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Venice Commission to adopt opinions on criminal codes in Romania. Tensions in the ruling coalition over the GEO on justice laws

Venice Commission will discuss in its plenary sitting on October 19 the adoption of an opinion on the amendments operated on the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code in Romania, and also of the preliminary opinion released on July regarding the amendments on the justice laws.

„The European Commission for Democracy through Law (“Venice Commission”) is expected to adopt an opinion on amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code in Romania. It is also expected to endorse a preliminary opinion issued in July on draft amendments to Romanian laws on the statute of judges and prosecutors, judicial organization and the Superior Council for Magistracy. The legal experts will hold an exchange of views with Florin Iordache, Chair of the Joint Special Parliamentary Commission for amending the Judicial Laws,” reads a press release on the Council of Europe’s website.

Florin Iordache announced on Sunday he would take part in the Venice Commission meeting to present a stance on the preliminary opinion.

Meanwhile in Bucharest, the government is set to adopt an emergency ordinance on justice laws, but amid tensions right inside the ruling coalition. It seems that the emergency ordinance proposed by the Justice minister is not approved by some Social Democrats

According to sources quoted by Digi24, the article in the GEO which regulates the responsibility of the magistrates will be deleted and the previous form that the Parliament sent to Presidency for promulgation would be re-enforced.

More precisely, the Social Democrat Party would not agree to the new filter introduced by the Justice minister-namely the Judicial Inspectorate that will establish if the magistrate has made mistakes in bad faith or due to severe negligence.

PSD thinks that a new appeal is being born that becomes a provision in favor of the magistrates.

Minister Toader’s proposal regarding the recall of the CSM members is slammed by the leader of PSD senators, Serban Nicolae. He thinks it is „stupid”, a „mockery” and opined the Government should reject the GEO.

„It raises questions. I have the feeling the shadow of Macovei (e.n Monica Macovei, former Democrat Liberal Justice Minister) and of Pruna (e.n. technocrat Justice Minister) has covered the thought of this ordinance. For instance, I saw this completely stupid formula related to the recall of the CSM members where judges, and prosecutors, are voting to recall, then the CSM is ruling by majority of votes,” Serban Nicolae argued.

He also called the delay of the cutting the seniority needed for the magistrates’ retirement by 20 years as an „ineptitude”.

The justice laws proposed magistrates who have 20 years seniority can retire, which would mean that magistrates in their 40s would have the right to retire.

In the Justice Ministry’s GEO, the ministry proposed the delay of the early retirement of the magistrates, arguing it would have a major impact on the activity of courts and prosecutor’s offices and thus decided that provisions on the early retirement should be delayed by December 31, 2022.

Early this month, Justice minister Tudorel Toader said the Venice Commission had agreed the GEO on the justice laws.

Monday is the last day that PSD’s Government can adopt this GEO for otherwise the justice laws in the form criticised by the Venice Commission would come into force.

 

 

 

About Alina Grigoras Butu