The bill initiated by the President of the Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, by which the President of the country and the Minister of Justice are excluded from the procedures of appointing the chief-prosecutors and the leadership of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, was tacitly adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, the first notified Chamber. Next step for the document is to be subject of debates in the Senate, which is the decisional Chamber.
Parliament resumes its work on Tuesday, just after the break for the electoral campaign.
The bill didn’t get to receive a report from the Legal Commission of the Chamber of Deputies (the deadline was May 12), but it received a negative report both from the Government and from the Superior Council of Magistracy.
According the bill, Tariceanu proposes amendments to the Statute of judges and prosecutors, meaning that leading positions will not involve the politics anymore – namely the President of the country and the Minister of Justice.
“Among the judges who have worked to this court at least two years, High Court of Cassation and Justice appoints its president, its vice-president, the presidents of the departments”, stipulates Tariceanu’s project.
According to this project, the dismissal of the president, of the vice president or of the presidents of the departments is made by the ICCJ (High Court of Cassation and Justice) which can be seised either of its own motion, or at the request of one third of the total number of members, or at the request of the general meeting of the institution.
“The Prosecutor General attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, his first deputy and his deputy prosecutor, the National Anticorruption Prosecutor, his deputies, prosecutors – heads of departments of these institutions, as well as the chief prosecutor of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism and their deputies, are appointed by the Superior Council of Magistracy, among the prosecutors who have a minimum length of 10 years as judge or prosecutor, for a period of three years, with the possibility to reinvest once ” the bill stipulates.
According to the proposal, their dismissal is also made by the CSM (Superior Council of Magistracy), which can be seised either of its own motion or at the request of the general meeting or, when needed, by the Prosecutor General attached to ICCJ.
The explanatory memorandum to the draft stipulates that “in public space and not only in Romania, but worldwide, a debate is made on what are the best ways to ensure the independence of justice and to remove the act of justice out of the too high influence of the political factor”.
At this moment, law provides that the president, the vice presidents and the presidents of the ICCJ departments are appointed by the President of Romania at the proposal of CSM, but Tariceanu’s proposal is that these appointments should depend only by the Supreme Court, which should choose them among its leadership, “without any kind of political interference from outside”.