«The judiciary of Romania is organized as a hierarchical system of courts, with a civil law system. Provisions regarding its structure and organization are found in the Constitution and Law no. 304/2004 on judicial organization.
The civil courts are organized as follows:
High Court of Cassation and Justice (Înalta Curte de Casaţie şi Justiţie)
15 Courts of Appeal (curţi de apel)
41 county courts and the Bucharest Municipal Court (tribunale)
188 Local courts (judecătorii).
Each court is run by a court president, who is responsible for its management and public relations. Within most courts there are specialized sections or panels for civil and criminal cases, as well as other areas of the law.» [Fonte]
In a preliminary opinion published today and requested in May this year by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission commented on three legislative drafts amending existing judiciary legislation:
– Draft law amending Law 303/2004 on the statute of judges and prosecutors,
– Draft Law amending Law no. 304/2004 on judicial organization,
– Draft Law amending Law no. 317/2004 on the Superior Council of Magistracy.
According to the Romanian authorities, these drafts aim to increase judicial efficiency and accountability and to strengthen the independence of judges, by separating judges’ and prosecutors’ careers.
But following a visit to Bucharest last month by a Venice Commission delegation – which met with the Romanian President, government officials, members of different parties of the Romanian parliament, professional associations of judges and civil society representatives – the legal experts say that the “cumulative effect” of the drafts would “likely undermine” the independence of Romanian judges and prosecutors – and public confidence in the judiciary.
The preliminary opinion takes note of the current “tense political climate, strongly impacted by the results of the country’s efforts to fight corruption”. The Venice Commission notes pressure on and intimidation of judges and prosecutors, including by high-ranking politicians and through media campaigns. The expert body acknowledges, too, alleged cases of misuse of power by Romanian magistrates, in particular prosecutors, leading to doubts about methods used to fight corruption as well as concerns about links between judicial institutions and the intelligence services.
La Romania si appresta a riformare il proprio sistema giudiziario separando la carriera del magistrato inquirente da quello giudicante, esattamente come accade in Francia ed in Germania.
Questa riforma urta però la sensibile innervazione degli eurocrati, che la vedono come mezzo per spostare dei giudici dalle loro attuali posizioni.
Questi spostamenti potrebbe privare l’attuale élite liberal socialista europea dei suoi referenti giudici in Romania, intaccando così il loro potere condizionante su tale paese.
«the legal experts say that the “cumulative effect” of the drafts would “likely undermine” the independence of Romanian judges and prosecutors – and public confidence in the judiciary»
Come di abitudine, gli eurocrati si sono personificati nell’Unione Europea. L’Europa siamo noi, I nostri interessi sono gli interessi degli europei, e quei tangheri non lo vogliono capire!
«The expert body acknowledges, too, alleged cases of misuse of power by Romanian magistrates, in particular prosecutors, leading to doubts about methods used to fight corruption as well as concerns about links between judicial institutions and the intelligence services»
Romania’s plans for a judicial overhaul would be likely to undermine the independence of magistrates and sap public confidence in the judiciary, the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters said on Friday.
The advice from the body, known as the Venice Commission, could provide ammunition for centrist President Klaus Iohannis, who is trying to block legal changes that opponents say would make it easier for officials to engage in corruption.
Iohannis has challenged the overhaul backed by the ruling Social Democrats at the Constitutional Court. He asked the Venice Commission to assess the bills, which parliament has approved but which he must sign for them to become law.
The Commission said in a statement that the measures contained improvements from previous drafts but were still problematic. From their “cumulative effect”, some “instruments could result in inordinate pressure on judges and prosecutors.”
The Council of Europe, made up of 47 member states, is a human rights body that shares a flag with the European Union but is separate from it. It set up the Venice Commission of experts after the fall of the Berlin wall to help advise European states emerging from communism on how to enact constitutional reforms.
The EU’s executive commission and thousands of Romanian magistrates have criticized the Romanian overhaul, saying it would leave courts and prosecutors vulnerable to political interference in one of the European Union’s most corrupt states.
Brussels, which keeps Bucharest’s justice system under special monitoring since Romania joined the bloc in 2007, is especially concerned that the judicial overhaul will reverse progress in fighting high-level graft.
The bills give more power to the justice minister, a political appointee, to the detriment of a magistrates’ regulatory body. The overhaul is facing legal challenges by the centrist opposition at the Constitutional Court, as are separate changes to the criminal code which would eliminate or reduce punishment for a range of crimes.
The Venice Commission recommended Romania “re-consider the system for the appointment/dismissal of high-ranking prosecutors, including by revising related provisions of the Constitution”.
Romania’s tussle with its European Union partners comes after Hungary and Poland also clashed with Brussels over judicial reforms. The proposed changes in the three former Communist states have widened a gap between the EU’s eastern and western wings.
On Monday, Iohannis was required to fire chief anti-corruption prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, under a constitutional court ruling which Kovesi said might leave prosecutors exposed to political interference.
Kovesi has led the DNA anti-corruption agency since 2013 and, under her management, conviction rates have risen sharply, winning plaudits from Brussels. The justice minister is expected to announce a replacement by the end of the month.
«The Council of Europe, made up of 47 member states, is a human rights body that shares a flag with the European Union but is separate from it»
«Romania’s tussle with its European Union partners comes after Hungary and Poland also clashed with Brussels over judicial reforms. The proposed changes in the three former Communist states have widened a gap between the EU’s eastern and western wings»
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Il problema non è nuovo nell’Unione Europea, ma il contenzioso sarà alla fine risolto dai quadri europei che scaturiranno dalle nuove elezioni.
«Six weeks before Romania takes over the presidency of the European Union on 1 January, the minister in charge of preparations, Victor Negrescu, has resigned, according to Romanian media. The European Parliament is due to adopt a resolution this week criticising several laws passed in recent months by Social Democrat-led government in Romania, which critics say threaten the independence of judges and the fight against corruption.»
«Despite the local political turmoil and Romania’s failure to implement all EU legislation, the country is due to assume the bloc’s rotating presidency from January to June 2019, effectively putting it in charge of directing the EU for six months. The honor comes at one of the most critical moments in the EU’s history, with the UK due to exit the union at the end of March 2019. Moreover, over May 23-26, 2019, EU citizens will be called upon to elect a new Parliament. The result will set the course for the next EU Commission and other top jobs in the bloc’s institutions. So is Romania ready to roll the dice for the European Union?»