President Klaus Iohannis believes that it’s extremely necessary that the Venice Commission issue an interim opinion, as soon as possible, in relation to the justice laws of Romania.
“Given the current context in Romania, President Klaus Iohannis believes that the adoption of an interim opinion by the Venice Commission, as soon as possible, is extremely necessary, and it will have a major significance for the body of magistrates and for the entire judicial system in Romania,” state counselor with the Department for Institutional and Constitutional Reform Bogdan Dima, while representing the head of the state, told the plenary sitting of the Venice Commission.
According to a press release of the Presidential Administration, the state counselor brought to mind that President Iohannis asked the Venice Commission to analyze and issue an opinion related to the justice laws, as, if they come into force in the form adopted by the Parliament, these laws will have a very negative impact on the independence and functioning of the judicial system of Romania and, implicitly, on the rule of law.
He underscored that the modifications brought to the three laws affect the independence of magistrates through the introduction of such criticizable provisions and he also gave an example: the control of all the solutions provided by the prosecutors by the hierarchically superior prosecutor also impacts their firmness, leaving aside the aspect of illegality.
Moreover, the state counselor specified that a special section of investigation into crimes committed by magistrates was created, which is likely to affect the independence of the prosecutors’ and judges’ activity.
He mentioned that because of the modifications, the approval of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) for establishing the personnel schemes of courts and prosecutor’s offices was eliminated, with the decision to be taken from now on only by the Minister of Justice.
The state counselor also showed that the modifications brought to the justice laws lead to the diminution of the role of the guarantor of Justice independence – the Superior Council of Magistrates. Thus, he argued that most of CSM responsibilities, which are exercises by the plenum of this institution, were transferred to its sections, which will affect the functionality of the CSM and the participation of the civil society representatives to the decision-making process of the CSM.