curtea de Apel: Culegere de practica judiciara 2000-2001 (2002) Chisinau: Cartier juridic
- Curtea de Apel: culegere de practica judiciara (Aprilie 1999-Mai 2000) (2000). Chisinau: Asociatia Judecatorilor din Republica Moldova: Centrul de drept
- Curtea de Apel: culegere de practica judiciara (August 1996-Aprilie 1999) (1999). Chisinau: Garuda Art
The judgments and decisions adopted by the Chisinau Court of Appeal, Balti Court of Appeal, Cahul Court of Appeal, and Comrat Court of Appeal are available online.
18.104.22.168. Resolutions and Decisions of the ECHR in Moldovan Law Cases
The harmonizing process of national legislation with European and international human rights standards has started when Moldova joined the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). This is when the ECHR case law, and particularly the Moldovan cases, begun to directly influence the judicial process in the Republic of Moldova.
The Government’s Agent is represents Moldova’s interest before the European Court of Human Rights. The Government’s Agent is appointed and dismissed by the Government based on the proposal made by the Minister of Justice. The Lawyers for Human Rights is a NGO whose mission is to promote international standards on human rights in Moldova, being orientated mainly towards the proper implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The following printed publications compile the resolutions and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Moldovan cases:
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii Europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. I. 12 septembrie 1997 - 30 iunie 2004 (2007). Chisinau: Cartier Juridic.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii Europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. II. 1 iulie iulie 2004 - 31 decembrie 2004 (2007). Chisinau: Cartier Juridic.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii Europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. III. 1 ianuarie 2005 - 31 decembrie 2004 (2007) Chisinau: Cartier Juridic.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii Europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. IV. 1 ianuarie 2006 - 31 decembrie 2006 (2007). Chisinau: Cartier Juridic.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii Europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. V. 1 ianuarie 2007 - 30 iunie 2007 (2009). Chisinau: Cartier Juridic.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii Europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. VI. 1 iulie 2007 - 31 decembrie 2007 (2009). Chisinau: Cartier Juridic.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii Europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. VII. 1 ianuarie 2008 - 30 iunie 2008 (2009). Chisinau: Cartier Juridic.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti Vol. VIII. 1 iulie 2008 – 31 decembrie 2008 (2009). Chisinau: Gunivas.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti Vol. IX 1 ianuarie 2009 – 30 iunie 2009 (2009). Chisinau: Gunivas.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. X. 1 iulie 2009 – 31 decembrie 2009 (2012). Chisinau: Gunivas.
- Hotaririle si deciziile Curtii europene a drepturilor omului in cauzele moldovenesti. Vol. XI. 1 ianuarie 2010-31 decembrie 2010 (2012). Chisinau: Gunivas.
8.1.4. International Treaties
“Tratate internationale la care Republica Moldova este parte” is the official publication that includes all treaties that Moldova has ratified. Since 1990 to the present day, the publication, which founders are the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, has issued 43 volumes. All 43 volumes of the publication were officially printed by the MoldPress Agency. All the international and bilateral treaties signed and ratified by the Republic of Moldova are also available online, on the official Ministry of Justice website (the State Register of Legal Acts web page).
8.2. Secondary Sources
8.2.1. Law Reviews
Typically, the law schools, the State Departments, the private agencies and non-governmental organizations are the major institutions that publish law reviews. The most significant distinctions between them are in content, scope, and target audience. Based on the aforementioned criteria, in Moldova there are six categories of law reviews:
- Academic publications, similar to peer reviews, are usually published by universities and called Anale stiintifice [Scientific Annals]. One distinctive feature of this category is the editors’ (professors and students) control over the editorial and policy management (ex. Studia Universitatis. Seria Stiinte sociale etc.). These publications are generally printed annually with very limited circulation (around 100 copies), as the parent institution finances them. This category can also be subdivided into student-edited and faculty-edited law reviews (ex. Symposia Profesorum or Symposia Studentum by the Free International University of Moldova). According to the object of the scientific investigation, the academic publications may be dedicated to private and public law issues: e.g. Analele stiintifice ale Academiei, Stefan cel Mare a Ministerului Afacerilor Interne a Republicii Moldova. Seria Drept Privat).
