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October 6, 2022
JUSTICEPOLITICS

PM Dancila: Not giving up on OUG 7/2019; some issues bring dissatisfaction, substantiated, they could be changed. Dragnea: Premier slated to meet magistrates’ associations. DIICOT suspends its activity 4 hours a day as a protest over adoption of OUG No.7/2019

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced on Monday that the Government will not give up on GEO 7/2019, but that it will show flexibility, stating that some provisions of the ordinance amending the laws of Justice may be changed, if substantiated.

“I hope those who have grievances, who have come out in public and have expressed these complaints, come to this meeting at Victoria Palace, so that we can see what the issues they do not agree with, how they justify [them], and then we will make a decision regarding these issues. What I want to emphasize is the fact that we will not give up on this ordinance We have seen public outcry requesting that we give up on this ordinance entirely. We have always said that we demonstrate flexibility but that does not mean that we have to give up on the good things, because of the some’s desire that we do so. Maybe some things bring dissatisfaction. Duly substantiated, they can be changed, and I think the dialogue is very important,” the prime minister pointed out at the end of the meeting of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Permanent National Bureau, held at the Parliament Palace.

PM Dancila also denied that the adoption of Government Emergency Ordinance 7/2019, which modifies justice laws, damaged in any way the image of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU.

“I had numerous meetings in Madrid, both with former colleagues from the European Parliament, members of the European Commission, my counterparts from Malta, Portugal and Spain, and they all appreciated the manner in which Romania approached the rotating presidency. I believe this concerns only us, for we always want to discuss justice and nothing else but justice, while we are ignoring aspects that are far more important than our country. No, this ordinance did not harm Romania’s image, not at all, and it won’t shadow the results obtained by the rotating presidency either, because they are concrete results. Political statements cannot shadow concrete results, I believe,” said Viorica Dancila.

Viorica Dancila mentioned that she intended to have a meeting with the magistrates’ representatives on Friday, but that she was abroad.

The Government had announced that Premier Viorica Dancila has invited the representatives of the associations of magistrates and of the Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM) at the Victoria Palace on Monday afternoon for talks on the judicial laws. The Head of Government gave assurances “that the Government is fully open to supporting all judicial system institutions in carrying out a fair act of justice, with the observance of the fundamental rights of citizens.”

Three associations of magistrates – the Forum of Romanian Judges, the Movement for the Defence of the Statute of Prosecutors, and the Initiative for Justice – had announced that they would not take part in the talks scheduled for Monday, at the Government headquarters, pointing out that the dialogue should have started before the emergency ordinance was adopted and that the only solution now is to abrogate it.

 

People protesting in undignified manner, unacceptable

 

Viorica Dancila also said that some protesters in Victoriei Square protested on Sunday night in an undignified manner, pointing to a clash between protesters and a shooting crew of Antena 3 private broadcaster.

“I have always believed that it is not violence, innuendos, the way you address a member of the government or a common citizen that will change things in Romania, but constructive dialogue. If we choose aggression, if we chose unjustified action – and I have seen how certain Romanian citizens protested at the Ministry of Justice – I think that does not bring any added value. If a media organisation, media leaders of Romania are shoved or attacked, I do not believe that can lead us to respect democracy. Respect for democracy entails the freedom of the press, regardless of whether a television channel criticises or praises you. In my opinion, what happened last night at the protests that took place in front of Victoria Palace should raise question marks even at the media level and create solidarity, regardless of media affiliation. The freedom of the press must be observed in Romania; everybody has to voice their opinion, and the fact that the citizens who had to rally peacefully chose to protest in an undignified manner is unacceptable to me,” Dancila said Monday at the end of a meeting of the National Standing Bureau of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), major at rule, held at Parliament Palace in Bucharest.

Dozens of protesters in Victoriei Square on Sunday night clashed with members of an Antena 3 news shooting crew, with the gendarmes stepping in and identifying some aggressive protesters, who clashed with the crew and tried to topple a broadcast vehicle.

 

Dragnea: Premier slated to meet magistrates’ associations

 

Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea said on Monday that Premier Viorica Dancila scheduled a meeting with magistrates’ associations for discussions on the Government’s Emergency Ordinance No. 7/2019 which changes justice laws, and that a decision will be made on this subject.

Asked about the chances for the reversal of this emergency ordinance which sparked countrywide protests of the magistrates, Dragnea said: “As far as I understand, the Prime Minister is slated to meet today with magistrates’ associations, with representatives of the Superior Council of Magistrates, I think. A decision will be made depending on what is discussed there.”

According to Dragnea, those who did not decline the Prime Minister’s invitation are interested in a dialogue on the subject.

“I think it is a very good move,” Dragnea added at the end of the meeting of the PSD National Standing Bureau.

 

CSM asks Gov’t to abrogate emergency ordinance on judicial laws

 

The Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM) decided on Monday to ask the Government to abrogate the emergency ordinance amending the judicial laws, except for the proposed amendments that were tabled by the Council.

