The Forum of Romanian Judges and The Association of Romanian Prosecutors – APPEAL TO ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT TO REJECT THE BILL AMMENDING THE “LAWS OF JUSTICE”

APPEAL TO ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT TO REJECT THE BILL AMMENDING THE “LAWS OF JUSTICE”
The Forum of Romanian Judges and The Association of Romanian Prosecutors, professional organisations representing judges and, respectively, prosecutors, in regards of the bill meant to modify the “Law of Justice”, consider the following:

The only resolution to overcome the critical situation is to restart the dialog basing it on institutional transparency, thus the modification of these laws, fundamental for the function of the Rule of Law, to be established after an impact study, after consultation with the Civil Society, with the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM), the Magistrates’ Body, Venice Commission. Adopting such a Bill needs to retain trust from the Romanian citizens, to contribute to the good functionality and modernisation of the Judiciary System and not to negatively impact the independence of the Judiciary, the main guarantor of democracy.
In the absence of serious and credible reasons defending the proposals, we emphasise again the unfounded and non-procedural urgency in adopting this Bill, actions which are flagrantly against the European Commission recommendations set in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report published on 15 November 2017.

Therefore, such a parliamentary pseudo-debate without any right to effectively discuss the proposed amendments and which ignores the position of the majority of the Magistrates and the recommendation made by the European Commission in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report regarding the Judiciary Independence, cannot be held (nor any legitimacy can be invoked) with only few Professional Organisations which represent a limited fraction and which disregard the firm position of the Magistrates Body expressed also during hundreds of General Meetings.
Revoking the Prosecutor Independence Principle, creating an Agency which has the sole purpose to investigate magistrates, extending unconstitutionally the Magistrates legal liability, statutorily decreasing the constitutional prerogatives of the SCM, increasing the Justice Minister’s control over the magistrates’ career, the amendment proposed to the Judicial Inspection functioning body, are all changes which will severally impact the functionality and independence of the Judiciary.
Consequently, we consider that these successive projects to modify the “Law of Justice” promoted in the Parliament, ignoring the negative feedback from the SCM and the firm position of the Magistrates’ Body which stresses the disregard of the Romanian Constitution in the matter, should be rejected as it will raise questions on a possible European Commission revaluation in respect of all progresses noted by the CVM report on the Judiciary Independence.

The Forum of Romanian Judges and The Association of Romanian Prosecutors hereby reserve their right to protest by pursuing all appropriate legal actions against the proposals and by summoning urgently a General Meeting of all Courts of Justice and Prosecution Authorities to assess the impact of adopting such changes and to agree on the steps to be taken to protect the Judiciary Independence.

The parliamentary debate cannot have any legitimacy if only professional organisations representing a limited fraction are present, organisations which ignore the firm position of the Magistrates Body, therefore the two Professional Organisations signatory of this document request the SCM, as the guarantor of the Judiciary Independence but also based on the dialog and good institutional cooperation principle, to adopt a DECLARATION/APPEL to the attention of the Executive and Legislative Power asking for the rule of law and the MCV report recommendations to be respected.

FORUM OF ROMANIAN JUDGES
Judge Dragos Calin, Court of Appeal Bucharest, co-president
Judge Ionut Militaru, Court of Appeal Bucharest, co-president

ASSOCIATION OF ROMANIAN PROSECUTORS
Prosecutor Bogdan Gabor, Prosecution Authority of Maramures, president

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