The Justice Minister, Catalin Predoiu, argues that, in Romania, magistrates are one of the few professions whose members are not made accountable, and accuses the Judiciary Inspection Commission of the High Council of Magistrates (CSM) (e.n. the body which rules in discipline cases in which judges and prosecutors are the object) of reluctance to look into charges of ill-faith or severe negligence in the exercise of a judiciary office.
The minister argued, yesterday, during the French-Romanian conference on the accountability of magistrates, that magistrates and the CSM’s Judiciary Inspection Commission were like two peas in a pod. The minister stated that the actual accountability of magistrates depended on disciplinary or criminal accountability. The official argued that, since 2004, when the magistrate laws were adopted, no case of actual accountability has been reported. According to Predoiu, actual accountability does not work, whereas the disciplinary one “is excellent, except there’s no sign of it”.
The official also pointed to disturbing similarities in the conclusions of the Judiciary Inspection Commission’s proceedings. He added: “What a fine example of how norms can deviate from the spirit which inspired them! It’s as if the surgeon said, I cannot operate and take out the tumour, because I am not allowed to harm the body of the patient! It is only natural, in this case, that we should have a hospital full of sick people”. Another frequent response “which recurs throughout the Judiciary Inspection Commission’s proceedings”, according to the minister, is the notion that “unreasonable terms are to be blamed exclusively on the state, which should provide the material conditions and does not provide them”.