The Protocols’ “saga”: While Judge Girbovan (UNJR) claims that CSAT decisions, secret protocols are bombs at foundation of rule of law, Florian Coldea warns that SRI is today in impossibility to work on a protocol basis in terms of national security crimes

The President of the National Union of Judges in Romania (UNJR), Dana Girbovan says that the CSAT (Supreme Council for Country’s Defence, ed. n.) decisions and the secret protocols have affected the administration of justice and “are bombs at the foundation of the rule of law.”

“The CSAT decisions and the secret protocols, which have affected the administration of justice, are bombs at the foundation of the rule of law. There is a simple and clear principle underlying the rule of law and democracy: justice is carried out in the name of the law. Not in the name of the CSAT’s secret decisions, not in the name of the secret protocols, but in the name of the law,” says Dana Girbovan in a message posted on Facebook on Thursday.

She says that the laws are made by Parliament, as the supreme representative body of the Romanian people, and the president is the one that promulgates them, and these take effect after they are published in the Official Gazette. “This is the fundamental principle of the rule of law functioning everywhere in the democratic world: you cannot observe a law that is non-public, all the more you cannot be held liable under a law that is non-public. If we accept the violation of this fundamental rule, we accept that, in the name of various desiderata, slogans or ideologies that appear noble at the moment, we can make deviations, detours or we can bracket democracy and the rule of law. The effect is the undermining of democracy, compromising of the good functioning of the state and the trust between the citizen and the state. That’s why I have argued and I argue that all these secret documents that, on the one hand, have added to the law, and on the other hand, included provisions contrary to the law, were nothing but bombs at the foundation of the rule of law. Who argues that such secret acts, which have affected the administration and functioning of justice or the conduct of judicial proceedings, have been necessary, or that they were effective, or that one should see the context in which they were concluded, miss precisely the essence of the rule of law, having a direct effect in compromising confidence in justice and democracy,” says Dana Girbovan.

In her opinion, the first rule of combating a criminal phenomenon is drawing up the legislation.

The UNJR president complains that SRI officers have behaved like criminal investigation bodies, as long as this was strictly forbidden by law. She argues that secret protocols “dynamite the entire foundation of the state, the relationship between the institutions and the state’s relationship with the citizen.”

“There is a need for complete transparency in this process, the publication of all CSAT decisions regarding justice, protocols or understandings (so we do not have any discussion on semantics, I mean absolutely any type of act on cooperation, collaboration, common activities, relationships between judicial institutions and other authorities), and at the end to do a rigorous assessment of everything that has happened, because we have the right to know the truth. All the truth! We can no longer wait for 30 year until we learn what has happened these years, as we waited for the Revolution file,” concludes Dana Girbovan.


Coldea: SRI is today in impossibility to work on a protocol basis in terms of national security crimes


Florian Coldea, the former deputy director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), said on Thursday that there is no other practice in the world of cooperation with intelligence services than protocols and warned that at present the SRI is in the impossibility to work on a protocol basis with regard to national security crimes, such as espionage and treason, and terrorism partially.

“We reiterated that the issue of cooperation based on protocols is an international practice, including at NATO and EU level. To be well understood: there is no other practice in the world without a coherent procedural framework for the conducting the cooperation, one cannot cooperate inter-institutionally without a protocol, especially with the intelligence services. Beyond any legal interpretations, these had a technical character, they functioned limitedly precisely as to ensure legality and predictability. Concretely, one cooperates in line with the legal competencies of each party. I am not aware of the fact that during my term, an SRI officer drew up or produced a single act of criminal prosecution in any criminal case. These are stories stemming from a parallel reality,” Coldea said after the hearing at the parliamentary committee on SRI’s activity control.

“We risk making vulnerable not only to the security of Romania, but also to the security of our allies. I would like us, carried away by the rhetoric wave, not to lose sight of important things that can make vulnerable our security. Vulnerability has one characteristic: it is exploitable,” Coldea added.

“We must see which are the clear solutions to fix this. There are not many. Should we tell spies and traitors that we do not have protocols and they should not get involved in activities for a while until we solve the problem of the protocols? Should we do an extremely transparent, very clear procedure to see what we can or cannot do, for the spies to see it as well and adjust their procedures? Or should we find a suitable solution to Euro-Atlantic standards to manage successfully, as we have done so far too?” Coldea said.

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