Justice Laws: The President cannot decline to appoint magistrates

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According to an amendment filed to the magistrates statute in the special committee led by Florin Iordache, the President will not be able to decline to name certain judges or prosecutors, even if his denial is grounded.

The MPs in the Iordache committee, which was especially set up to amend the justice laws, have repealed an article in force in the Statute of the judges and prosecutors, according to which Romania’s President could decline once to name certain magistrates, if his denial was grounded. The refuse was also sent to the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM).

The proposal to cut this article has been drafted by the National Union of Judges (UNJR) in Romania and has been endorsed by the ruling coalition and UDMR.

The UNJR argued that under the current law, the President has the right to decline the appointment of a magistrate who has passed all exams. The Union claims that the appointment decree must be a solemn action, without allowing the head of state to be involved in the magistrates’ selection procedure. The judges union also argued that the president’s denial in this case can be arbitrary and can be seen as an immixture of the political class in the activity of a judge.

Liberals have vetoed the proposal. “If the law worked well and there was no case when the President had ever declined an appointment, why should we amend it, because of vanity?,” said PNL senator Alina Gorghiu.

Former Justice minister Catalin Predoiu, noe PNL deputy, also pointed out that the abrogation of the article is breaking the balance between CSM and the Presidency, saying it’s no immixture. “The President will not have any tool to balance the relations. There is no immixture for in the end, the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) will have the final say in the appointment procedures,” Predoiu argued.

USR notifies CCR over the legality of ‘Iordache committee’

Save Romania Union (USR) has filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) on Thursday, challenging the resolution on the foundation of the special committee for the justice laws chaired by ex-Justice minister, Florin Iordache.

USR says that PSD and ALDE have given ‘illegal responsibilities’ to the committee, arguing it’s the responsibility of the permanent legal committees in the Parliament to debate the justice laws. USR claims the ruling coalition has set up the special committee to shorten up the time to debate and adopt the justice laws.

PSD-ALDE has practically created a super-committee to replace the permanent committees of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies. That breaks the Parliament’s regulation and the Constitution,” said Vlad Alexandrescu, USR vice-president.

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