Top Judicial Watchdog Gives Negative Review for Partial Judicial Decree Repeal

The plenary of Romania’s top judicial watchdog, the Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM), offered a negative review for a decree partially repealing a controversial judicial bill adopted by the Government on February 19.

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Imaginea articolului Top Judicial Watchdog Gives Negative Review for Partial Judicial Decree Repeal

Top Judicial Watchdog Gives Negative Review for Partial Judicial Decree Repeal

CSM representatives said that the negative review was given in order to maintain the body’s position that all provisions of the initial decree which were not proposed by the council should be repealed.

Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced last week that he agreed to repeal some of the decree’s most controversial provisions, but also rejected the idea of a full repeal.

The bill contains several changes to the contest for admission into the National Institute of Magistracy (INM) and the attributions of the Supreme Court’s Section for Investigating Judicial Offences (SIIJ) chief-prosecutor.

Before the partial repeal announced by Toader, the act also extended the eligibility criteria for top prosecutor offices to judges who have previously worked as prosecutors, instead of only prosecutors who are active at the time of the nomination.

Additionally, it amended the procedure for appointing top prosecutors, as candidacies for such offices were set to be reviewed by the CSM’s plenary, instead of the institution’s Prosecutors’ Section, as is currently the case.

CSM Chairman Lia Savonea announced last Friday that the repeal decree also reverts a provision which blocked delegations into top prosecutor offices. Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate announced that the provision will result in the loss of two of its section chiefs currently delegated for the roles.

The act was criticized by Romania’s main prosecutors’ offices, but also by top judicial watchdog CSM’s Prosecutors’ Section and by National Union of Romanian Judges. The institutions accused that its provisions might block the agencies’ activities and infringes on the principle of separating the careers of judges and prosecutors.

Tens of courts and prosecutor’s offices around the country temporarily suspended their non-urgent activity in protest against the decree, including top anti-terrorism agency and anti-organized crime agency DIICOT.

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