Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said on Wednesday that a bill is needed to amend the justice legislation package because this goal is in the governance programme and 13 years have passed since being adopted .
“Why justice legislation now? Because it is part of the governing program, on the one hand, and because these three justice laws, although not the only ones (…), namely Justice in Romania does not follow these three laws only, they were adopted back in 2004. It is 13 years now since its adoption, and meanwhile Romania become an EU member state,” said Toader.
He explained that the adoption of the justice legislation package would not be done through an emergency ordinance, but the package would be submitted to the Executive. Toader said he hoped the Government would approve this package and submit it to Parliament.
On August 2, Tudorel Toader announced that all amendments to be brought to the Justice Law will be substantive ones.
“The draft law regarding the amendment of the Justice Law will be made presented on August 23, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Justice, starting 11:00am. It is all about substantive amendments, and not formal ones,” the Minister wrote on his Facebook page.
The draft law also refers to the amendment and addition of the Law No. 303/2004 regarding the status of judges and prosecutors, the Law No. 304/2004 on judicial organisation and the Law no. 317/2004 regarding the Supreme Council of Magistrates.
Judicial Inspectorate switches under Justice Ministry’s authority
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said on Wednesday that one of the amendments in the justice legislation package requires the Judicial Inspectorate switch under the authority of the Justice Ministry.
“In many countries, the Judicial Inspectorate is with the Justice Ministry, while its full independence and autonomy are both respected as it stays outside the coordination – some may say – the command of politics. There is also a more radical solution of autonomy, a separate institution of the Romanian state but not dependent on the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM). That means CSM will not draw up its regulations, or establish and approve its reports and other stuff, only for it to be controlled by the body of prosecutor magistrates,” Toader said in a statement at the Justice Ministry headquarters.
He said there are about 7,000 magistrates in Romania and that there are 70 members of the Judicial Inspectorate playing a very important role.
“This power of the Judicial Inspectorate to verify procedures and other things in the activity of magistrates comes as another form of independence, as another mechanism that positions the judiciary in relation to the other state powers and, at the same time, secures the autonomy of their independence in carrying out their legal missions,” said Toader.
He also announced on Wednesday that a special department is being considered to be established with the Public Prosecution Service to conduct criminal investigations of judges and prosecutors, regardless of the nature and gravity of offences involved.