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September 26, 2021

Interim JusMin Ana Birchall meets chief prosecutors and magistrates’ representatives

Interim Justice Minister Ana Birchall stated on Wednesday that she had meetings with the chief prosecutors, the Union of Judges and the representatives of magistrates. The minister did not comment on the fact that a prosecutor was kicked out from a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.

“It was absolutely normal for me to have a dialogue with all those who have – both during this period and in general – a very significant say in the proper functioning of the judiciary. And I talked with all of them, including the Union of Romanian Judges, the representatives of magistrates,” the interim Justice Minister stated.

Birchall refused to say whether she discussed with the chief prosecutors the amendments brought to the Criminal Codes.

“If you’re asking me as a law graduate, a jurist, if you’re asking me as a citizen of this country, I don’t believe it is normal, and it’s not fair – that’s what I learned in law school – for someone to decide which Constitutional Court decision is mandatory and which is not, and from this standpoint it’s absolutely necessary for Romanian society to have a debate on these things. Constitutional Court decisions are mandatory, they are not optional,” the interim Justice Minister concluded.

On Tuesday, Ana Birchall discussed with the Chief Prosecutor of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) the legislative proposals that concern the institution’s activity and that were debated within the Lower Chamber on Wednesday.

“It’s normal to ask them if they have current problems on the agenda. For instance, today, within the Lower Chamber, they had a first reading of the DIICOT laws. It was normal for me to talk with the DIICOT Chief Prosecutor about these laws, which concern the ministry’s current activity. An institutional dialogue is an institutional dialogue,” Birchall added.

Birchall was also asked for her comment on the fact that a Public Ministry prosecutor was kicked out of a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting by Committee Chairman Serban Nicolae (PSD).

“I won’t be able to comment on the activity within judiciary committees. I really believe in the separation of powers. What happens within Parliament is exclusively Parliament’s prerogative, and what happens within the Government is exclusively the Government’s prerogative. The Government answers before Parliament, because that’s how it is in a democracy.”

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