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April 22, 2021
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Romanians able to get faster divorces, trials to get quicker rulings

President Traian Basescu promulgated, on Monday, the law containing several measures to expedite the solution of suits, known as the law of the “mini-reform” of the judiciary. He made the announcement yesterday afternoon, in a press statement, at Cotroceni, reviewing the main provisions of the law. The head of state added that the new law will meet the Romanians’ need for faster and fairer trials.


Traian Basescu stated that this piece of legislation extends the ranks of structures and individuals that may file an appeal, in the interest of justice. He enumerated, under this heading, the Ombudsman and the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ)’s Coordinating Board. “Under the new law, judges will be granted the capacity to rule in any suit which presupposes damages or payments up to RON 2,000. This will solve the matter of the famous fines which go now all the way to ICCJ,” he added. The new law also regulates the cases and conditions in which one may call for the transfer of a trial at another court, the means of transmitting the acts for procedure, namely, the famous subpoenas, so that the parties can no longer invoke they have not been advised of the new term for hearing set by the judge. “The classical subpoena is not longer needed, a notification by fax or email will do,” Basescu argued.


Under the new law, judges are also under a duty to set very short court terms, removing the possibility of scheduling the next hearing in the following year, for example, and the court’s jurisdiction may only be challenged on the first hearing.


The law also restricts situations where review courts may return a case for retrial. The head of state also said the new law introduces an eviction ban in property restitution court cases from December 1 until March 1. Another positive change brought by the ‘small reform’, according to the president, is its encouragement of the parties to seek out-of-court settlements – the institution of mediation applicable to commercial and divorce matters. Under the new law, a divorce action may be introduced via an administrative way. The notary is thus vested to validate a consensual divorce where the parties agree on how to share properties and child custody.


CSM: LAW COURTS STIFLED BY CASE FILES


Law courts saw a significant rise in activity volume during the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2009, The Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) showed in a report on courts of law posted on the institution’s website. Judges are found to have 29 per cent, 265,000-plus, more cases, despite the number of judges falling by 114. The case-load per judge also rose from 512 in 2009 to 711 in 2010. Tribunals too see a steadfast rise in the number of cases, beginning with year 2007, along with a drop in the number of magistrates, from 1,300 in the first-half of 2007, to 1,279 in the similar period of this year. CSM also reports that the Bucharest, Dolj and Constanta tribunals were Romania’s busiest in the first quarter of this year.

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