“The plenary of the Superior Council of the Magistracy has decided to send the Romanian Government a request to abrogate Government Emergency Ordinance no.7/2019, with the exception of the provisions adopted as a result of the Superior Council of the Magistracy’s notification,” reads the solution posted on the concluded order of business of the Superior Council of the Magistracy’s Monday meeting.

The decision was taken with 12 votes in favour, three votes against, and one cancelled vote, before the Premier’s scheduled meeting with the representatives of the associations of magistrates, a meeting that focused on the controversial ordinance that amends the judicial laws.

 

DIICOT suspends its activity 4 hours a day as a protest over adoption of GEO  No.7/2019 

 

The General Assembly of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutors decided on Monday to suspend its activity between 26 February and 8 March, between 08:00hrs – 12:20hrs, as a protest against the adoption by the Government of the emergency ordinance (GEO)  No.7/2019, which amends the Justice Laws.

According to the DIICOT release, in this interval, only emergencies will be solved, namely the cases involving arrests or any other operative situations that cannot be delayed.

“The General Assembly of the D.I.I.C.O.T. prosecutors debated, by majority vote, on the following gradual ways to protest until the provisions criticized above will be repealed and decided: to suspend its activity from 8.00 AM to 12.00 A.M. every day, between February 26 and March 8, 2019. During this period, only emergencies will be solved, namely the cases with arrested people or other operative situations that cannot be delayed; to publish the forms of protest on the D.I.I.C.O.T. website”, DIICOT announced in its decision on the mandate of the representatives of the institution at the discussions with PM Viorica Dancila on GEO no.7.

Prosecutors of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism are protesting against the manner by which the executive power, as the delegated legislator, understood to adopt the fourth legislative amendment of the “Laws on Justice” in 6 months, by emergency ordinance; these laws are organic laws whose clarity and predictability depends by the normal functioning of the judiciary itself.

“These series of substantial changes initiated during several months are likely to seriously affect both the activity of the Superior Council of Magistracy and the Public Ministry, and the smooth functioning and the stability of the judiciary as a whole, with consequences on the manner of making the act of justice. In our opinion, the Government’s Emergency Ordinance no.7/19.02.2019 has many constitutional flaws, which are related to both the extrinsic constitutional control and especially the intrinsic constitutional control”, they claim.

According to the DIICOT prosecutors, the positive opinion of the Department for Prosecutors od the Superior Council of Magistracy given for appointing prosecutors in high rank positions is compliant with the Romanian Constitution and the laws in force, with the CVM recommendations, those of the Venice Commission and with the observance of the legal principle of separation of careers, and it must continue to be under the jurisdiction of the Department for Prosecutors, and the eligible candidates must be prosecutors who are in office at the time of filing their application.

“As for the rules regarding the Department for Investigating Judiciary Offenses (S.I.I.J. – e.n.), the D.I.I.C.O.T. prosecutors have constantly expressed themselves against its establishment and operation, appreciating that this action denotes a punitive approach towards the judiciary as a whole; the reasons of concern are also found in the Venice Commission’s Report and in the last CVM Report. Besides, by the way of organizing and functioning of S.I.I.J. in its current form, there has been created de facto a category of citizens who benefit from a total immunity of criminal jurisdiction, namely the S.I.I.J. prosecutors, which contravenes Art.16 par. (1) and (2) of the Romanian Constitution: ‘Citizens benefit from the rights and freedoms stated by the Constitution and other laws and have the obligations provided by them’, respectively ‘No one is above the law’”, the DIICOT prosecutors stated.

 

Prosecutors with the Public Prosecution Office decide to wear armbands to protest against passage of justice legislation ordinance

 

Prosecutors with the Public Prosecution Office on Monday decided to wear armbands in protest over the way the government passed an emergency ordinance amending the justice legislation.

“On February 25, 2019, the General Assembly of Prosecutors of the Prosecutor’s Office with the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation, established under an ordinance of the Prosecutorial Section of the Supreme Council of Magistrates No 95 /20.02.2019, by a majority of votes, decided to stand in solidarity with the actions of the magistrates against the passage of Emergency Ordinance 7/2019. In this respect, the prosecutors of the Prosecutor’s Office with the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation will wear armbands in protest over the way which the Romanian Government, as delegated lawmaker, has understood to amend justice legislation,” the Public Prosecution Service said in a Facebook post.

The General Assembly of Prosecutors also agreed on the content of the CSM Prosecutorial Section’s decision of February 20 that the changes made by the controversial emergency ordinance contains unconstitutional provisions that could lead to organisational obstruction and making it impossible for the Public Prosecution Service to fulfil its specific obligations provided for by the Constitution and organic laws.

The decision of the Attorney General’s Office comes after several prosecutorial offices nationwide announced that they were suspending their activity to protest against the passage of the same emergency ordinance.

 

 

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