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April 19, 2021

Tiberiu Nitu, Bogdan Licu and Codrut Olaru heard by CSM

Important day for CSM  when the candidates for prosecutor general and first deputy prosecutor general were interviewed. Tiberiu Nitu, a candidate for the first position, outlines his project and answered questions asked by the members of the interview panel.

The Minister of Justice, Robert Cazanciuc, also attended. Before the hearings, he said the Public Ministry needed honest, experienced leader, someone able to bring around him a team sharing his values, that Tiberiu Nitu was ‘such a prosecutor’ and would have his support. Tiberiu Nitu chose to speak about the vulnerable spots of the judicial system and pinpointed ‘objectives to be reached’, noting that he had prepared his management project he brought to CSM based on the monitoring reports prepared by the European Commission as well as his own experience in the Public Ministry. Nitu spoke about the uneven and inequitable distribution of human resources as well as the need to have a unified jurisprudence and modernise the outdated IT system used in the system. ‘With the minister and the Government of Romania we should identify the necessary resources and change all equipment in the public system’, he said, adding that there were prosecution units with a very big case load which ‘do not work as an organisation should work in general, all the more so a prosecution unit’. Tiberiu Nitu also mentioned prosecutors’ work load, which ‘first reflects in statistical data and especially in the number of cases still unsolved’. He stressed the fact that the percentage of solved cases had grown by 2 per cent, but the percentage of unsolved cases also grew by 7 per cent.

He noted the widening gap between the two categories, saying ‘cases with unknown authors should remain open’. In what regards the number of prosecutors, Tiberiu Nitu said in Romania it is above the European average, but the number of clerks is below the average of 44-45 for every 100,000 inhabitants, which should ‘make us think’. He intends to reconsider the role of court clerks and transfer some of the prosecutor’s competence to them. Tiberiu Nitu further spoke about achieving a balance of the volume of work by delegating professionals and proposed a pilot project for that. He explained that ‘there are small prosecution units that no longer have a prosecutor, work through delegation from other units in the same county’, and gave the example of how activity of prosecutors was made more efficient in countries like Germany or Italy.Nitu also spoke about setting up the judicial police, saying he had identified a solution in the ‘small step policy’ he read about in one of the CSM reports.The judicial police officer scans documents and sends them via the secured network (…), the prosecutor downloads files, looks at them and makes a note <You did very well, you still need to do this and that. They don’t even need to leave office’, Nitu explained how the system should ideally operate, adding there is, however, a condition: ‘To convince the Government to set up the judicial police’. Nitu said he was for a participative leadership, explaining the best motivation for a prosecutor is responsibility, meaning to engage them in the act of leadership. ‘In our profession, the only motivation is the moral motivation, which the specialised management literature identifies as the best type of motivation,’ Nitu further noted. In the context, he said he fathered the virtual library and added that he has pleasantly surprised to see that the Ministry of Justice assumed the objective of developing it. As a conclusion, the candidate to the position of general prosecutor said that the objectives he proposes are, on one hand, “recommended and assumed from the evaluations of the EC, the reports made by the group of states for combatting corruption (…) institutions of the EU which we want to join,” while on the other the general priority objective must remain “the fight against corruption, at high level and also at medium level, locally.”After the hearing with CSM, Tiberiu Nitu said that he hopes to obtain a positive opinion, as the EC and all those who want the country to do well want to see the procedure of nominations in the top office of the Public Ministry concluded.After Tiberiu Nitu, CSM went on to hearing Bogdan Licu, proposed by the minister of Justice as first deputy general prosecutor, then Codrut Olaru, proposed for the office of deputy general prosecutor.

The day before the hearing, Bogdan Licu said his management project put before the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) would contain a proposal regarding the disbandment of small prosecutor’s offices, which have a small workload, having drawn up a detailed study over the issue at stake.    The nominee for deputy prosecutor general of Romania, Codrut Olaru, which was to be heard by the CSM yesterday, said on Wednesday he would support the Public Ministry being given the right to legislative initiative right and prosecutors being delegated for a determined period of time, irrespective of their consent, within the radius of the same Court of Appeal..

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