The magistrates take stance against the amendments to the laws of justice. In an open letter, the Judges Forum and the Prosecutors’ Association request the end of the parliamentary process, which they call as ‘pseudo-parliamentary debate’.
In a joint release, the two organisations ask the Parliament to reject the law package on amending the laws of justice. They claim that by eliminating the prosecutor’s independence and the setting up of a special directorate to investigate crimes committed by magistrates, concomitant with the strengthening of the Justice Minister’s role “are issues which will seriously affect the functioning and the independence of the justice system.”
The magistrates call on the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) to urgently adopt a statement-appeal to the executive and legislative powers to observe the rule of law and the recommendations of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) reports, realitatea.net informs.
The two organisations say they “reserve the right to protest by all legal means against such amendments and to immediately and legally summon the General Assembly of courts and prosecutor’s offices to have their say on the consequences the legal amendments could have and on the legal steps to follow in order to defend justice.
They claim that:
- The only solution to overcome this critical situation is resuming dialogue, based on institutional transparency, so that the amendments brought to the laws to be made only following impact studies, after consulting the civil society, the CSM, the magistrates’ body, the Venice Commission – not to affect justice independence;
- We are pulling the alarm signal regarding the unjustified haste, without serious substantiation, obviously infringing the EC report within the CVM released on November 15, 2017;
- Such a pseudo-parliamentary debate, which ignores the points of view of the magistrates, the CVM recommendations (…) cannot be completed only in the presence of a few professional associations;
- By eliminating the prosecutor’s independence, by setting up a directorate to deal with investigating the magistrates, the unconstitutional burdening of the magistrates’ responsibilities, by diminishing the CSM’s competence and the strengthening of Justice Minister’s attributions in regard to the magistrates’ career, the changes of the Judicial Inspectorate functioning, are all issued meant to seriously affect the functioning and the independence of the judicial system;
- Consequently, we believe that these successive drafts to amend the laws of justice, promoted through Parliament (…) should be rejected as they raise questions regarding the need to re-examine, by the European Commission, of the progress made under the CVM in terms of the independence of the judicial system.