EC expects RO Govt. to “restore the path of judicial reform”
Romania's Government continued to affirm its commitment to restore the path of judicial reform in 2020, after the reverses of 2017-2019.
This has led to a significant decrease in tensions with the judiciary, the European Commission (EC) says in the 2020 Rule of Law Report.
However, progress towards amending the relevant legislation has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the forthcoming national elections, the Commission continued - implying that most of the work in pursuing judicial reforms is still due.
Keeping active the measures passed in 2017-2019 (particularly the Section for the Investigation of Offences in the Judiciary, tasked exclusively with the prosecution of crimes committed by judges and prosecutors) increases uncertainty for the functioning of the justice system, in particular through their combined effect, EC's report reads.
Moreover, some of these measures (related to the early retirement of judges) may also negatively affect the human resources within the justice system, with implications for its efficiency.
The challenges faced by the judiciary during 2017-2019 have also raised questions about the sustainability of anti-corruption reforms, the Commission says in its Rule of Law Report.
The key anti-corruption institutions face a challenging environment that impacts implementing the legal framework and institutional capacity.
The pending amendments of the Criminal Code and Code of criminal procedures raise uncertainty about the effectiveness of the anti-corruption legal framework, making it important that legal and policy solutions are found responding to key Constitutional Court decisions, the Commission recommends.