Draft to disband Special Section for Investigating Magistrates stirs controversies

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Justice Ministry has released on Tuesday the draft law to disband the Special Section for Investigating Magistrates. However its provisions stirred more controversy, with USR challenging the proposals, arguing they provide the Prosecutor General with increased powers to prosecute a magistrate, while magistrates gain special immunity.

In retort, Justice minister Catalin Predoiu assured that the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) can improve this draft, while the magistrates associations can send their proposals. “After all, a draft bill has been put the CSM’s smooth table, it has not been directly published in the Official Gazette by GEO, or in Parliament to assume the responsibility on it”, said the minister, adding “something imperfect is better than nothing“.

Cătălin Predoiu further said that he had taken note of the reactions, even if it’s criticism , and that he will reflect upon them, arguing he can understand criticism, but not the outspoken critic or offenses.

The minister also retorted to critics on the “super-immunity” conferred to magistrates. “It’s no super-immunity, it is an assurance for impartiality. The anti-corruption fight and, overall, the fight for integrity does not rule out the impartiality or rigour. On the contrary, they are mandatory in this fight (…) It is even for the DNA’s interest in having those filters so that prejudices and suspicions could go away,” he argued.

The draft bill stipulates who is taking over the duties on criminal prosecution of the Special Section, namely the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) will be that body to handle crimes stipulated by Law 78/2000 on preventing and sanctioning corruption deeds committed by judges and prosecutor, regardless of the value of the material damage.

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