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February 26, 2021

Judicial laws: Bill amending Law on judicial organisation, adopted by Senate

The Senate adopted in Wednesday’s plenary sitting, as decision-making Chamber, the bill to amend Law 304/2004 on judicial organisation.

As many as 80 votes “in favour”, 28 “against” and 1 abstention were recorded.

None of the amendments rejected in the special Committee were adopted in the plenary sitting.

The bill amending the law on the structure of the judicial system was adopted by the Senate after it received, on Tuesday evening, a favourable report from the special parliamentary committee on judicial laws, a report adopted in a 12-5 vote.

The only significant modifications to the law on the structure of the judicial system, compared to the form adopted by the Lower House, concerned the special section for the investigation of magistrates, which was given enhanced powers in contrast to the version adopted by the Lower House.

The special committee on judicial laws adopted an amendment that confers enhanced powers upon the newly-established section for the investigation of magistrates, so that this new structure will be able to probe all crimes committed by prosecutors and judges.

“The section for the investigation of judicial crimes is set up and will function within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, having the exclusive prerogative of carrying out the criminal probe into the committal of crimes by judges and prosecutors, including those who are members of the CSM, but also by military prosecutors and judges,” reads the amendment adopted by the special committee.

In the variant adopted by the Lower House, the special section had the prerogative to investigate solely some crimes committed by magistrates, not all crimes as decided by the special committee.

Another novelty introduced by the committee was the stipulation according to which the section for the investigation of judicial crimes will maintain its criminal probing prerogative also in case other persons are investigated alongside the magistrates.

The committee also decided that the probe into judicial crimes should be headed by a prosecutor who is chief of section, assisted by a deputy chief prosecutor, and both should be appointed by the plenum of the Supreme Magistracy Council.

Likewise, conflicts of competence involving the section for the investigation of judicial crimes would be solved by the Prosecutor General.

The bill amending law no.304/2004 on the structure of the judicial system was adopted by the Senate as the decisive legislative body.

The legislative act was adopted by the Lower House last Wednesday and will now be sent to President Klaus Iohannis, for promulgation.

Nevertheless, PNL and USR have announced that they will challenge at the Constitutional Court all three laws modified by Parliament.



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