- Doctrinal legal journals publish only scientific articles, with a thorough and in-depth analysis of complex legal subjects, arguing legal solutions to specific problems of law. This category usually emphasizes the current situation in the lawmaking and law application process, making use of all available sources to underlie the author’s position. The footnotes and endnotes are a must for such a category of publications. Legal bulletins are regularly issued for the public by state departments or other legal authorities, in order to keep the society updated with the relevant legal, judicial and other official information (i.e.. Buletinul Curtii Supreme de Justitie, Buletinul Consiliului National al Magistraturii, etc); Legal publications that focus on legal breaking news (i.e. Legea si Viata)
- Specialized reviews are dedicated to one or more strictly related law fields (ex. Revista de Stiinte Penale [Review of Criminal Science], Dreptul Muncii [Review on Labor Law], Justitia Constitutionala [The Constitutional Justice].
- Interdisciplinary journals publish articles and studies based on complex scientific matters from different theoretical fields. The following publications are considered the most important interdisciplinary journals: Revista de Filosofie si Drept and Law and Politology.
The online legal journals are yet to be considered an innovation for Moldova’s legal publishing activity. Aside from the reviews that have both printed and online versions, there is one legal journal that is exclusively published online, although it has also started a printed review. The Juridice Moldova website has a permanently renewed collection of legal publications on various matters, authored by scholars, students, Ph.D. candidates, professors, and practitioners. It’s a complex database of legal publications dedicated to subjects that approach the most important and actual problems in the law field.
The following reviews can be used while performing legal research (arranged according to Romanian language alphabet):
- “Studia Universitatis. Seria Stiinte sociale”(previously titled “Analele stiintifice ale Universitatii de Stat din Moldova”[Scientific Review of the State Moldova University])was first issued by the Law Department of Moldova State University in 1946. It is usually published on an annual basis. The legal matters are included in the Social and Humanities Sciences section (Seria Stiinte socioumanistice). The journal publishes articles presented by professors, scholars, and even articles written by doctrinaires and practitioners in collaboration. The Studia Universitatis Moldaviae website offers the online version of the review.
- “Analele stiintifice ale Universitatii de Stat din Moldova. Lucrari studentesti” [Scientific Review of the State Moldova University: Student Works]was first published by Moldova State University in 1997. It is also an annual publication. Articles on legal matters approach subjects that represent the major field of students’ academic program and are included in the Law Section of the journal. The scientific articles are written mainly by the students but under the supervision of their academic advisors.
- “Analele stiintifice, Academia Ministerului Afacerilor Interne al Republicii Moldova”[Scientific Review of the Ministry of Internal Affairs]is published annually by the Law School of the Police Academy. This law journal has a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach and addresses a full range of legal issues in the fields of public and private law. The publishing represents a groundbreaking approach to scholarly publications at this institution. The school publishes one general title, comprising generic approach works, and two issues, dedicated respectively to public and private law branches. The Ministry of Interior Academy website has placed a series of electronic versions of the review.
- “Analele Universitatii Libere Internationale din Moldova” [Scientific Review of Moldova International University] was launched in 1996 by the parent institution – the Free International University of Moldova. It is an annual publication comprising works of professors and M.A./Ph.D. students. Articles on all legal topics are considered, including national private and public law, as well as international law. The journal has two separately published sections: Symposia Profesorum and Symposia Studentium. Symposia Profesorum encompasses peer review articles presented by professors and university honor members from the law school. Symposia Studentium publishes the articles presented by master’s degree students from the law school.
- “Avocatul poporului” [People’s Attorney], renamed Avocatul [The lawyer], has been continuously published since 1991 by the Attorneys Union of the Republic of Moldova. The journal focuses on the practical approach of the current legal provisions and it’s orientated towards the attorney’s practice and its issues. Occasionally, foreign legal experts can contribute with articles and commentaries.
- “Buletinul Curtii Supreme de Justitie” [Bulletin of the Supreme Court of Justice] is a (usually) monthly issue, published by the Ministry of Justice since 1996 in Romanian and Russian. It appears as a supplement to the Legea si viata review. The Bulletin provides commentaries and explanations of the Supreme Court of Justice decisions and may randomly include selected examples of civil and criminal cases resolved by the Supreme Court of Justice. It can also present the relevant European Court of Justice case law. The Bulletin can as well provide references to national and international literature that concerns the court practices.
