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Representatives of the Romanian Association of Magistrates (AMR) yesterday demanded, during a plenary session of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), the honour resignation of CSM members, warning that if this does not happen, they will start the procedures aimed at revoking all the members of the CSM. In a separate move, a plenary session of CSM scheduled for yesterday, during which the vice-president of the Council should have been elected, was postponed from lack of quorum. Also yesterday, AMR convoked a meeting of its Steering Board, as it considers “illogical and inappropriate” for a prosecutor to be elected as president of the CSM, because prosecutors are subject to hierarchic control, while CSM guarantees the independence of Justice.“The Romanian Association of Magistrates decided to call a meeting of the Steering Board on January 9, 2013, in order to decide – after consulting the magistrates of Romania – the appropriate measures in view of observing the legality, tradition and institutional customs created in the relatively short time when the Superior Council of Magistracy operated in its current form,” AMR announced.Judge Gabriela Baltag, vice-president of AMR, said that the MCV Report will describe very well what is going on within the CSM, whose members were more concerned with their privileges than the real problems of Justice.“I consider that CSM should be monitored,” said Baltag, who is also a member of the AMR Steering Board.The ballot for the position of CSM president has been won by prosecutor Oana Schmidt Haineala, with 10 votes to 8. Haineala needed 10 of the 18 votes in order to be elected.
However, a ballot count reveals that only nine members of the Council voted for Haineala instead of 10. She was voted by Judges Alina Ghica (former CSM vice-president) and Cristi Danilet, and prosecutors Oana Schmidt Haineala, Daniel Morar, Gheorghe Muscalu, Bogdan Gabor and Florentina Gavadia, and the representatives of civil society Corina Dumitrescu and?i Daniela Ciochina.Seven judges – Mircea Aron, Adrian Bordea, Horatius Dumbrava, Alexandru Serban, Adrian Neacsu, Mona Lisa Neagoe and Marius Tudose – gave up the secret ballot procedure and asked the Council to issue a communiqué in which they rejected the information about the vote against the opponent of Oana Schmidt Haineala, Judge Mircea Aron of the High Court of Cassation.The minister of Justice, Mona Pivniceru, also voted against Oana Schmidt Haineala.The president of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Livia Stanciu rejected Monday in a press release the information that she voted for Oana Schmidt Haineala.In a meeting of the Section for judges of the CSM held Monday, January 7, it was decided to issue a press release following the news that appeared in the media about the situation generated by the vote for the election of the president of CSM, on January 4.Besides express legal interdictions, the systematic and TV-like interpretation of the Constitution and of the CSM Law – in the opinion of AMR – leads to the conclusion that, as guarantor of the independence of Justice, the Superior Council of Magistracy may only be led by a judge as president.Yesterday, the magistrates of the Cluj-Napoca Tribunal ruled to demand the revocation of Judge Cristi Danilet from the CSM, the decision being made in a procedure initiated by the judges of Valcea, while a similar procedure is under way at the Cluj Court of Appeals against Judge Alina Ghica. Danilet replied yesterday that he had honour, but has no reason to resign.Renate Weber: It is either schizophrenia, or plain Kafka to have a prosecutor at the top of CSM
PNL MEP Renate Weber considers that the idea of CSM being led by a prosecutor “is either schizophrenia, or plain Kafka!” as this “comes against the spirit of the Constitution.”Renate Weber said on RFI that CSM does not operate as it should. “If I look at what is going on these days at CSM, and if we also recollect what happened during previous years, when CSM repeated the vote until a certain person was elected as president, I find it obvious that this institution does not operate as it should. It has a role in the Romanian constitutional system and is unable to fulfil this role,” she said.The PNL MEP considers that the accusations of political interferences in the activity of CSM are justified. “All the allegations I can see today in the media, and beyond, made by journalists about the excessive politicisation of the institution are justified, I think,” she mentioned.Asked whether she believes that the situation of the CSM will be reflected by the MCV Report due for later this month, Renate Weber answered: “Normally, it should be reflected. Honestly, because it is against both the spirit of the Romanian Constitution and the spirit of the independence of Justice, in general, to have at the top of the institution a prosecutor, someone who is subject to hierarchic control.”
Justice Minister: Even prosecutors do not want to be led by the person that was elected
The law does not demand that the president of the Superior Council of Magistracy must be a judge, but this has not been stipulated “because it seemed this was a matter of common sense, which has been observed each year,” the Minister of Justice, Mona Pivniceru, said Tuesday on Antena 3.In her opinion, even prosecutors do not want the institution to be led by Oana Schmidt-Haineala. “I notice that even the body of prosecutors does not want this castling, because the spirit of the law is not observed, as long as the mandate is of a year, and I notice that both judges and prosecutors protest against the presence at the top of CSM in this formula, I notice that no programme has been put on debate, under the pretext that this is no contest, and I recollect the selection of prosecutors, when