President Klaus Iohannis has announced on Wednesday, during a press statement at Cotroceni Palace, that he would notify the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) and the Venice Commission on the laws of justice.
“I find out from the very beginning that the laws of justice are not fully meeting the constitutional framework and the European standards. Some provisions to amend Law 303/2004 have been declared unconstitutional two times. Nevertheless, issues regarding the integrity and the magistrates’ responsibilities violate the Constitution. Law 317/2004 is not better, as it instates segregation on the justice guarantor, by shifting attributions from the Superior Council of Magistracy to the sections. (…) I have decided to send the entire package of laws to the CCR and to notify the Venice Commission. Hence, I make an appeal to the CCR not to haste and to cooperate with the European institution, which for 30 years has contributed to the development of a joint constitutional patrimony in Europe and supports the states on topics such as democracy, including by granting emergency constitutional support. I believe the CCR judges will show openness to this step, in order to observe the European principles and values in Romania,” President Klaus Iohannis said.
The head of state recalled Emergency Ordinance 13 and accused the ruling party of assaults against the judiciary.
“At the beginning of 2017 they made that infamous GEO 13. We succeeded to stop the ordinance together. Hundreds of Romanians have taken protests to the street in order to achieve that. The assault then went to Parliament and now their attempts have reached the level of promulgating the laws. The original procedure, the unjustified haste and the authoritarian way of parliamentary debates have led to mistrust. The justice reform, as it is claimed by the PSD, is still challenged by the professional organisations of magistrates and raises the concern of our foreign partners. We cannot just watch passively the rewriting of the Constitution. The entire legal package has been adopted by the Parliament in one week and then no less than 4 months and 3 CCR decisions were necessary in order to amend it. All these prove that the result of parliamentary debates would have been better if the texts had been well founded and debated. I mean the Law 303/2004, La2 304/2004 and Law 317/2004,” Iohannis said.
The head of state added that the amendments to the laws of justice are not meant to make it more effective, but to intimidate the magistrates and that the package of laws does not meet the exigencies of the rule of law and democracy, nor the Romanians’ expectations.
Last week, during a press statement, the head of state requested the resignation of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila for not being able to cope with the office.