On April 4–5, 2019, the members of the SCM’s JEC and 14 Moldovan judges took part in a two-day interactive training session to improve their own critical thinking skills when assessing ethical issues while also acquiring skills to train other Moldovan judges on judicial ethics in the future.

John Fields, training moderator, speaking to Moldovan judges
about the role of the Judicial Ethics Commission

During the first day of training, the 19 participants present discussed the consequences of unethical behavior, preven­tive measures, the role of the JEC and court presidents in preventing unethical behavior and improving the perception of the judiciary. The participants discussed numerous case scenarios, prepared and presented by the Project’s Short Term Adviser, Mr. John Fields, former Trial Court Chief Judge at the Michigan Supreme Court and former lecturer at the University of Notre Dame, who stated:

I will be seeking to facilitate a discussion where we can share our perspectives, points of view, and just various thoughts we may have with regards to ethical issues. And we’ll be seeking to do that primarily by the use of factual scenarios.”

During the second day of the training, the participants discussed practical training methodologies, how to train different target groups, and the use of different training tools and mediums, such as videoconferencing. Finally, they concluded that it is essential that both the JEC and the court presidents and judges take a proactive approach in solving ethical issues through a process of requesting draft opinions and recommendations.