In 2007, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security established the Norwegian Mission of Rule of Law Advisers to Moldova (NORLAM). The programme, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has deployed active justice practitioners from Norway to provide advisory support to Moldova in various aspects of criminal justice system reform. The NORLAM team composition has usually included judges, prosecutors, probation officers, defence lawyers and corrections officers supported by Moldovan legal advisors. While the programme components have changed over time, notable focal areas of work have included commentary of draft laws, supporting development of a juvenile prison (Goian), pre-trial detention, and various aspects of juvenile justice reform. The programme with its holistic approach to the criminal justice chain remains a unique example in global justice and security sector reform practice.
A decision has been taken to close down all programme components and activities of NORLAM by 30.06.2017. Norwegian experts (2) and local staff will be present on the ground until end of June. Given the important role of NORLAM in supporting justice sector reform in Moldova for a decade, the Norway is seeking to develop a structured transition strategy that will promote sustainability of NORLAM reform efforts, ensure continuity of work, and reduce the potential risks associated with the eventual closure of the programme.
The Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MoJ) decided to develop a 3-year overall strategy and planning cycle to support the Rule of Law (RoL) in Moldova and Ukraine. As a starting point for discussions, the following outline was designed:
- Overall priorities Rule of Law
- Reform agenda Ukraine/Moldova – Including political commitment and context
- The Norwegian Rule of Law response pool:
- Working concept/approach: Full Justice Chain – holistic, flexible and responsive approach to support justice reform
- Process for identification of projects and priority areas of engagement
- The essential policies and procedures required for effective implementation and accountability
- Recruitment of experts
- Theory of change: Ukraine/Moldova
- Resultsframework and reporting chain: Ukraine/Moldova
- Local ownership and sustainability
- Donor-co-ordination Ukraine/Moldova
- Exit Strategy
ISSAT supported the Norwegian Ministry of Justice through 3 field deployments (Ukraine, Moldova, and Norway). In 2014 ISSAT supported a review of NORLAM which served as a basis for the current re-design of the programme. The Norwegian Ministry of Justice is currently in the process of setting up a potential NORLAU project which would be based on the NORLAM cross criminal justice chain approach.
The Norwegian Mission of Rule of Law Advisers to Moldova (NORLAM) was established in March 2007 and is planned to terminate in 2016. This is a bilateral cooperation project between Moldova and Norway. The overall objective of the cooperation is promoting good governance, strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights in Moldova. Furthermore, the program should work in line with the European Integration Process of Moldova and support the aims of the EU-Moldova Action Plan (Strategy for Justice Sector Reform 2011- 2016), as well as strengthening bilateral cooperation between Moldova and Norway.
NORLAM`s activities in Moldova are based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from 2007. Details of the agreement are as follows:
- Competence-building within the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the judicial system, the General Prosecutor`s office and the legal profession,
- with the aim of increasing the efficiency of the institutions guaranteeing human rights and the rule of law in the Republic of Moldova in line with Moldova`s European objectives and commitments.
ISSAT completed a review of NORLAM in August 2014 to provide guidance as to whether the program should continue beyond 2016, and if so, what should be the scope of the work and how should it be organized in the future.
The Norwegian MoJ and the Norwegian MFA is in the process to consider an extension of NORLAM beyond 2016, in light of the ISSAT report.
In this respect NORLAM and the MoJ organizes a seminar in Chisinau Wednesday 4th of March 2015 to discuss NORLAM’s further contributions to justice sector reform in the light of Moldova's needs and other providers of justice assistance.
Moldova and EU aims to sign the Association Agreement in the summer of 2014, with the intention to make the EU association process irreversible. Important for further process of Moldovan integration to Europe is the Government’s ability to implement current national strategies, laws, reforms and EU standards related to the Association Agreement. Key reform lies under the responsibility of the Moldovan MIA where there is a need to strengthen the strategic management to facilitate above mentioned implementations and reforms.
Moldovan MIA has a broad range of tasks under its responsibility and works closely linked to the Police, combined they employ almost 18, 000 police officers and civilians.
- Management of migration and asylum issues
- Fighting organized crime, protection of the safety of society and the national security
- Fighting the increased cross-border criminality and police corruption
- Increase of and improvement of the cooperation between the Police and other law enforcement agencies
- Adjustment to the relevant international and European standards and best practices, etc.