How Moldova's State Legal Aid System Works



legal aid

How Moldova's State Legal Aid System Works

The state-guaranteed legal aid system in Moldova was completely rethought and practically built from scratch 13 years ago, in 2008. Simply put, the role of the state-guaranteed legal aid system is to make sure that every person, regardless of the legal knowledge they have, or the income they make, has free and equal access to justice. The process goes beyond just providing a lawyer to person in need of legal services who cannot afford them financially; it involves educating and empowering such persons on their rights and how to react when these may be violated.  The entire process is coordinated and administered by the National Council for State Guaranteed Legal Aid and its territorial offices.

Our Cu DREPTuL podcast team conducted a series of interviews clarifying the role and challenges of all stakeholders in the state legal aid system:

  • The President of the National Council for State Guaranteed Legal Aid, Victor Zaharia, expert at the Institute for Penal Reforms, talked here about how the justice and the state-guaranteed legal aid systems have evolved in recent years, from the perspective of the beneficiary, the ordinary person.
  • How state-guaranteed legal aid works in practice, and who, when and how can benefit from such services, and who provides them and in what situations, we find out from Sergiu Chiruța, coordinator of the Chișinău Territorial Office of the National Council for State Guaranteed Legal Aid (CNAJGS), the largest of the four existing offices throughout Moldova.
  • Ludmila Spinu, doctor of law, associate professor, is one of the 12 public lawyers in the Republic of Moldova. With over 20 years of experience in law, mostly as a public defender, she believes that justice reform, primarily, needs a change on the inside.
  • Pavel Grițco is an on-demand lawyer, one of some 2000 offering their services to the territorial offices of the National Council for State-Guaranteed Legal Aid. He has also previously worked as a public lawyer and knows the system of state-guaranteed legal aid from both sides.

As part of the National Campaign for Healthy Justice, the Access to Justice Project in Moldova supports Cu DREPTuL, a podcast on access to justice and human rights, which aims to be not only an informative but also an educational tool, useful to all interested in these topics in the Moldovan context. The podcast brings relevant speakers on a variety of issues including, legal support for the marginalized, children’s rights, domestic violence, human trafficking, state-supported legal aid, role of public defenders, etc.