UNJR President: After HG on SIPA archive is published, we’ll sue Gov’t

National Union of Romanian Judges (UNJR) President Dana Girbovan announced on Wednesday, in a posting on her Facebook account, that the UNJR will sue the Government after the Government Decision (HG) on the SIPA archive is published in the Official Journal, and pointed out the approval report that the Justice Ministry presented as being the Supreme Magistracy Council’s (CSM) is in fact the point of view of a CSM directorate, this being, in her opinion, one of the many inadvertences in the statements made by Minister Tudorel Toader.

“Following several press requests, I confirm that, after the Government Decision is published in the Official Journal, we’ll start the overtures needed to sue the Grindeanu Government for the way it adopted this Government Decision,” UNJR President Dana Girbovan posted on her Facebook account.

She reiterated the criticism for the non-transparent way in which the legislative act concerning the SIPA archive was promoted and pointed out that what the Justice Ministry presented as being the CSM’s approval report was in fact the point of view of a CSM directorate.

“What was presented in the Justice Ministry’s June 6th communique is not “the CSM approval report” but only a “point of view” of one of the CSM’s directorates,” Dana Girbovan stated.

“The draft decision that [Justice] Minister Raluca Pruna tabled in 2016, let alone the secret draft adopted by the Government in 2017 at the initiative of Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, has no approval report from the CSM,” the UNJR President points out, reminding that the CSM clarified these aspects in a June 2nd communique.

Moreover, just like the magistrates’ associations, the CSM asked the Justice Ministry, on May 16th, to make public all the reports and documents concerning this archive, so that the whole public opinion would know what happened with the archive so far, something that the Justice Minister is yet to do, Girbovan emphasised.

She also reiterated the warning that the Government decision on the SIPA archive, which Justice Minister Tudorel Toader initiated, “risks not only to cover up or block the investigation of the presumed illegalities publicly signalled in what concerns what has happened with this archive for more than 12 years, but once again gives birth to the reasonable suspicion that intelligence services and politicians want to legally get hold of the contents of this archive in order to blackmail magistrates.”

“The disinformation according to which the CSM has allegedly approved this Government Decision is only one of the inadvertences included in Minister Toader’s statements about this Government Decision, which was drafted so secretly that we don’t know its content, not even today, a week since its adoption,” the UNJR President noted.

Ever since information about the HG on the SIPA archive appeared, the UNJR and the Association of Romanian Magistrates turned to Premier Sorin Grindeanu, accusing the complete lack of transparency in the drafting of the legislative act and complaining that it is based on the contested draft initiated by ex-Justice Minister Raluca Pruna. The CSM also complained its approval was not requested. On Tuesday, the Justice Minister made public the point of view of several institutions on the legislative act. The Government Decision is yet to be published in the Official Journal.

 

PSD leader considers the Justice Minister “an interesting character”. Dragnea liked the way Toader managed the SIPA archive issue

 

PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Tuesday, for Antena3 private television broadcaster, that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader does not give him a bad impression and that he liked the way Toader managed the SIPA archive issue.

“He’s an interesting character with serious expertise. I’m not in a hurry to say good things or bad things about someone, but he doesn’t give me a bad impression. He’s in the process of gaining political experience, which is natural. (…) He believes certain things and believes in observing the laws and the Constitution,” Liviu Dragnea stated when asked for his comments on Tudorel Toader’s performance as Justice Minister.

The PSD President said he expects the package of judiciary laws that Toader must present in Parliament to have logic so that the judiciary would be improved, made more efficient and less controversial.

“I liked how he managed the SIPA issue,” Dragnea added.

He pointed out he had talks with Toader on Tuesday, one of the topics tackled being the CSM’s request to appoint a member within the commission investigating the SIPA archive. “My suggestion was for him to ask the CSM to nominate a magistrate that would be transferred to the Justice Ministry, whom the minister would nominate as member of the commission (…) Personally, I’m not against the request and I believe the minister isn’t against it either,” the Lower Chamber Speaker added.

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Thursday, on Antena3, that he has no reserves in what concerns the nomination of a representative of the magistrates’ professional associations or of the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) within the commission that will study the SIPA archive.

Tudorel Toader stated he has no objections to the proposal, however the modification of the Government Decision adopted last Wednesday would be required. “I’m talking in a personal capacity. I believe such a proposal can be backed, but it entails a Government Decision that changes the composition. (…) I have no stake and no reserves for a magistrates’ association to say ‘We have an ORNISS-certified representative who wants to work for three years in the archive.’ Let them come and I’ll propose the modification of the commission’s composition!” the Justice Minister said.

On the other hand, Toader expressed his doubts that a magistrate would be willing to work within the SIPA archive every day for a period of three years. “Let a magistrate, a president of professional association come and I’d believe he’d spend three years in the commission… It’s out of the question; but to receive [them] only for oversight… I don’t think so. The capacity of overseer is not mentioned in the Government Decision,” Toader said.

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