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May 10, 2021

Senate Speaker wants to stop President from appointing chief prosecutors

*CSM issues negative report on the draft law

*PSD not endorsing Tariceanu’s initiative


The Superior Magistracy Council (CSM) has issued a negative report on the draft law filed by Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu. According to the draft, the Romanian President should be excluded from the procedure through which the holders of several key judiciary offices are appointed.

“I was completely surprised by the point of view adopted by the CSM, a body that talks every time it has the chance – and that’s good – about the need for judiciary independence. My proposal is precisely to offer even more independence, when it comes to the appointment of judges and prosecutors, by taking these appointments away from the political area, so I was really surprised by CSM’s reaction,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Wednesday.

The Senate Speaker emphasised that CSM members talk about the need for an independent Judiciary but when a proposal is made to enhance that independence they turn it down.

CSM issued a negative report on the draft law signed by Tariceanu, pointing out that “although it seems to be in line with democratic principles, it is deficient under many aspects.”

Calin Popescu Tariceanu proposed that the High Court of Justice (ICCJ) should choose from among its members, without any kind of outside interference, its President, Vice President and Section Presidents. Likewise, CSM should nominate the Chief Prosecutor of the ICCJ’s Prosecutor’s Office, his First Deputy and Deputy, the Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate, his Deputies, the chief prosecutors of these prosecutor offices’ sections, as well as the Chief Prosecutor of DIICOT and his Deputies. The nominees should be selected from the ranks of prosecutors who have held the office of judge or prosecutor for at least 10 years. The nominees should have three-year terms, with the possibility of being reinstated only once.

The Lower Chamber tacitly approved Tariceanu’s draft law on Wednesday. The draft law will now enter the Senate, which is the decisive Chamber.

Liviu Dragnea: “

PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Thursday that the current nomination procedure is better than the one proposed by the Senate Speaker in its draft law, a draft law tacitly approved by the Lower Chamber.

“In my point of view, it’s a procedure that has been used for a long time and since there are three public entities involved, three different entities, these filters, if we can call them that, may be good. After all, the most important thing is the quality of those nominated there,” the PSD leader stated, being quoted by News.ro.

Liviu Dragnea expressed his conviction that PSD Senators will share his point of view.

“It was tacitly adopted within the Lower Chamber; we were in the elections campaign. I too am surprised, how could the former Lower Chamber Speaker, praised and over-praised by everyone, miss such a thing. (…) At any rate, the Senate is the decisive Chamber, that’s where this will be decided,” Dragnea added.

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