Dynasties of judges

Dynasties of judges
10 January 2009 | 22:22

Children of judges have the opportunity to study at Law Departments from the Republic of Moldova without paying the annual tax which is about eight thousands lei. According to the decisions of the Superior Council of Magistrature (SCM), in 2008, more than 10 children of judges were recommended to be matriculated at the universities. And even more, after the graduation, they do not have any obligation towards the state institutions which promoted them to study for free.

From May 2008 till the middle of summer, SCM has adopted decisions through which it proposes the admission at Moldova State University (MSU), State University “Alecu Russo” from Balti, Free International University of Moldova (FIUM), University of European Studies from Moldova (UESM) and exemption from taxes of some judges’ children.

Children of judges only at Law Departments

“Examining the requests received from Valentin Verejan, the head of Military Law Court, Nicolae Craiu, the judge of the Economic Court of Appeal, Ghenadie Eni, the head of Cahul Law Court and Ecaterina Buzu, main expert in the department of justice and personnel of the Superior Council Apparatus of Magistrature”, the decision of SCM from 22 May 2008 states “on the basis of the Collaboration Contract between MSU and SCM, the following candidates are recommended to be admitted at the Law Department of MSU: Victor Verejan, Sergiu Craiu and Artiom Eni”, the decision mentions.

On the grounds of the same collaboration contract between MSU and SCM, through the decision from May 2008, it is required that the first-year-student Catalina Buzu be exempted from taxes for 2008-2012.

Later, in June, SCM has examined the request of Sergiu Furdui, the vice president of Penal Association of Supreme Court of Justice, through which it required the matriculation at the Law Department of MSU of his son, Alexandru Furdui. Also Tatiana Duca, the temporary vice president of Balti Court of Appeal, asked the matriculation of her daughter, Zinaida Duca, at the Law Department of State University “Alecu Russo” from Balti. In July 2008, Veronica Nichitenco, the judge of Causeni Law Court, has asked SCM for admission of her daughter, Olga Nichitenco, at UESM. Also in July, Iurie Diaconu, the judge of Supreme Court and Nina Tcaciuc, judge of Court of Appeal from Chisinau, asked for the admission of their sons, Sandu Diaconu and Constantin Traciuc, at MSU. At the same time, Oleg Melniciuc, who was at that time the interim head of Law Court of Rascani, Chisinau, has asked for the admission of Constanta Morozan at the Law Department, the daughter of investigating magistrate, Ghenadie Morozan. Gheorghe Scutelnic, the head of Court of Appeal from Balti, required from CSM the admission of Svetlana Cercavii at M.A. studies at the Law Department from Alecu Russo State University from Balti.

Studies for free without any regulations

Even if these decisions of SCM were made public, Gheorghe Avornic, the dean of the Law Department from MSU, where the tax is not more and not less than 8 thousands lei, says this year there are no students recommended by SCM. “There was an exchange between MSU and SCM,” Gheorghe Avornic explained. “They were giving us place for students’ practice, and we were matriculating students at their request.”

In Balti, the tax for one year of studies at the Law Department is 7200 lei. Gheorghe Neagu, the dean of the Law Department at the State University “Alecu Russo” from Balti, says such agreements existed among more institutions and Law Departments. “Normally, a regulation should exist in order to stipulate the matriculation conditions of the students recommended by state institutions”, Neagu says. “The problem, in fact, comes from the absence of the juridical framework in this context. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education and Youth should have developed a regulation. As we lack such a document, the universities had agreements with state institutions according to which these students were exempted from taxes.

“- Obligations?” – None of them!

Nicolae Clima, the head of SCM, says that, in September 2008, the institution which he conducts, canceled the contract with all law departments. “Children were promoted only in general order. In fact, it was a collaboration between SCM and law departments. This contract existed from 2005 till September 2008”, the head of SCM added. The judges who wished their children to study for free at law departments had just to file a demand at SCM.

Since this contact has been canceled, Nicolae Clima said that all judges have been informed about this fact. The head of SCM added that there were many agreements with law institutions: SCM, General Prosecution Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Customs Department, the Center of Fighting against Economic Crimes and Corruption, the Supreme Court of Justice.

Even if the figure of students who are matriculated on the grounds of agreements of SCM doesn’t exceed 10 persons, Nicolae Clima said that this year only 3 students have been matriculated at law departments. What are the obligations of these students after graduation? “ “No obligations”, the head of SCM said.

Decisions taken out of law

The representatives of SCM affirm all these decisions were taken on the basis of the Law regarding the Superior Council of Magistrature. Vitalie Nagacevschi, from Jurists for Human Rights, said the law regarding SCM clearly establishes the domains in which SCM has the rights to adopt decisions. “The matriculation is not stipulated”, Vitalie Nagacevschi affirmed. “I understand the wish of SCM to promote the judges’ interests or to promote the dynasties of jurists, but I notice certain problems. It is about children’s matriculation outside the general contest or their acceptance to study for free. It would be normal that after promoting these children to studies certain obligations be issued. Another problem can be the method of selection”, the jurist Nagacevschi added.

We have contacted some parents whose children were matriculated at law departments. But the judges felt harmed, telling us the studies of their children from public money is only their own business.

Published in Romanian on October 16th 2008

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