Senate passes amended CSM law amid new row between the ruling coalition and the Opposition

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The Senate has passed the draft amending the law 317/2004 regarding the activity of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM). Among the most important provisions there is the one related to the Judicial Inspection that will be a legal body within the CSM.

The draft law passed by 81 voted to 28.

Another amendment filed by PSD senator Serban Nicolae says that the CSM’s plenary sittings should be live on the council’s website, and should also be recorded on the Internet, except for the hearings and recess sessions.

The special committee set up to amend the justice laws has adopted a favorable opinion to the CSM law on Tuesday evening, preserving the form adopted by the Chamber of Deputies.

Ruling Social Democrat Party has thus dropped out the article stipulating the establishment of a National Integrity Council for Judges and Prosecutors, as they have also given up the idea that the Judicial Inspection should be an autonomous institution under the authority of this new Integrity Council.

On Tuesday, the committee has passed an amendment saying that “the CSM plenum, the sections, the CSM president and vice-president are notifying the Judicial Inspection ex-officio or if a judge or prosecutor asks for, to carry out checks to defended the independence of the judiciary”.

The plenary sitting of the Senate on Thursday has kicked off amid new scandal between the parliamentary majority and the Opposition, after USR senator Radu Mihail had compared Romania to Poland and argued that Article 7 could be triggered in our country’s case as well for breaking the rule of law.

PMP also boycotted the debates and the vote.

Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu replied to senator Mihail that his party wants to keep Romania “in the same disastrous brotherhood that has destroyed the country and the justice system”, arguing that the justice independence is only in theory, as it “had been trampled”.

The USR senator also retorted: “Mr. Tariceanu, you will hear us today and tomorrow as well, and over 10 years. The time will come and not very late when you will ask the floor from the Opposition’s side if by chance you’ll be somewhere else”.

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