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May 17, 2021

Five judges explain refusal to attend CSM plenary session

Five judges, members on the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) on Wednesday explained in a press statement the reasons why they refused to attend a CSM plenary session the same day.

The judges are Cristina Tarcea (chair of the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation-photo), Simona Marcu, Lia Savonea, Nicoleta Tint and Evelina Oprina.

“The signatories of this press statement refused to attend the plenary session of the Supreme Council of Magistrates on August 30, considering the following: at the meeting of Commission no 1 that convened on August 29, 2017, there was a majority refusal to grant the Judicial Inspectorate the requested deferment in order to provide the council with a full report on the latest developments in the implementation of the recommendations in the audit report, as it was unequivocally expressed that the today’s plenary meeting would suspend the leadership of the Judicial Inspectorate as a result of the audit report and of other external circumstances,” the five judges said.

The magistrates point out that Article 41 in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as numerous ruling of Romania’s Constitutional Court, “obligate us to respect the right of defense of any person concerned by a revocation procedure, especially when it is about management positions won through contest procedures.”

“Since this is not the first time that the argument of the majority number of votes cast becomes stronger than that the observance of law, we refuse to create the framework necessary for breaching a fundamental right by securing the plenary quorum. We have undertaken this position in order to defend a principle, even if we are aware that our attitude may be detrimental to the interests of individuals, including fellow magistrates, to whom we sincerely apologise.”

CSM Chairperson Mariana Ghena announced on Wednesday that the CSM plenary session could not be held for lack of quorum.

The CSM members were expected to discuss retirement applications filed by 45 prosecutors and judges, as well as the appeals filed by prosecutors Doru Tulus and Mihaiela Moraru Iorga against the decision to remove them from their offices at the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA).

Also featuring on the agenda was a final report on the external audit of the management of the Judicial Inspectorate in the year 2016.

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