The three projects to amend the laws of Justice submitted to Parliament by Minister Tudorel Toader on Wednesday reduce the prerogatives of the President of Romania significantly. Thus, the bill to amend the Law 303/2004, as published on the Chamber of Deputies website, definitively removes the president from the nomination procedure for chief prosecutors (General Prosecutor's Office, National Anti-corruption Division, Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism). The same project forbids him to refuse more than one proposal for the Supreme Court.
The draft law submitted to Parliament's Special Committee on Unification of Legislation radically amends Article 54 of Law 303/2004, which provides for the appointment of the heads of prosecutors' offices. The current legislation shows that the Prosecutor General, the head of National Anti-corruption Division, the head of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism and their deputies "are appointed by the President of Romania, at the proposal of the Minister of Justice, with the opinion of the Supreme Council of Magistrates”. The proposal of Tudorel Toader is that the appointments be made by the Prosecutor's Section of the Supreme Council of Magistrates, at the proposal of the Minister of Justice. In this way, the President of Romania is removed from the appointment equation.
Toader's project adds three new articles to the law, detailing how the Justice Minister would make the prosecutors' selection proposed by the Supreme Council Of Magistrates for the prosecutor's office. According to the changes, for each of the leading positions, the Minister of Justice will have to formulate at least two motivated nomination proposals.
Another amputation of the president's prerogatives is provided for the procedure of appointing the Supreme Court's leadership. Article 53 of the current law shows that the President of Romania can only reject the proposals from the Supreme Council Of Magistrates, but without a limitation of the number of refusals. The proposal of Tudorel Toader limits the number of refusals to one. Also, the president of Romania will no longer have among the prerogatives the appointment of heads of sections from the Supreme Court. They will be appointed by the Supreme Council of Magistrates - Section for Judges, at the proposal of the President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice only between the judges of the High Court of Cassation and Justice who have been present at this court for at least 2 years and have not been disciplined.
Neither Tudorel Toader nor Florin Iordache, the president of the special commission in the Parliament, have not announced the intention to radically change the procedure for appointing the heads of prosecutors' offices. Asked by reporters on this subject, the two talked either about the possibility of keeping the current procedure or of the Venice Commission's approval on a possible change in the procedure without giving details of this essential change.