Ruling Party Offers President List Of Principles, Questions During Talks On Judicial Reform

The delegation of Romania’s ruling Social Democrat Party which attended talks with President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday presented the latter with a document containing ten principles they consider vital for judicial independence and a list of seven questions, according to chairman Liviu Dragnea.

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Imaginea articolului Ruling Party Offers President List Of Principles, Questions During Talks On Judicial Reform

Ruling Party Offers President List Of Principles, Questions During Talks On Judicial Reform

In a press statement immediately following the talks, Dragnea presented the list of principles, but declined to talk about the questions the delegation addressed to the head of state, stating that he wants to let President Iohannis analyze them.

Among the list of principles, the social democrats requested “stopping judicial abuses against citizens and reverting their effects”, liability for magistrates who err in office either due to malevolence or serious negligence and removing “magistrates who collaborated with intelligence agencies”.

The Social Democrat leader also said that the party does not believe in the need of restarting the process of judicial reform, as the recently enacted government decree nr. 92/2018 “contains Venice Commission recommendations”.

“We never rejected a discussion on Romania’s judicial system, we assumed it as an objective, as we decided in 2016 to make the mistake of ignoring what is happening in Romania, of not seeing abuses made by the judicial system. We cannot pretend that there were no secret, toxic protocols which parasite important state institutions, used by some occult forces (…) We cannot commit to a serious discussion if we do not answer some important questions, if we disregard the effects of abuses,” said the social-democrat leader.

The social-democrats’ coalition partners ALDE also sent a delegation to the talks, led by Senate Chairman Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who told journalists that Decree 92 did not solve all of the bill’s problems, and that some of them must corrected in the Parliament.

Moments before the meetings were due to begin, President Iohannis publicly called for an agreement between parliamentary parties regarding the process,s and urged them to respect recommendations made on the subject by the Venice Commission.

“It’s clear that this my objective here is to have the bills corrected, at least, and guarantee judicial independence (…) There needs to be responsible, transparent lawmaking, which can actually modernize the specific laws,” said the Romanian head of state.

The Romanian President decided to hold the talks after the Council of Europe’s advisory body, the Venice Commission, criticized the ongoing judicial reform pushed by the PSD-ALDE coalition in two separate reviews, stating that the proposed bills could weaken the country’s fight against corruption and endanger judicial independence. All parliamentary groups confirmed that they will send representatives to the talks.

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