Judicial Inspection (IJ) received, in 2018, more than 6,900 complaints and conducted 31 checks at courts and prosecutor’s offices throughout the country. After the checks, the courts were found to continue to have difficulties in carrying out their work as a result of the improper logistic endowment, the fluctuation of judges, or, as the case may be, the low degree of holding leading positions. Regarding the prosecutor’s offices, a lack of concern has been found on reducing the stock of old cases, as well as continuing to have a high level of cases in which the solutions have been abolished in the preliminary chamber procedure.
“The recent amendments and completions brought to the Laws on Justice have consolidated the statute of the Judicial Inspection by supplementing its functional, institutional and personal independence attributions – the quality of a main authorizing officer given to the Chief-Inspector, mentioning the scope of applying the operational independence principle, the exclusive jurisdiction in issuing the norms for conducting the inspection works, in conducting the procedure for recruiting judicial inspectors and in designating the leading team of the institution –, as well as by increasing its competence through new attributions in the following fields: the material liability of judges and prosecutors for judicial errors; the selection of the Chief-Prosecutor and the prosecutors with executive positions of the Department for Investigating Judiciary Offenses (SIIJ) of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ); dismissing the elected members of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) for their manner of fulfilling the attributions provided by the law”, the Chief-Inspector of the Judicial Inspection, Lucian Netejoru, wrote in the 2018 Activity Report.
According to the document, 6,918 complaints have been received, and after finalizing the preliminary checks, 5,424 have been closed due to the inexistence of the indications related to the misconduct.
31 checks were conducted in 2018, at both the courts and the prosecutor’s offices.
“Regarding the courts, inspectors found that difficulties continued to exist in carrying out their work as a result of the improper logistic endowment, the fluctuation of judges, or, as the case may be, the low degree of holding leading positions, even if these difficulties are well known at the level of the Superior Council of Magistracy, which makes important efforts to overcome them. Also, there have been found certain cases of improperly highlighting the aleatory distribution of the cases, of missing records on the analysis of the judicial control courts’ practice and the law issues that led to delivering different, including the novelty issues in the ECHR and CJEU case law”, the Activity Report reads.
Regarding the prosecutor’s offices, Judicial Inspection announced that it found “a lack of a permanent concern of the management and executive positions in adopting the best measures to reduce the stock of old cases”.
“Also, breaches of legal or regulatory provisions were found, which, without being considered misconduct, affected in certain cases the proper activity of the prosecutor’s office. It was also found that the number of cases in which the decisions were abolished during the preliminary chamber procedure continues to be at a high level as a result of exercising an inefficient operative control by the management of the prosecutor’s offices, too, and the communication between the management and a part of the subordinated stuff is poor in some cases. In the end, we mention some cases of inaccurately reporting the number of acquitted defendants split on acquittal grounds, plus the lack of involvement of the prosecutors with management positions into the concrete analysis of the cases that made the referrals to court be more vulnerable, in connection with the arguments of the judicial control court”, the Activity Report also reads.
The document also mentions the rejection of two of the control reports of the Inspection by CSM.
“The situation, which is unprecedented for this department, indicates the existence of a major risk regarding the quality of the control activity, which includes both drawing up the relevant reports and checking them by the directors of the Inspection Departments, namely the Deputy Chief-Inspector and the Chief-Inspector. The above-mentioned risk is cause, on the one hand, by the improper observance of the legal and regulatory provisions or the ones included in the orders issued in this matter by the Chief-Inspector, and on the other hand by some lacks in mastering the legal norms that are applicable in the fields that are subject to the control or in the manner of drawing up the control reports, which are thus deprived of the necessary clarity and concision”, according to the document.
In the end, the document says that even if the number of the exercised disciplinary actions related to the total number of magistrates is not very large, and the compliance of the judges’ and prosecutors’ activity with the professional standards continues to be the rule within the judicial authority, the incidence of the disciplinary deeds, which is still at a high level, is a real vulnerability.
Judicial Inspection mentioned it made punctual proposals to remove the vulnerabilities and reduce the risks found in the work of the courts and prosecutor’s offices, highlighting the improper conducts related to the standards in this matter and firmly initiating procedures for disciplinary liability in these cases.