Romanian MPs of the governing PSD-ALDE coalition have been moving fast to change the laws of Justice, despite massive criticism, in process started several weeks ago. Here are the lastest events.
- The Senate as deciding chamber adopted on Tuesday the PSD-ALDE proposal to change the law on the statute of magistrates, a change pushed by PSD Senator Serban Nicolae. It is the first of three sets of bills that concludes parliamentary procedure and goes to the Presidency for promulgation - unless the President sends it back to be discussed again in Parliament or challenges it to the Constitional Court. The bill is seen as an attempt to pressure magistrates through changes such as a newly introduced provision which compels the state to act against the magistrate, in case of a judicial error
- The Senate is expected to pass the second of the three bills - the one regarding the judicial organisation - on Wednesday. If a special commission analyzing the bills acts through the night again, the third of the bills, regarding the Supreme Council of Magistrates, may also be tabled on Wednesday.
- The Supreme Council of Magistrates has decided that Justice minister Tudorel Toader has breached the independence of Justice when he claimed that prosecutors couldn't investigate how a government decision was made in a controversial file - the so-called "Belina case". The case is very sensitive for Liviu Dragnea, leader of the governing PSD party
- The head of Romania's main prosecuting body dealing with organised crime and terrorism, DIICOT warned on Wednesday that planned changes to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code would send Romania back several decades, in terms of pursuing potential terrorists. During hearings in the special parliamentary commission discussing the changes to the laws of the judiciary, DIICOT chief Daniel Horodniceanu warned that many of the amendments recently submitted to the two criminal codes would severely harm criminal inquiries.
- Prosecutor General Augusitn Lazar criticized at the Supreme Council of Magistrates on Tuesday on Tuesday an amendment to the criminal codes which prevents prosecutors from using many of electronic pieces evidence they find in their inquiries. The amendments await discussion in the special parliamentary commission on justice laws before they are submitted for parliamentary vote.
- Governmental sources have told HotNews.ro that the Government would not pass an emergency ordinance on changing the Criminal Code and the Criminal procedure code. The position comes as Justice minister Tudorel Toader has said that a EU directive on presumption of innocence - which is used by the governing coalition to push massive changes to the criminal codes - would have to be applied to Romanian law. Should the Parliament fail to do so, the government would be entitled to issue an ordinance to change the Penal Codes, Toader claimed.