Update – Iordache committee works: The president would still appoint chief prosecutors, not the Supreme Court judges

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It was a rather short but intense day of Friday at the special commission led by former Justice Minister Florin Iordache. The sitting on Friday has dealt with the thorny issues, and then the MPs left for the weekend.

Thus, it was decided that the President remains involved in the appointment and dismissal of the chief prosecutors from the DNA, DIICOT and the Prosecutor General’s Office, but his role was amputated with regard to the appointments to the Supreme Court, ziare.com reports.

The committee thus decided that “the revocation from office of the Supreme Court (ICCJ) president and vice-presidents is made by the President of Romania upon the proposal of the CSM judges section.” In regard to appointing the ICCJ judges, the promotion contest can be joined only by judges who have worked for at least three years with the Court of Appeals, have been noted ‘very good’ at the past three assessments, have not been sanctioned during the past three years and have seniority of at least 18 years.

Most of the controversial proposals have been made by the National Union of Judges (UNJR), which has prompted the Prosecutor General to have a very tough reaction, accusing the union of manipulation of public opinion, and the situation on Friday extended to the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) as well.

CSM member Victor Alistar has attended the committee’s works, although he did not receive a mandate from the Council to be there, but he proposed that the president should no longer have the right to refuse appointments to the Supreme Court. Later, a CSM release informed that Alistar’s position does not have the approval of the council and is his personal stance.

All in all, the balance sheet of the 3-days works of the Iordache committee: the prosecutors will be politically nominated and the President’s role will be reduced to sign the document, however the situation remains almost the same as before. The head of state will be involved in nominating the chief prosecutors, that’s because the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) reads that for amendments in this field the go-ahead from the Venice Commission is needed. The risks related to further amendments is not over, as the Social-democratic Party could request to diminish the President’s role during the Parliament plenum sitting.

President Iohannis: “It will not remain like this”

President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday, while in Brussels, commented on the amendments by the Iordache committee.

“It is an inappropriate attempt and it will not remain like this. I am going to do everything tn the President’s power in a legislative area provided for in the Constitution,” Klaus Iohannis said on Friday as he arrived to attend the Eastern Partnership Summit.

Regarding the issue of appointing the ICCJ judges, the President said: “All sorts of issues will be voted, by all kinds of committees. At the end of the day, things should be clarified and I will get involved in this endeavour by the constitution.”

 

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