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Moldova: New Law on Freedom of Assembly

(Apr. 2, 2008) On February 29, 2008, the Parliament of Moldova adopted a new Law on Assembly, drafted in accordance with the Moldova–European Union Action Plan adopted by the European Union and aimed at developing democratic values in Moldova. The Law establishes that mass gatherings and assemblies in public places do not need to be authorized; the organizers need only inform the local public administration about the place and time of assembly. The Law does not give local authorities the right to decide on when an assembly may be conducted, either; they can only recommend a change in the place and time, with the final decision to be made by the organizers. To protect the society's common interest, the Law provides for two options available to local administrations to limit the gatherings – they can request a court order banning the assembly beforehand if the administration has proof that the law will be violated during the gathering, or they can just cancel the assembly if it is conducted contrary to constitutional provisions. The Law does not define the terms of cancellation, and the procedure will probably be determined by implementing regulations. (Moldovan Parliament Adopts New Provisions on Public Assemblies [Report by the OSCE Mission to Moldova], Mar. 1, 2008, available at http://www.legislationline.org.)