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January 27, 2022

Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar launches book at Bookfest: We can’t draw curtain over conflict of interest

Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar launched a book on conflict of interest at Bookfest on Wednesday, saying that “no curtain can be drawn over such deeds”, his message being addressed to those who demand the decriminalisation of this offense.

“Why is this topic up-to-date? Because there are voices in the public space that say that this offense has to be decriminalised? Why so? Because it disturbs too many people. If everyone violates a law then it means that the law is not good – I have heard this reasoning boldly exposed. Well, no one has to expose oneself to ridicule. The laws are made so that we have a conduct that complies with the laws of the civilized world,” Lazar said.

He stated that his work, at its second edition, is actually a monograph on the jurisprudence of the conflict of interest.

“We can see that there are a number of convictions and acquittals for this crime, we can see who the active perpetrators are, and what are the deeds for which they have been convicted. We can also see that this offense is regulated relatively similarly in France and that there is similar jurisprudence, that brings us greater clarity regarding the understanding of this crime,” said Augustin Lazar.

Asked what he would like to communicate to those politicians who demanded the decriminalisation of the conflict of interest, the general prosecutor replied that he cannot pull the blanket over these deeds as long as they are committed by civil servants.

“It is clear that they are perpetrated and we will follow them step by step. The solution is not the decriminalization of these crimes,” said Augustin Lazar.

The Prosecutor General explained that the idea of writing this paper came to him after attending a training seminar for prosecutors, and realized that there was “weak” jurisprudence on conflict of interest issues.

“Why was this conflict of interest incriminated, if not because of the fact that we joined the EU, we have entered into this select club of Western states that operate on very clear and predictable rules and in this situation we needed a sanitation of public life, we needed civil servants to work according to a code of ethics, to know what they were allowed to do and what not. Where there is incompatibility, where there is conflict of interest. And if we want to have a civilization like the Western one, we must operate according to these very clear rules,” stated Augustin Lazar.

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