- “Dreptul muncii” [Review of Labor Law] is a monthly peer-reviewed legal journal published in Romanian and Russian since 2006 that offers various viewpoints over labor law and its application.
- “Intellectus”is thelaw review that treats intellectual property issues, pursued by researchers from various fields of science and technology specialists. It was issued in 1995 by the State Agency on Intellectual Property and currently has a quarterly periodicity.
- “Jurnalul Juridic National: Teorie si pratica” [National Law Journal: Theory and Practice]is a practical and scientific review published by the Institute for Penal Studies and Applied Criminology since 2013. It appears periodically, 6 per year, and is included in the Index Copernicus International database. The Journal is open to international publication; hence, the majority of the articles are presented in English, Ukrainian or Russian. The archived version of the reviews can be found on the Jurnalul Juridic National official website.
- “Justitia Constitutionala” [The Constitutional Justice] is the scientific publication specialized mainly in constitutional law. It is published by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova. The first issue dates 2003, being a monthly supplement of the Legea si viata review.
- “Law and Politology”is a peer-reviewed scientific journal dedicated to justice and political development. The review was founded in 2007 by the Academy of Science of Moldova, Gelati Academy of Science (Georgia), and the Institute on Human Rights of the National Academy of Science of Azerbaijan. It is an open-access journal with 4 issues per year, published in Romanian, Russian and English.
- “Mesagerul Ministerului Muncii si Protectiei Sociale” [Bulletin of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security], renamed “Mesagerul Ministerului Sanatatii, Muncii si Protectiei Sociale” [Bulletin of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Security], is the review that presents theoretical explanations and commentaries on the laws concerning the areas of labor and social security. It is a monthly supplement of the Legea si viata review.
- “Monitorul Fiscal” [Tax Monitor]is the State Tax Service review that publishes updated legislation and case law referring to tax issues. The Tax Monitor also presents explanations on the laws concerning business areas.
- “Reforma Penala”[The Penal Reform], since 2002, is a publication of the Institute for Penal Reform that addresses the most important issues regarding the penal reform and its implementation.
- “Revista de Drept de Azil si Drept Umanitar” [Review of Asylum and Humanitarian Law], dating 2003, is a publication of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
- “Revista de Filosofie si Drept” [Review of Philosophy and Law] was founded in 1990 by the Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Legal Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. It is one of the few law reviews dedicated exclusively to theoretical discussion on modern law. It publishes three issues per year.
- “Revista Institutului National al Justitiei”[The Journal of the National Institute of Justice] is a practical and scientific publication with quarterly issues. The National Institute of Justice website offers the electronic version of the reviews.
- “Revista moldoveneasca de drept international si relatii international” [Moldavian Journal of International Law and International Relations] published by the Institute of History, State and Law (now the Institute for Legal, Political and Sociologic Researches) of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. The online version of the review is hosted by the official website of Moldova University of European Studies.
- “Revista Nationala de Drept” [The National Review of Law], dating to 2000, is a legal periodical, edited and managed by the Law Department of the Moldova State University in cooperation with the University of Political and Economic Studies, the American University of Moldova, and the Lawyer’s National Association of the Republic of Moldova. The primary objective of this law review is to serve as an informational resource for practitioners, scholars, members of the judiciary, and law students. It includes legal studies from different areas of law, written by Moldovan legal experts, in Romanian and Russian.
- “Revista de Stiinte Penale”[Review of Criminal Sciences], issued by the Institute of Penal Reform, focuses specifically on criminal law and penal policy. The review is a valuable theoretical resource for academics, researchers, and professionals concerned with criminal procedure, criminal justice, and penology.
These publications consist of two volumes and two supplements that were updated on January 1st, 2002. The first volume contains an index of several categories of normative acts: the laws and the decisions of the Parliament, the Government’s normative acts, the presidential decrees, etc. The second volume encompasses an index of all Constitutional Court decisions, Supreme Court of Justice decisions, and the International Treaties to which Moldova is a party. The first supplement is an updated version of the previous issues, dating from January 1st to May 16th, 2002. The second supplement represents an index of all laws adopted between May and October 2002 (this issue is missing from the LL).
