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March 2, 2021

Magistrates, Justice Ministry at war over pay cut rulings

The Valcea judges are at war with the Justice Ministry. The reason for this: a state secretary urged for the initiation of an investigation against the magistrates who dared to issue a ruling declaring wage cuts illegal. The judges call for the state secretary’s resignation and argue they will not allow the ministry to exercise any pressure on them, Realitatea TV reports.

A couple of days ago, the state secretary Lidia Barac called for an investigation in the activity of the Valcea judges who declared the wage cuts illegal. The Ministry of Justice argues that the magistrates act in defiance of the Constitu­tional Court’s rulings and take upon themselves prerogatives which lie with the legislative. The magistrates reacted promptly: “The violation of the judiciary’s independence is unacceptable. The Ministry of Justice is a party in this suit and it can resort to the legal procedures at its disposal. This is not the first time the Executive has tried to undermine the power of the judiciary. We should present them with the Romanian Constitution,” the spokesperson for the Valcea Court, Mariana Varga, stated. The ministry fears that the Valcea Court ruling may be an inspiration for other magistrates, given that, at present, courts are expected to issue rulings in no less than 83 similar suits filed by employees in the prison or judiciary system.

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