May 23. 2024. 8:07

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Establishment of the International Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and Democracy in Moldova


A significant milestone in the field of human rights advocacy and democratic principles has been reached with the establishment of the International Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and Democracy (ICPHRD) in Moldova. Founded by Stanislav Pavlovschi, a prominent Moldovan lawyer and human rights advocate, the NGO is poised to play a pivotal role in promoting and safeguarding the rule of law, democracy, and human rights, both domestically and on a global scale.

The core mission of the ICPHRD is dedicated to advancing the fundamental values of democracy and human rights within Moldova and, subsequently, across borders. Through diligent monitoring, objective analysis, and strategic recommendations, the Centre aims to identify gaps and shortcomings in governmental activities, inform Moldovan society and international partners, and advocate for tangible improvements in policy and practice.

The overarching objectives of the ICPHRD encompass a comprehensive approach to addressing critical issues within the realms of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. Specific goals include examining the current state of affairs in Moldova, proposing concrete steps for improvement, and actively contributing to the realisation of these proposals.

The ICPHRD employs a multifaceted methodology that includes collecting data from diverse sources, conducting stakeholder interviews, studying relevant judicial decisions, analysing best practices from other jurisdictions, and considering societal needs through surveys. This rigorous approach ensures the formulation of evidence-based proposals aimed at effecting meaningful change.

As the Centre embarks on its journey, it is proud to announce the inaugural 2024 Rule of Law Symposium, focusing on contemporary rule of law challenges in the Republic of Moldova. Sponsored by the ICPHRD, the symposium will convene legal scholars and practitioners from leading jurisdictions, aiming to address critical issues surrounding Moldova’s candidacy for European Union membership.

The event is set to take place on the 17th and 18thApril 2024, at The Standard East Village Hotel in New York. Participants and attendees will debate the significant human rights issues and deficiencies in the rule of law that plague Moldova’s institutions and overall political landscape. Despite these concerns, the European Union has initiated accession negotiations with Moldova, underscoring the need for comprehensive reforms.

The symposium will feature esteemed participants including Carsten Zatschler, Adjunct Professor at University College Dublin and expert in EU law, and Justin S. Weddle, a US-based criminal lawyer with experience in Eastern European legal systems. Matthew Hoke, a former FBI agent, will also contribute insights into cross-border financial crimes. Additional invitees include Barnes & Thornburg Partner Scott Hulsey, as well as Kibler Fowler & Cave’s Nathan Park, who will in turn provide diverse perspectives on Moldova’s legal and political landscape.

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Discussions are set to encompass a wide range of topics including the broader context of contemporary Moldova, challenges within the Moldovan justice system, and compliance with EU fundamental values. Case studies, including the banning of political parties, will be analysed to provide nuanced insights into Moldova’s rule of law challenges.

In addition to challenges within the justice system, Moldova faces a concerning erosion of media freedoms, accompanied by the persecution of press personnel and media outlets. Reports indicate a pattern of restrictions on press freedom, including the suspension and withdrawal of licenses of numerous broadcasters perceived to be critical of the government. Journalists and media outlets advocating for transparency and accountability often face intimidation and harassment, further stifling freedom of expression and undermining democratic principles. The symposium will provide a platform to address these issues and explore strategies to safeguard media freedoms in Moldova.

The symposium’s agenda includes welcome remarks, fireside chats, roundtable discussions, and a recorded panel discussion moderated by Professor Zatschler. Participants will engage in rigorous dialogue aimed at identifying actionable recommendations for addressing Moldova’s rule of law deficiencies.

Under the auspices of an academic project to be led by Professor Laurent Pech of University College Dublin’s Sutherland School of Law, the symposium may contribute to broader research efforts on rule of law backsliding in Europe and the European Union’s response to rule of law challenges.

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