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Article 16.

Equality of Rights
(1) It is the foremost duty of the State to respect and protect the human person.
(2) All citizens of the Republic of Moldova are equal before the law and the public
authorities, without
any discrimination as to race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex,
political choice, personal
property or social origin.
Moldova is a unitary parliamentary representative democratic republic. The 1994
Constitution of Moldova sets the framework for the government of the country
The country's central legislative body is the unicameral Moldovan Parliament (Parlament),
which has 101 seats, and whose members are elected by popular vote on party lists every
four years.
The head of state is the President of Moldova, who is elected by the Moldovan Parliament,
requiring the support of three fifths of the deputies (at least 61 votes). The president of
Moldova has been elected by the parliament since 2001, a change designed to decrease
executive authority in favor of the legislature. The president appoints a prime minister who
functions as the head of government, and who in turn assembles a cabinet, both subject to
parliamentary approval.
The 1994 constitution also establishes an independent Constitutional Court, composed of six
judges (two appointed by the President, two by Parliament, and two by the Supreme Council
of Magistrature), serving six-year terms, during which they are irremovable and not
subordinate to any power. The Court is invested with the power of judicial review over all
acts of the parliament, over presidential decrees, and over international treaties, signed by
the country.

Historically, the Moldovan legal system has been categorized as a legal system in the civil
law family. Geographic reasons also lead one to note that Moldovas legal system should fall
within the civil law family, mixed with Germanic features. However, during Soviet times the
Moldovan legal system was adjusted to the Soviet Unions legal norms, representing an
overlap of the Soviet and Continental legal systems. Beginning in 1990, the legal system
was reformed in order to harmonize it according to national historical traditions and
European legal models.
On July 28, 1994, the Moldovan Parliament approved a new constitution, declaring Moldova a
Republic as well as declaring its enduring neutrality. The new document transformed
Moldova into an independent, democratic state. Moreover, during 2003 the new Moldovan
Civil Code, Penal Code, Civil Procedural Code and Penal Procedural Code were adopted, and
those from Soviet times being abrogated. Accordingly, the entire legal institutional system
underwent changes.

Currently, the judicial system is divided into three branches: ordinary Courts, Courts of
Appeal and the Supreme Court. Accordingly, the petition process is carried out through the
Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Justice. In previous years, the Supreme Court of
Justice could selectively examine judicial cases passing a complex procedure, but nowadays
all petitioners can apply to the highest level. This move tremendously changed and
expanded petitioners rights.
Constitution
The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova officially represents the supreme law for the
system of Moldovan legislation. No laws, other legal acts or regulations in contradiction with
the provisions of the Constitution may have any legal power. Such a legal hierarchy assumes
the subordination of normative acts of a lower level to normative acts of a higher level and,
ultimately, to the Constitution as the normative act of the highest legal power. All
modifications have to pass a prolonged and specifically defined legislative process, its
supremacy being guaranteed by the Constitutional Court.
Constitutional Court
The Constitutional Court is the sole and highest authority of constitutional judicature in
Moldova. It is the unique constitutional judicial body, independent from the executive,
legislature and judiciary branches; it decides constitutional cases and deals exclusively with
constitutional issues of the law. It consists of six judges nominated for six-year terms. Two
judges are appointed by Parliament, two by the Government and two by the Magistrate
Council.
The judicial branch
The judicial authority in Moldova is exercised through the court system, regulated by the
Constitution and specific laws. According to the new legislation on the judicial system,
justice is carried out by the following judicial institutions: the Supreme Court, Court of
Appeal and ordinary courts. For separate categories of actions of proceeding, specialized
courts (economic, military, etc.) can operate according to the law.
The Supreme Court of Justice is the highest court of law, and ensures the correct and unitary
implementation of laws by all courts of law in Moldova. The organization and functioning of
the Supreme Court of Justice is regulated by a special Law on the Supreme Court of Justice.
The official periodical published by the Supreme Court is The Supreme Court Bulletin
(Buletinul Curtii Supreme), which appears on a monthly basis.
The Court of Appeal is the supreme instance concerning ordinary ways of appeal. Its
influences extend to civil and criminal issues. The Court of Appeal considers the appeals
against the decisions pronounced in first instance, as well as in other cases provided by law.