The Declaration of the Minister of Justice

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Good afternoon,

I would like to mention several aspects regarding the Progress Report under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, which has been published today by the European Commission.

From the very beginning, I would like to point out the fact that this report is not tackling only the issues regarding the Judiciary, but also the fight against corruption.

The evaluations refer to issues being within the institutional portfolio of more institutions: The Government, Parliament, Public Ministry, Superior Council of Magistracy, National Integrity Agency etc.

The main message I want to send is that Romania has complied and still is complying with its commitments towards the European Union. There is enough political will for continuing the reforms within the Judiciary and we want to send a clear message in this sense to the EU Member States and We want to make this observation because this year Report has decisively and negatively been marked out by the result of the debates within the Senate on the normative framework of the National Integrity Agency (NIA).

The vote on the NIA law has raised a strong emotion in the EU members and influenced the key tone in which the Report was drawn up. The content of the amendments brought by the Senate to the NIA legal framework had the significance of a negative political signal. The significance of the Senate’s vote was that of ignoring the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism. The report is sending an implicit signal that the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism has to be continued and implemented, even if this would lead to major constitutional or legislative changes. Unfortunately, the regress regarding the NIA legislative framework has unfairly shadowed important achievements in other fields of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.

The most important institutional achievement during the period since the last annual report is the adoption of the new procedure codes, a fact stipulated within the Report. This is a success of the inter-institutional cooperation between Government – SCM – Parliament.

We are also glad that the Strategy for the Development of Justice was positively appreciated. As the previous reports have pointed out, The General Prosecutor, the Public Ministry and its specialized anticorruption structure, the National Anticorruption Department, have been positively remarked.

There is an important number of normative drafts finalized by the Ministry of Justice – on the small reform, the National Institute of Forensic Expertise, the magistrates’ liability, the commercial registrars, the guidelines for the extra judicial restructuring of the obligations of the commercial societies – drafts which are the result of an intense work and which are going to have a positive impact on the Judiciary and we would have liked to be reflected within the Report.

As for the efficiency of the judiciary, the Report points out the persistence of a non unitary jurisprudence and, for the first time, deficiencies of the system’s leadership. This means that a better involvement of the chiefs of the courts in meeting the objectives of the Cooperation and Verification System related to the courts is necessary.

Another aspect is related to the human resource issue, which implies not only supplementing the judge, prosecutor and clerk positions, but also a rational and efficient allocation of the resources within the system.

Minister of Justice
Cătălin Predoiu

This article is also available in: Romanian

This post is also available in: Romanian

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