GRECO and MONEYVAL say special section for investigating magistrates should be disbanded. GEO 7 – analyzed by the next evaluation report

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The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) has announced on Tuesday that GRECO and MONEYVAL, organisms with the Council of Europe, have not been consulted by Romanian authorities regarding Emergency Ordinance 7 on the laws of justice.

“The Executive Secretariat of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) and of the MONEYVAL: Committee (Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism) claim they have not been consulted or informed by the Romanian authorities on the adoption of GEO 7/2019 on amendments to the laws of justice,” DNA informs in a release for ziare.com.

DNA mentions that the two organisms express concern over the enactment by emergency ordinance and stress their opinion that the section for investigating magistrates should be disbanded.

They lay stress on “previous recommendations on naming the judges and prosecutors in leading positions should be made on adequate, clear and objective criteria, considering the experience and the results.”

They also express concern on the excessive use of emergency ordinances for enactment.

GRECO has also told DNA that the adoption of GEO 7 will be analysed by the next evaluation report during June 17-21, 2019.

“Romania is member of GRECO since 1999 and since 2017 is the subject of ad hoc evaluations from the organization, following the successive amendments to the legal framework in the field of justice. The GRECO representatives argue that the situation after adopting GEO 7 will be considered by the next GRECO report,” the document reads.

DNA announced last week it will refer the situation to GRECO, following the protests registered at many courts and prosecutor’s offices throughout the country against GEO 7/2019.

The Government adopted on Tuesday an ordinance amending the GEO 7, despite the negative opinion of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) on the document.

In May 2018, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was heard in the Senate on the latest GRECO report issue, saying the report must be considered ‘as a guide and that it cannot impose any rules to the Romanian legislator.’

Minister Toader argued that the GRECO report had been transformed into a much too publicized political topic and which has many “inaccuracies”. He added that he had been summoned to release the report immediately after he had got it, if not he allegedly has something to hide.

On top of all, the Justice Minister claimed that he had talked to the GRECO experts.

“The legislation must keep up with the criminality on one hand, but also with the standards of protecting the fundamental rights and liberties. Everyone should know and stick to his competences,” Toader said, adding that the Justice Minister is not authorized to notify the Venice Commission.

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