- Agenda juristului: documentari in legislatia Republicii Moldova (anii 1990-2001) Vol. I. Oronante ale Guvernului. Hotariri ale Parlamentului. Decrete ale Presedintelui. Hotariri ale Guvernului. Alte acte normative (2002). Chisinau: Bons Offices S.R.L
- Agenda juristului: documentari in legislatia Republicii Moldova (anii 1990-2001) Vol II: Curtea Constitutionala. Plenul Curtii Supreme de Justitie. Tratate Internationale (2002). Chisinau: Bons Offices S.R.L.
- Agenda juristului: Supliment ianuarie-aprilie 2002 (2002). Chisinau: Bons Offices S.R.L.
- Agenda juristului: Supliment mai-octombrie 2002 (2002). Chisinau: Bons Offices S.R.L.
9. Legal Education
The Moldovan legal education system is represented by both state and private institutions, which include secondary (colleges) and higher professional (institutes, universities) educational establishments.
The major state universities, such as Moldova State University at Chisinau, State University from Cahul, and the State University at Balti, have constituted their own law departments. Besides these, there are law departments or law faculties at private universities, such as the Free International University of Moldova, Moldova University of European Studies, University of Political and Economic Studies, The American University of Moldova, et al.
Students at both state and private institutions are enrolled based on their academic achievements during school years and the final state examination. Students can also enroll in a full-time or a part-time program. Following the Bologna system, legal studies last four years for students who hold a bachelor’s degree. There are also one-and-a-half or two-year programs for the master’s degree. Therewith, most of the universities are now implementing the Moodle learning platform. After graduation, candidates must pass the examinations before Examination Committees of the Attorneys Union of the Republic of Moldova or the National Institute of Justice in order to become a lawyer, prosecutor, or a judge.
The National Institute of Justice was establishedon November 9, 2007. It is a modern facility for training candidates for the positions of judge and prosecutor, and for continuous training of judges, prosecutors, and other actors who contribute to the administration of justice. Those who are striving to pursue an academic career can continue their education and scientific research at the postgraduate level with a doctorate.
10. Features of the Moldovan Legal Information System
The legal information system of Moldova has significantly developed. In June 2016 a new system, developed and supported by the Ministry of Justice, was launched. The new legal database (the State Register of Legal Acts) is to replace the old LEXDB that didn’t conform to the standards of an effective legal information system. LEXDB is still accessible and contains all the legal materials adopted or modified until May 31, 2019.
Although still developing, the new database is performing well, ensuring free and nonstop access to a whole range of legal acts, serving as primary sources of law in the Republic of Moldova. National and international law is now available in both Romanian and Russian languages. Compared to the previous LEXDB, the new State Register of Legal Acts is being constantly updated in accordance with all the publications of the Official Gazette. From the above-mentioned perspective, performing legal research in Moldova has become much easier compared to a few years ago, when the chaotic publication of the law, the inconsistency of the online version with the actual legal text and the bad performing search engine were great obstacles towards a thorough analysis of the Moldovan legal system.
The absence of academic law libraries and/or the poor choice of legal studies, books, guidelines, etc. negatively impacts the legal research in Moldova. All of this goes along with a shortage of law librarians and trained legal information specialists.
11. Legal Publishing Activity
Moldova’s laws, issued by the Parliament, are published weekly in the official journal called Monitorul Oficial (Official Gazette), which is printed in Romanian and Russian. Therefore, the primary print resources are a government concern, and their publication is handled by a State Agency. In addition to Monitorul Oficial, all codes are published separately by different publishing houses.
Statistically, a minimal number of doctrinal legal publications are published annually. Since 2000, the legal publishing industry has significantly evolved compared to previous years, but still could be characterized as inherently unpredictable. Of great concern are the lack of a uniform publication strategy and the almost complete absence of specialized legal publishing houses. Occasionally, ordinary publishing houses will publish legal books, but the lack of specialization has a negative impact on the needs of the legal research community.
