A delegation of the Venice Commission is paying a visit to Romania on September 13-14, to prepare an opinion on the amendments recently operated by the Romanian MPs on the Criminal Code and on the Criminal Procedure Code. The Venice Commission’s opinion in this regard has been required by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) by a decision taken on June 28. The conclusions of the Venice Commission’s evaluation are to be released on October 19.The Venice Commission representatives will have meetings with President Klaus Iohannis, with the Justice minister, with the chiefs of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, of the General Prosecutor’s Office, of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), of DIICOT, of he Superior Council of Magistracy, but also with representatives of the Parliament, magistrate associations and NGOs.In early July, Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjorn Jagland, called on Romania to wait for Venice Commission opinion, before advancing in revising the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.“I call upon all parties concerned to wait for the Venice Commission’s Opinion, and to take it into account, before any further steps are taken to amend Romania’s Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.
This reform risks contradicting Romania’s international obligations, notably under the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, as identified by the recent ad hoc report of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). As a member State of our Organisation, Romania is duty-bound to uphold the rule of law.
The Council of Europe will continue to pay close attention to the on-going developments in Romania and we stand ready to provide further expertise if needed.”
The Venice Commission’s opinion was requested by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly in a decision on 28 June. The opinion is due on 19 October. Together with the recommendations of GRECO, this is intended to identify the best possible solution to address the issues raised by the draft amendments, in line with European standards and with Romania’s European commitments,” said the press release.
In July 13, the Venice Commission published the preliminary report on the laws of justice with a series of recommendations for the authorities, the main one being to preserve the role of the President and the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) in the procedure of appointing and revoking the DNA and DIICOT prosecutors and the Prosecutor General.