Three Members of the Superior Council of Magistracy Issue a Separate Opinion Regarding the Appointment of Vladislav Clima as President of the Chișinău Court of Appeal

Three Members of the Superior Council of Magistracy Issue a Separate Opinion Regarding the Appointment of Vladislav Clima as President of the Chișinău Court of Appeal
17 August 2020 | 11:41

Three members of the Superior Council of Magistracy, Anatolie Galben, Dorel Musteață, and Nina Cernat, expressed their disagreement with the appointment of Vladislav Clima as President of the Chișinău Court of Appeal.

The three judges issued a separate opinion, mentioning that the decision of the Superior Council of Magistracy, taken on July 28, 2020, contradicts the international principles that have to be taken into consideration when a judge is promoted.

Clima’s appointment as chairman of the Chișinău Court of Appeal has not yet been made official. The Superior Council of Magistracy’s decision will enter into force if it is approved by the President Igor Dodon.

Following the decision of the Superior Council of Magistracy to appoint Vladislav Clima, who issued decisions in several cases lost by the state at the European Court of Human Rights, as the President of the Chișinău Court of Appeal, three magistrates from the Superior Council of Magistracy issued a separate opinion, criticizing the appointment. 

In the document obtained by ZdG, the three members of the Superior Council of Magistracy stated that the Superior Council of Magistracy should make sure that the promotion of judges to management positions ensures a fair mechanism of administration of justice. The document also mentions that the promotion should be based on objective factors, capacity, integrity, and experience.

“We consider that the Superior Council of Magistracy has disregarded these principles, selecting in the position of President of the Chișinău Board of Directors a person with an image compromised by his activity as a judge,” said the three members of the Superior Council of Magistracy.

According to the document, in the fall of 2019, Clima was among the organizers of the unconstitutional procedures that led to the revocation of the Superior Council of Magistracy members, blocking the work of the judicial self-administration body. 

The document also mentions that the unconstitutionality of these actions was challenged at the Venice Commission. The statements of the President of the Venice Commission, Mr. Gianni Buquicchio, were made public.

“Through the actions taken in the fall of 2019, Judge Vladislav Clima admitted an attack on the representative institution of the judiciary, seriously disregarding the fundamental law. Through this activity, the judge concerned compromised the status of the judge, flagrantly violating the obligation to submit only to the law and not to the interests of the group. 

At the same time, in his activity, the judge concerned adopted decisions contrary to the law and practices. Thus, the judge disregarded the voters’ vote by canceling the results of the elections of the mayor of Chișinău. This was harshly criticized by the entire society and international institutions. The judge was also criticized by the higher court,” states the Superior Council of Magistracy members who signed a separate opinion.

Anatolie Galben, Dorel Musteață, and Nina Cernat conclude that there is an abusive favor behind Clima’s appointment as President of the Chișinău Court of Appeal, a strategic court due to the cases it handles. 

Clima was appointed President of the Chișinău Court of Appeal during the meeting of the Superior Council of Magistracy on July 28, 2020. Clima had only one counter-candidate, the Vice President of the Chișinău Court of Appeal, Iurie Iordan. Both candidates received the grade excellent and 80 points. Although both magistrates initially accumulated an identical score, Clima became the winner of the contest after the interview. Nine members of the Superior Council of Magistracy voted for Clima and another three voted against him.

Oleg Sternioală and Vladislav Clima photo: ZdG

Vladislav Clima is the son of Nicolae Clima, former President of the Superior Council of Magistracy, a former judge at the Supreme Court of Justice and former head of the Judicial Inspection attached to the Superior Council of Magistracy. 

Vladislav Clima is working as a judge since 2006. Initially, Clima worked at the Chișinău Court, Ciocana district headquarters. In February 2017, Clima became a judge at the Chișinău Court of Appeal based on a decree issued by Dodon. From 2019, the judge also holds the chair of the President of the Association of Judges, a position previously held for eight years by the former judge of the Supreme Court of Justice, Ion Druță. 

During the meeting of the Superior Council of Magistracy meeting on July 28, Magistrate Vladislav Clima stated that the Judicial Inspection did not find any elements of disciplinary violations or that would raise doubts about illegality in the decisions adopted by him. The judge said that in his opinion, all those decisions were professional.

“What the press or politician reflects is nothing more than a personalized, or emotional, or political reflection on the concrete legal situation of a party,” the judge said at the Superior Council of Magistracy meeting at which he was appointed the President of the Chișinău Court of Appeal.

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