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The 20th Anniversary of the Entry Into Force in Moldova of the European Convention on Human Rights


On Friday, 6 October 2017, under the auspices of the Constitutional Court of Moldova (CCM), in Chișinău has been celebrated the anniversary of 20 years of the entry into force of the European Convention on Human Rights. The guest of honour of the event was the President of the European Court of Human Rights. 

In the opening speech of the ceremony, the President of CCM – Tudor Panțîru underlined the importance joining the Convention by Moldova, which brought about significant benefits for the State. Correlated with this, according to the President of CCM, ”the jurisprudence of the European Court constitutes the official interpretation of the Convention and it is binding for the authorities and judiciary of the Republic of Moldova.” 

Furthermore, aiming at fulfilling the mission CCM has in preventing violations of the Constitution and of the Convention, Tudor Panțîru mentioned the Judgment no. 2/2016 of CCM on the exception of unconstitutionality thereby litigants were granted the opportunity to raise exceptions of unconstitutionality before any court of law, which at its turn applies before CCM. The complexity of efforts in upgrading to European standards has led to the acceptance of CCM in the Superior Courts Network under the European Court of Human Rights and to being elected to hold the presidency of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts for the period 2020-2023. 

The Speaker of Parliament, Andrian Candu, thanked the President of ECtHR for attending such an important event for Moldova. According to the Speaker, in the context of observing the Convention by our State, the Parliament takes into consideration ”the possibility to utilise the mechanism of parliamentary control for a closer monitoring of the execution of the judgments of the Court.”

At his turn, the Justice Minister, Vladimir Cebotari, stated that implementing the Convention has determined the national authorities to see it as a catalogue of imperative values, which extremely rarely allows for derogations. Moreover, due to the implementation of the Convention, in Moldova were established new institutions, such as the Council on the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality and the existent ones were strengthened, e.g. the institution of Ombudsman. 

The guest of honour of the event, the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Guido Raimondi, had an address for the audience. Referring to the work done by CCM, the President of ECtHR stated: ”Proceedings that involve human rights have grown to account for over 70% of decided cases, making your Court a “genuine human rights tribunal.” The high official made a special remark with regards to the Judgment of CCM no. 2/2016 on the exception of unconstitutionality, which made it possible for the Court to examine over 150 exceptions in the first year following the delivery of the judgment, with a speedy examination thereof. Furthermore, the European judge made reference to the similarities between the content of certain judgments issued by the CCM and the ECtHR.

Guido Raimondi expressed his satisfaction on the fact that the office of President of CCM is held by the first judge to the ECtHR representing Moldova – Tudor Panțîru, thus ensuring a practical application in Moldova of the reach experience accumulated at the Strasbourg Court.

The Venice Commission member representing Moldova, Alexandru Tănase, stated that after 20 years since the entry into force of the Convention, out of those who voted for its ratification, few of them were fully aware of the impact it is going to have. In this context, the representative of the Commission mentioned a number of ECtHR judgments of particular importance for Moldova, which have significantly impacted the development of the domestic legal framework. Further, the official recalled the Opinion of the Venice Commission on the amendments to the Federal Constitutional Law on the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, where the Commission stated that abiding by the judgments of the ECtHR is a unequivocal, imperative legal obligation, which is vital in upholding and promoting the principles and values of the European continent. 

The event was carried out within the premises of the Palace of the Republic, in Chișinău – Moldova. The ceremony gathered about 250 invitees, including representatives of the judiciary, academia, the corp diplomatique and representatives of the Constitutional Courts members of the BBCJ Association. 

In Moldova, the Convention entered into force on 12 September 1997. It was opened for signature on 4 November 1950, in Rome. Until now, a number of 47 Member States of the Council of Europe signatories of the Convention are under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. In line with the Constitution of Moldova, the international treaties our State is a party to, take precedence over domestic laws on human rights. Therefore, in the judgments delivered by CCM, the Court is guided by the provisions of the Convention and by ECtHR caselaw.

This is an English language courtesy translation of the original press-release in Romanian language.

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