Moldovan court invalidates Russian language law as unconstitutional – JURIST – News

Moldova’s Constitutional Court on Thursday overturned a law passed in December that sought to provide the Russian language with legal protections alongside the official Moldovan language. The Constitutional Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional because the constitution of Moldova does not allow any language other than Moldovan to be recognized as a special language in the country.

The law of 2020, No. 234 “On the functioning of the languages ​​spoken in the territory of the Republic of Moldova”, has positioned Russian as having a special status for use in inter-ethnic communication. The law also required that all state documents be translated into Russian and required state agencies to also receive and process requests in Russian. In addition, the law required that all products made in Moldova be labeled in Russian next to Moldovan. The law was passed in December by pro-Russian MPs against the opposition of the pro-European Moldovan president.

The constitutionality of the law was quickly called into question. The constitution of Moldova states in Article 13 that the official language is Moldovan, which is the local name for the Romanian language used by the majority of Moldova. While Article 13 § (2) states that the State recognizes and protects the right to the preservation, development and functioning of the Russian language, it also considers Russian on an equal footing with other languages ​​spoken in Moldova, which are all separate from the official language. state language. The Constitutional Court interpreted this to mean that Russian could not be granted special status among other languages. For this reason, # 234 was declared unconstitutional and is now legally void.

This law and its subsequent strike mark the latest in a long-standing legal standoff between opposing pro-Russia and pro-EU political factions in Moldova.

Sylvester L. Goldfarb

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