On April 22, 2019, the Superior Council of Magistracy’s (SCM’s) Judicial Ethics Commission (JEC) issued an advisory opinion about judges’ impartiality, following a written request from a judge to clarify the phrase “other persons who have close ties with his/her family” in Article 4 (4) of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct of Judges.

The Commission’s activity shows the impact of Open Justice’s efforts to develop the institutional capacity of the JEC to provide guidance on judicial ethics. Open Justice also assisted the JEC to develop ex officio advisory opinions related to judges’ ex parte communications, conflicts of interest and disqualification, and judges’ social media activity. With these model opinions, the JEC will be able to provide the guidance needed and requested by judges in the Moldovan judiciary.

Additionally, Open Justice developed and submitted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to the JEC about expected judicial conduct, which the JEC can share with all judges and also publish on its webpage. These ethics advisory instruments are of practical utility and will bolster the JEC’s efforts to respond to requests from Moldovan judges for guidance on ethics while also enhancing judges’ understanding and knowledge of ethical norms and standards, which will help prevent unethical conduct among judges.