The plenary meeting of the Senate voted by 93 votes in favor, 12 against and 3 abstentions the bill on making amendments and additions to the Law No.35/1997 regarding the organisation and functioning of the Ombudsman institution.
According to an amendment to the law, the Ombudsman position is assimilated as rank and salary with the minister position.
“This bill has the role of strengthening the statute of the Ombudsman institution, in defending fundamental rights. It was a legislative process with many interventions, with many proposals in the Judicial Committee, we had many meeting, several months. All colleagues drawn-up amendments and, most of them were admitted,” Senator Robert Cazanciuc and President of the Senate’s Judicial Committee explained.
Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea, in his turn, stated that most of the articles featuring in the bill’s text were drawn-up following some recommendations made by the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
“They are meant to ensure a large part of the autonomy, from an organizational and functional point of view, for this national prevention torture mechanism, over 2,300 places for detention from penitentiaries, pre-trial arrest, to asylums and orphanages. If you are to vote this bill, obviously that activity of the institution will be unfolding better and its efficiency will increase,” Victor Ciorbea stated.
Senator of the Save Romania Union (USR) Florina Presada claimed the bill “has nothing to do with the efficiency of this institution” and represents “a political reward given to Mr Ciorbea.”
In his turn, Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea mentioned that the special pension is not included in the current draft law, but stipulated in the law in force regarding the functioning of the Ombudsman institution.
The Senate is the decision-making chamber for this bill.