Venice Commission President on justice law amendments in Romania: Rulers want to change the laws for they are not satisfied with the courts’ rulings

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Gianni Buquicchio, President of  the Venice Commission told  an interview for Radio Europa Liberă, referring to the justice law amendments in Romania, that „those who are in power want to change the laws for they are not satisfied with the justice’s rulings”, while underlining that countries like Romania don’t have a solid democratic mentality, precisely for they are part of the former Communist bloc. Buquicchio also referred to  Republic of Moldova, Hungary or Bulgaria.

Before the EU accession, I worked very much with countries like Romania to implement measures to strengthen the independence of justice. Now, when they are in the EU, it seems they don’t care about it so much,” Gianni Buquicchio said.

The Venice Commission head revealed that the institution is working on a preliminary opinion regarding the situation of the justice laws in Romania, which will be released at the end of July. The opinion will target the statute of judges, the judicial organization and the CSM laws.

We have been following the situation in Romania for some months now. We have received no request from the Romanian authorities or from the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council fo Europe) to analyse the situation since the crisis has started. It was only in April that President Iohannis has asked for our opinion. We are working on this document. Last week, within the Venice session, we had an exchange of views with the members of the Parliament in Bucharest: Mr. Iordache, the chairman of the legal committee in the Chamber of Deputies and with the President Iohannis’ presidential adviser on legal affairs. Considering the emergency of the situation, we are working on a preliminary opinion, which will be ready at the end of July, and it will be sent to Bucharest, and we hope it will be taken into account. The opinion will refer to the statute of judges, to the judicial organization and to the Superior Council of Magistracy. The criminal codes are not subject to this analysis, as no one has asked us for an opinion.”

The president of the Venice Commission opined that „political interests” and „mentality” underlie the avalanche of attacks against justice in the Eastern European countries.

„There are political interests. It is also a matter of mentality. There also elections and winners want to take it all (…) So, still there is no democratic mentality in these countries, the idea of change of power: I am in power today, you will be tomorrow, and we should do our best for the good of the people and the society. The rulers want to change laws for they are not satisfied with the justice’s rulings,” Buquicchio explained.

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