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August 3, 2021

Judge Adrian Bordea, elected president of CSM

Bordea was the only candidate for the much coveted position. Prosecutor Gheorghe Muscalu was elected Vice President with ten votes, at the expense of his contender Bogdan Gabor. Attending the session, Basescu said there’s no reason to doubt the independence of the judiciary.

Judge Adrian Bordea was elected yesterday President of the Superior Magistracy Council (CSM), with a majority of votes (14 votes in favor, three against and one abstention). Sources from within CSM, quoted by Mediafax, claimed that judge Adrian Bordea was about to back Gheorghe Muscalu’s bid for the position of CSM Vice President.

The three candidates’ management projects were posted on CSM’s website several hours before yesterday’s meeting. Thus, Bordea shows in his management project that the promotion of magistrates on leadership positions within courts and prosecutor’s offices should be made by the Council’s sections, not by the plenum as currently stipulated by law. At the same time, he supports relieving the magistrates of obligations that lack jurisdictional character, creating an efficient system concerning the unitary application of the law, as well as applying the constitutional principle of the separation of powers “by instituting open dialogue and collaboration in the spirit of respecting the principle of legality.”
The National Union of Romanian Judges (UNJR) claims however that the election of CSM’s leadership takes place this year too under the aegis of a complete lack of transparency and criticizes the perpetuation of this procedure that is “completely disloyal and lacks respect towards the purpose of this institution.” According to the law, CSM is led by a President and Vice President that cannot be part of the same section. Thus, if one of them is part of the section for judges, the second has to be a prosecutor.
Haineala, satisfied with the institution’s activity
Prosecutor Oana Schmidt Haineala, whose one-year term at the helm of the CSM is about to end, stated yesterday that the Council has been very often put in the position of exercising its main constitutional role, namely that of guarantor of the judiciary’s independence. “CSM has reacted every time the judiciary’s independence was endangered or affected and I believe that in the end all the difficulties which the institution went through had a beneficial role, because they gave us the occasion to prove and to prove to ourselves that we withstand earthquakes of a high magnitude and we can do our duty irrespective of pressure,” Haineala said. She pointed out that the prosecutors have proven that they can handle the leadership of the magistrates’ body and that they fully find their bearings within the magistrates’ statute.
Appointment of chief prosecutors in important prosecutor’s offices has to be tinkered with, Basescu says
Present at the CSM meeting, President Traian Basescu stated about the independence of the judiciary that vulnerability appears when it comes to the appointment of chief prosecutors within important prosecutor’s offices, and this has to be addressed. “If one watches the public space, there are all kinds of Cassandras who forecast the loss of the judiciary’s independence, because they don’t know what is going on. I don’t believe that, and I’m not saying it out of politeness, but out of conviction,” Basescu said. The President pointed out that no matter how long he checks laws and the Romanian Constitution he cannot find at least an element that would put the independence of the judiciary into question. “On the contrary, the whole legislation consolidates this independence. Probably the only thing that has to be tinkered with is the appointment of the chief prosecutors within important prosecutor’s offices, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the DNA, DIICOT and what not, in order to break it away from the Executive, to make it the CSM’s decision, for it to be a CSM – President decision, but anyway if there is a vulnerability this is it.” Concerning the independence of the magistrates, Basescu said that it represents “as much as every magistrates takes.”
On the other hand, he stated that the fact that elections for the leadership of the CSM have to be held every year is a “shortcoming of the law,” stating at the same time that he is not concerned that yesterday’s elections could change the trend within the judiciary.
On his way out, the President had an exchange with General Attorney Tiberiu Nitu, whom he told he will call again when there are problems in the way the system works. “I’m not good just at appointing through decree and I will never call you for some case, but I will call you for things for which I have prerogatives, such as watching over the proper functioning of the state,” Basescu told Nitu. The Attorney General replied: “I did not tell you to call me, neither not to call me.”
The President was jeered by a group of persons both upon his arrival and upon his departure. The protesters shouted messages against Basescu and held banners reading “Basescu and CSM, same filth.” Moreover, they asked the President to resign..

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