Olga DIACONU, Moldova
PROJECT: Enhancing Ethical Standards in the Legal Profession

Olga is a Council member of the Moldovan Young Lawyers Association. She been appointed to represent the Moldovan Young Lawyers Association at the European Young Bar Association at the International Weekend 2017 in London. As part of the Liman-T organization, where she was involved in since August 2013 she represented the organization in the John Smith Trust Fellowship that took place in the UK between in May – June 2017 and as a delegate at the Youth Assembly at the United Nations headquarters, New York in August 2017.

Olga was involved in various projects meant to bring a change in the sector of justice. One of them is called the LEAD Programme 2017, implemented by the INK-Innovation Needs Knowledge Association and by the Romanian Centre for European Policies – CRPE, with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Romania through the Matra programme, which is a leadership programme for a highly motivated group of legal professionals.

Another program Olga was involved in is ”Action for Justice”. The project is supported by a grant from the State Department of the US Embassy and is implemented by the Invento organization, in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Moldova, Association of Young Lawyers of Moldova and the Institute Leavitt for International Development.

The project aims to develop a network of young upright professionals in law. Also, given the amplitude of the phenomenon of domestic violence and human traffic in the Republic of Moldova, she was also involved in another project implemented by the Women’s Law Center with the financial support of the US Embassy in Moldova entitled “Strengthening the response of judges and prosecutors in cases of domestic violence”.

“I am privileged and proud to promote the importance of ethics in the legal system for different target audiences started with the high-school students and ended by the senior law professionals. In total, we reached up to 400 people and raised the topic for discussion in various professional networks. Having implemented a project of this scale, gave me experience and confidence to initiate even more complex projects later on.” – Olga Diaconu.

Enhancing Ethical Standards in the Legal Profession

The project aimed to raise awareness about deontology and the importance of ethical standards in the legal system of Moldova. To do so, Olga selected four target groups (high school students, law students, lawyers and lawyers’ trainees, and senior legal professionals) and organized three meetings for each audience. The workshops for high school students delivered vocational orientation training and included the simulation of a court trial. Then, the training for law students was held in Chișinău, Bălți, and Cahul and addressed the issues of professional and personal development. The seminars for lawyers and lawyer trainees were tailored to discussing different aspects of professional ethics including conflicts of interests, independence, lawyer-client and lawyer-lawyer relations, and confidentiality. The well-known lawyers in the country were invited to speak about their experiences, successes, and failures in the profession. Finally, the joint events for lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and other legal professionals brought senior professionals in a friendly atmosphere to share their perspectives about the ethical norms in the legal system. Following this, Olga organized a joint meeting for the European Young Bar Association, Moldovan Young Lawyers Association and representatives of the European Association of Lawyers.

The project delivered 12 workshops for different audiences interested or involved in the legal system. Within the framework of the action, 150 high school students raised awareness about professional ethics in the legal system. Also, 100 law students in three major cities of Moldova became more aware of professional standards and personal development. Besides, 100 lawyers and lawyer trainees discussed different aspects of professional ethics. Via the salon meetings, 50 senior legal professionals shared their viewpoints concerning the issues of ethics in law. In general, the above activities promoted ethical standards in the legal profession to enhance trust in the system of Justice in the eyes of the public and guarantee the protection of human rights. Therefore, the action enhanced international collaboration among representatives of the European Young Bar Association, Moldovan Young Lawyers Association, and the European Association of Lawyers.

Fellowship Programs 2017
Country Moldova
Areas of Interest Capacity development
Topics Judiciary & legal system
Transparency & accountability
Project duration January 2018 - June 2018