The Independent Evaluation Commission for assessing the integrity of the candidates for the position of member in the self-governing bodies of judges and prosecutors, also known as the Pre-Vetting Commission, is an independent, collegial body, mandated to evaluate the integrity of judges and prosecutors from the Republic of Moldova, who aim to become members of The Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), the Superior Council of Prosecutors (CSP) or their specialized bodies.Created on the 4th of April, 2022, according to the Law no. 26 of 10.03.2022 regarding some measures related to the selection of candidates for the positions of members in the self-governing bodies of judges and prosecutors, the Commission for assessing the integrity of future leaders in justice is made up of six members, three of whom were appointed by the Parliament, being respected the principle of proportionality between the majority and the opposition, emerging from the number of mandates obtained, and the other three were proposed by the development partners.
The Commission is led by a president, elected from among the members, by secret ballot, with the vote of the majority of the Commission members.In exercising its duties, the Evaluation Commission is assisted by a Secretariat, which is a structure without legal personality, formed ad hoc, independent of any public authority. The activity of the Secretariat is coordinated by the head of the Secretariat, and in their activity, both the head of the Secretariat and their employees are not subordinate to the development partners, being independent in decision-making and submitting exclusively to the Evaluation Commission and its president.
What is Pre-Vetting?
Pre-Vetting, in the sense of the Evaluation Commission’s activity, is the process of verifying the integrity of judges and prosecutors who aspire to positions in the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) and the Superior Council of Prosecutors (CSP) - the pillars of the judiciary, by a body formed from national and foreign experts, who are not part of the Moldovan judicial system, and who analyze and establish whether the candidates have behaved in a manner compatible with professional ethics during their work, whether or not they have adopted arbitrary documents, whether they have admitted conflicts of interest, whether they have properly declared their wealth and whether it corresponds to their income.
According to the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, the Pre-Vetting includes the following stages:
1. Initiation of the assessment procedure – Candidates for positions in the self-governing bodies of judges and prosecutors submit to the Commission a completed ethics questionnaire, declaration of ownership and interests for the last five years, as well as the list of close people who are active or have been active in the last 5 years in the judicial system, the prosecutor's office and the public service. In parallel, the Commission will request information about candidates from government agencies, private companies and banks, in order to formulate a general picture of their profile.
2. Collecting the information and its assessment – The Commission analyzes and verifies the information about the assets of candidates and their close relatives, as well as their income and expenses. According to the law, the Commission has direct access to the information databases, being able to collect information from any person on its own, including requesting additional explanations from the candidate.
3. Candidate hearing in public session, process recorded by audio/video means.
4. Issuance of reasoned decisions regarding the promotion or non-promotion of the assessment by the candidates - In case of non-promotion of the assessment, the person will not be able to apply for positions in the self-governing bodies of judges and prosecutors. The Commission's conclusions can serve as the basis for criminal investigations against those rejected, if discrepancies are found between declared income and real wealth.
5. Appealing the decision of the Evaluation Commission – Disqualified candidates may appeal the decision of the Evaluation Commission within 5 days from the date of receipt of the reasoned decision.