Lawyers oppose the legislative initiative of a group of MPs requesting the admission of parliamentarians to the bar without exams. The Union of Lawyers of Moldova exposed their grievances in a letter, sent recently to the Parliament.
"Lawyers do not enjoy privileges and exemptions, when migrating to the professions of judge, prosecutor, nor when defending the doctoral degree, neither are lawyers automatically included in the list of MPs simply because they know the law very well. Every candidate, regardless of their prior position, shall undergo an examination. Nothing more. Lawmakers do not have to fear some legal proceedings, seeking to amend the law to ease the way for their future," the letter signed by President of the Union of Lawyers, Nina Lozan, reads.
At the same time, the leadership of the UL rejects the lawmakers’ argument that they have taken over the Western practice. We disagree with "invoking the experience of "other countries" that the MPs refer to. In this case, we refer to the opinion of experts of the Council of Europe, set out to assess the draft law on amending and supplementing the Law on Lawyers, which supports the idea that judges, prosecutors and holders of Doctoral degrees in Law must attend training courses and pass the qualification examination, as these changes are welcome and are in line with European standards and practices," the letter reads.
Several lawyers have criticized the initiative of the lawmakers. "Dear Parliament Members, why lawyers? Why, for example, after 10 years of experience as a deputy, you don’t want to be offered the right to drive a tractor? How is this profession worse than that of a lawyer? What should happen that professional people be elected in the Parliament?, "the lawyer Vadim Vieru asked the elected representatives of the people in a posting on his FB page.
The authors of the initiative propose amending the Law on the Legal Profession so that the spectrum of persons that can practice the legal profession is widened. Thus, they demand exemption from "qualification examinations of persons, who hold or have held a public dignity position (except judges, prosecutors and local elected officials) and have at least 10 years of experience in the field of law”.
According to the authors, people licensed in law, who drafted the rule of law and have the ability to create laws, have rich experience in jurisprudence and the training, required to practice as a lawyer. The amendment would target a relatively small number of people, who would not have to start from scratch by passing the internship and the qualification examination.
The new amendments provide for amending the list of activities, incompatible with the legal profession, namely, any public office or public office of emolument, if not otherwise provided by a special law, with the activity of the notary, or of the bailiff.
At the same time, MPs proposed expanding the list of activities compatible with the legal profession.
The bill was registered in the parliament on December 26, 2016. Petru Cosoi, Constantin Tutu, Anatolie Zagorodnai, Cornel Dudnic, Vasile Bolea, Stefan Creanga, Simion Plesca Nae are among the MPs who signed the initiative.