The library collections are mainly represented by Romanian and Russian law publications. Even if they are of major interest in the theoretical approach of legal research, these secondary sources don’t have an impact on the law application process. The similarities between the Romanian and Russian legal institutions and those regulated by the Moldovan law contribute towards an efficient interpretation and comparison of the legal norms mentioned before. Nonetheless, the legal provisions themselves in these three countries are different; hence the researcher’s work is somewhat disrupted.
Universities remain the most important institutions that publish legal materials, since publishing at the law schools is a part of the academic activity. Thus, law schools, in accordance with the academic research policy, are publishing adequate textbooks and monographs to support legal study and legal inquiry. This generally occurs only in certain universities, where there is enough financial assistance to support scientific research. The Moldova State University, the Free International University, and the Police Academy are some of the best examples in this respect.
Compared to textbook and monograph publications, periodicals are seen in a more positive light. During the 1990s and later on, several professional publications were offered to the legal community: from Romania - Revista de Drept, Revista de drept privat, Revista de drept penal, Dreptul, Curierul Judiciar, et al.,and from Russia- Business i pravo, Pravo Zakon i pravo, Advocat, etc. Additionally, the major law faculties, or the universities they are a part of, publish their own law reviews, usually called Anale Stiintifice, issued periodically, in accordance with the schools’ policy or in relation to some important social or legal event.
Legal electronic publishing is still evolving, though important steps to its improvement were made. Thus, most of the law schools have online versions of their reviews. The other legal journals can be found online whether on their own website or on the official electronic page of one or several universities. As mentioned before, in Moldova there is only one online journal – Juridice Moldova – that regularly publishes legal studies authored by the most prominent scholars and legal practitioners from the Republic of Moldova. Additionally, the Practica Judiciara compartment of MoldLEX databaseoffers access to several legal journals from Moldova and Russia.
On the other hand, the legal literature addressed mainly to practitioners, being way more rewarding, is respectively more developed. This type of literature is published randomly by various publishers, but heavily used by the law community. Sporadic financial assistance is occasionally available for the legal publications, sponsored or edited by international organizations, such as the SOROS-Moldova Foundation, ABA ROLI, and others.
Despite the difficulties that arise, the legal publishing activity of secondary legal publications is passing an invigorating period since a range of publishing houses are striving to launch specialized collections in the law field (ex. Cartier Juridic), and specialized legal publishing houses, such asCartea Juridica, appear. Besides the quality, the content of literature and the overall publishing graphic is also remarkably improving.
12. Law Libraries
Specific to Moldova is the fact that there are generally no specific law libraries within law schools. Legal collections represent an integral part of whole library collections. With the financial assistance of the foreign or international organizations and with contributions from the teaching professors and the legal community, some of the law faculties have small specialized libraries, created solely for the use of the students and professors.
Academic libraries, both public and private, have neither uniform collection development policies, nor sufficient financial support. Accordingly, the scarcity of resources in these particular situations hampers effective legal research. As a result, this situation negatively affects the studying and teaching processes.
As mentioned before, the library collection of legal materials, especially secondary materials, is not well balanced or consistent. This situation has a specific corollary: Romanian literature is appropriate for Moldovan legal research, as both countries belong to the same civil law family, even though the legislation background is different, with exception to the enacted in 2003 the Moldovan Civil Code, Penal Code, Code of Civil Procedure, and Code of Criminal Procedure. The Russian literature is considered partially propitious because of historical bounds between the Moldovan and Russian legal systems, and as well due to the similarity of the primary legal sources and their practical interpretations. It should be mentioned that major law schools, which are concentrated mainly in state municipalities, are still not well-endowed with primary and secondary legal materials.
Unfortunately, in Moldova, law libraries within legal offices or legal institutions are poorly developed. Essentially, only state legal institutions (for instance the Parliament, the Supreme Court of Justice, etc.) are provided with a library and a legal information center, which are granting access to primary resources and reference books.
However, the situation may be improving. The Law School of Moldova State University has recently opened an independent Legal Information Center, separated from the Main Library, which has a comprehensive collection and is also equipped with computer facilities connected to legal databases.
The Parliamentary Library serves as an in-house reference library for Parliament members. The library was opened in 1978 with the mission of building a collection mainly of primary sources. Currently, it contains more than 11,400 titles. Traditionally, courts have their own law libraries with access to primary sources, including access to legal databases and digital sources. Concurrently, the Supreme Court of Justice’s website carries an electronic library providing downloadable secondary resources for all those interested in law enforcement matters.
