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August 8, 2022

Ban of using words like “criminal” or “imprisonable” . MP Iordache on the benefit of the doubt in public statements: We have an EU Directive, we will implement it

The Committee for the Legislative Stability in Justice will discuss in the coming period the European Union Directive providing that “public statements” must not breach the benefit of the doubt of those who are suspected or accused to be guilty, stated MP Florin Iordache for Mediafax on Sunday.

“We will discuss on the Directive and we will implement it until the spring. (…) The Directive must be implemented until April” stated the Chairman of the Committee for Legislative Stability in Justice, namely the PSD MP Florin Iordache, asked by Mediafax when will be discussed the Directive providing the ban of using words like “criminal” or “imprisonable” in public statements.

MP Florin Iordache stated that the Directive will be transposed within the legal term – until the beginning of April, 2018, but this is not a priority for the Committee, in the context in which the elected officials are waiting for the laws on Justice to be sent to the Parliament.

The Directive provides that the benefit of doubt would be breached if public statements of the public authorities or court decisions, others than those establishing the guilt, refer to a suspected or accused person as being guilty, although that person wasn’t declared yet as guilty according to the law.

According to the quoted document, public statements shouldn’t reflect the opinion that a certain person is guilty.

The notion of “public statements made by public authorities” refers to any statement related to an offense, coming either from an authority which is involved in the criminal proceedings related to that offense, such as judicial authorities, police and other authorities in charge with applying the law, or from another public authority, such as ministers and other public servants, without breaching the internal law in the immunity matter, according to the EU Directive.

Also, the manner of disseminating the information must not cause the belief that the person is guilty before the guilt of the person has been proven according to the law.

The Directive provides that authorities should refrain from presenting suspected or accused people as guilty people, before the court or the public, by using physical constraint measures such as cuffs for hands or legs, glass boxes or cages.

The EU Directive no.2016/343 must be implemented until April 1, 2018, since it was issued in March, 2016.

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