The draft law amending the Justice laws announced by the Minister Tudorel Toader and published on the Ministry’s website is a direct attack on the rule of law, subordinating the judicial system to political interests and relegating Romania to the periphery of the European Union.
The draft law will destroy checks and balances between the state powers, while seriously affecting the independence of judiciary and increasing without limits and without reason the powers of the Ministry of Justice, as follows:
- will be able to make nominations for the management positions within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania, The National Anticorruption Directorate and the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism, down to the level of office coordinators, whereas the Superior Council of Magistracy will be allowed to reject only once the proposals advanced by the politically appointed minister
- will be able to enforce his authority on the prosecutors at operational level, on their activity and responsibilities, beyond the general authority granted by art. 132 (1) of the Constitution of Romania, pertaining to the general status of prosecutors.
- will be able to exert pressure and political influences through an extended hierarchical control on the solutions adopted by the prosecutor in charge.
- will have total control on the Judicial Inspection, including the inspection regulations, which will be issued by Minister’s decision, the budget and the appointment of Judicial Inspection's head. The Minister will be also able to request changes in the Inspection’s reports. Moving the Judicial Inspection from the coordination of the Superior Council of Magistracy under the Ministry of Justice could seriously affect the independence of the judicial system as a state power.
The establishment of a directorate for tackling crime among the magistrates, within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, will represent, besides a useless institutional fragmentation, an additional source of pressure upon the professional body of magistrates.
Removing the President of Romania from the procedures of appointing the senior management of the judicial system has the potential of seriously affecting the checks and balances between the state powers, which is essential for the constitutional architecture of Romania.
Considering all above, the Platform Romania 100:
1.Strongly opposes any legislative change which may weaken the judiciary and the fight against corruption in Romania and stands together with the civic organizations and the citizens who protest peacefully against the legislative drafts published by the Ministry of Justice
2.Requests the immediate withdrawal of the draft laws and the engagement of the Ministry in a transparent, constructive and inclusive dialogue with the President of Romania, the Superior Council of Magistracy, The Public Ministry, the representative organizations of magistrates, the civil society organizations, which should lead to re-writing the legislative package according to the rule of law principles.
3.Requests the ruling coalition PSD-ALDE to clearly assume the ownership of this package and to dismiss the Minister of Justice.
The Platform Romania 100 considers that Romania’s democratic and European course is irreversible and not open to negotiation.
Any attempt to amend the Justice laws must be made only in order to strengthen the rule of law and the fight against corruption in Romania, to protect the honest and law abiding citizens, and to consolidate a democratic society, based on ethics and values.
Any amendments of the Justice laws must be accompanied by clear arguments, by a transparent and participatory decision process, resulting from genuine public debates. The theme of Justice is central for Romania’s transition and its European path. This is why the Platform Romania 100 urges the Coalition PSD-ALDE and the parties represenred in the Romanian Parliament to approach this subject with maximum transparency and responsibility.