Romania's Superior Magistracy Council (CSM), on May 28, voted against a draft law aimed at disbanding the controversial body charged with investigating the magistrates - SIIJ, G4media.ro reported.
The draft was promoted at the beginning of May by 40 deputies and senators of Save Romania Union (USR), but also by the (unaffiliated) deputy Ana Birchall, a former minister of justice in the Social Democrat Government. USR argued that the abolition of SIIJ was in line with the requirements of the European Commission, GRECO, and the Venice Commission. The institution's (lack of) results in 2019 also supported this decision.
Out of 417 cases investigated by SIIJ in 2019, 415 were closed. Only in two cases, defendants were sent to court.
The CSM's vote was ten against eight with one abstention. Romania's general prosecutor Gabriela Scutea voted against the abolition of SIIJ while justice minister Catalin Predoiu voted for its elimination.
The CSM's opinion on the draft law initiated by USR for the abolition of the SIIJ is consultative. Still, it sends a strong message to the Parliament, which has the final vote.
Set up during the Social Democrat regime when PSD headed by Liviu Dragnea took steps to weaken the rule of law and anti-corruption legislation, SIIJ has been subject to political dispute.
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GRECO (the Group of States against Corruption) and of MONEYVAL (the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money...