President Klaus Iohannis has embarked on a row with the leadership of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) over the refusal to appoint Dana Gîrbovan as Justice minister, upon PM Dăncilă’s proposal. After CSM had accused the head of state of “serious interference” in the judiciary, President Iohannis replied in a press release that he has justified the denial of citizen Dana Gîrbovan, and not of judge Dana Gîrbovan.
The row comes following strange developments. Proposed by PM Dăncilă as Justice minister, Dana Gîrbovan announced her resignation from magistracy on August 26. President Iohannis denied proposals of the prime minister on August 28, so, on the same day, Girbovan withdrew her resignation from magistracy, asking CSM to take note of her reversal.
Today, August 29, CSM, led by Lia Savonea, known as close to the ruling party, has lashed out at President Iohannis, while defending Dana Gîrbovan.
“The Judge Office within the CSM is publicly condemning President Iohannis’ latest statements, considering them as serious interference against the independence of justice. The Romanian President’s reasoning to justify the denial of the proposal for the Justice ministry of a judge, by unjustified and unproved reference to her independence and professional integrity, represents a serious breach of the independence and prestige of the judiciary. The Superior Council of Magistracy and the judicial power, through the courts, are the only authorities entitled by the Constitution and the organic laws to decide if a judge has or hasn’t the capacities required by the legal provisions to hold an office. The allegations made by Romania’s President against the person proposed to be Justice minister, a person who has been judge for more than 19 years, represent a clear attack against the independence of prestige of justice unless they are proved within the legal and constitutional mechanisms,” reads the CSM press release.
In retort, the Presidency said that President Klaus Iohannis had not justified the denial of the proposal for the Justice minister of judge Dana-Cristina Gîrbovan, but of the Romanian citizen Dana-Cristina Gîrbovan, who accepted the prime minister’s proposal to take an office in a political government and who filed her resignation from magistracy.
“Any other perspective would mean that either the prime minister’s proposal for the Justice minister was in total contradiction with the Fundamental law, or that, by accepting this proposal, the nominated magistrate would have been in disagreement with her own professional statute.
As it induces the idea that a judge can take a minister office, the opinion of the CSM’s Judge Office is concerning and is meant itself to make vulnerable the independence and the prestige of justice and of the judge statute”.