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Bucharest
November 22, 2019
JUSTICE

Romanian judges, European specialists discuss justice memorandum

European Commission experts in charge with the assessment of Romania’s judicial reform under a Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) on Friday met officials of Romania’s professional associations of magistrates in Bucharest to discuss the latest developments in Romania’s justice system.

In a press statement released after the meeting, the National Union of Romania’s Judges (UNJR) says talks focused mainly on magistrates’ demands included in a Justice Memorandum, which presents problems facing the judiciary and asks for the implementation of a set of measures leading to an efficient, modern and high quality justice system.

UNJR says the CVM experts agreed that the problems mentioned by the magistrates in the memorandum are legitimate and deserving of grounded debates and analyses.

The officials of Romania’s magistrates are said to have underscored the need for the publication of the methodology underpinning the CVM report, as well as the names of the persons and organisations providing opinions about Romania’s judiciary.

“We have noticed that onions of some people collected from the media and the civil society have been quoted in CVM reports as expert opinions about Romania’s judiciary, although the persons in question do not necessarily have a judiciary background. Assessing Romania’s judiciary should not be done by persons, institutions or organisations that stay anonymous yet have an impact on the report, which has consequences including for Romania’s relations with its external; partners,” UNJR Chair Dana Girbovan is quoted as saying in the statement.

She quoted Romania’s Justice Minister Raluca Pruna as having said after the latest progress report under CVM that it contains factual errors, an opinion that UNJR shares.

“Publishing the report methodology and the names of all those who contribute to the drawing up of the report is necessary in order to avoid such errors in the future,” said Girbovan.

UNJR says the professional associations of Romania’s magistrates will submit to the European Commission a written report on justice issues in the period immediately ahead.

The memorandum expressly states that by adopting it, the magistrates reserve their right to makes use of all the democratic action forms for their demands to be met.

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