At the beginning of the year 2000, the interest of the legal community in creating a specialized library in the law field gave rise to the opening of a Public Law Library, with financial assistance from the Moldova Soros Foundation and Legal Institute from Budapest. The library’s mission is to ensure that necessary legal information and documents are accessible to any person interested particularly in Moldovan law – practicing lawyers, law students from different educational institutions, state institution employees and other interested persons, providing them with the opportunity to not only make use of its extensive holdings of books and journals, but also to have access to the on-line and local legal databases and Internet information resources. The library’s informational and documentary policies are based on the principles of a public library: legal information for everyone and an academic library accessible for the legal community. Its target audience can be determined from the library’s name itself – the general public and the legal community.
The Public Law Library inter alia offers access to MoldLex, EBSCO, HeinOnline, Sintact.ro databases, which provide fundamental information for a complex legal research. In rural areas access to legal documents and data stands in stark contrast to the development seen in major Moldovan cities. No law collections can be offered to the public.
12.1. Law Librarians
In spite of significant improvement of the system, there is still a shortage of legal information specialists in Moldova. The deficiency of librarians with expertise in legal research makes the process of conducting legal research problematic. The development of the law library or of the law collection stands in direct relation to the balance between the financial resources provided for the law school and those granted to other faculties within the same university. Traditionally, library stacks are not open to the users and tend to function in a traditional way. This, respectively, tends to the negligence of the law library as an independent entity and minimizes its importance for the legal information system in general.
A significant action took place at the University Library of the Free International University of Moldova. In order to facilitate legal research, a legal and business reference librarian was appointed. This approach is considered a relatively new concept in Moldovan librarianship. In spite of the appeals of librarians dealing with legal information issues, an association of law librarians in Moldova has not yet been formed.
13. Access to Legal Information Electronically
Today, access to online legal resources is highly requested. Historically, it started with a big success in 2007, once the online bilingual legal-reference system called Registrul de Stat al Actelor Juridice a Republicii Moldova was implemented by the Ministry of Justice. The database included Moldova’s legislation and all of the international treaties Moldova has ratified. It was the most important decision-making tool for the whole legal community. In 2016 it was replaced by a new electronic State Register of Legal Acts, with the same content, yet more user- friendly interface and search engine.
The MoldLex is the official and most reliable legal database, with the only concern that the access to the legislation of the Republic of Moldova is fee-based.It is a more extensive and comprehensive database when compared to the actual State Register of the Legal Acts. It also includes the Supreme Court of Justice and the Courts of Appeal judgments. Additionally, it offers access to legal periodicals. The MoldLex database is a compendium of legal legislation since 1989, including codes and international treaties which Moldova joined, both in Romanian and Russian languages. This database includes the following information sections:
- Laws, statutes, and Codes
- Parliament’s decisions
- Presidential decrees
- Government’s regulatory documents
- Constitutional Court decisions Acts of ministries
- Court of Account’s decisions
- National Bank of Moldova decisions International treaties
- Other documents
The database functions, in parallel, as an archive of the past laws and of the updated versions of legal documents. Also, each legal act includes the list of laws that have amended it. The entire database is classified according to the General Legal Qualifier.
The search can be made according to the following criteria:
- Multiple search criteria
- The General Legal Qualifier
- All normative acts or the selected category
- The act’s number or its number and date of enactment
- A certain date, or a time interval
- The number and date of the publication
- The logical expression of words (search is carried out according to document’s title, a part of it, or a specific word in the text of the act).
The MoldLex Database has a compartment dedicated to the case law, called Practica Judiciara. It offers access to Moldova's legal practice and includes the following information sections:
- explanatory decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice
- case law of the European Court of Human Rights
- explanatory decisions of the Supreme Courts of other countries
- Supreme Court of Justice practice on criminal matters and contraventions
- Supreme Court of Justice practice on civil cases
- foreign legal practice on criminal matters and contraventions
- foreign legal practice on civil cases
- theory on civil law matters
- theory on criminal matters and contraventions
- general law theory, justice, and law
The updating process is carried out weekly in an automatic mode, through the internet, and it is accessible on a paid basis.