Romanian NGOs warn of “super- immunity” provided to prosecutors by draft law
Seven Romanian NGOs, including Freedom House, Expert Forum, and CRPE, have rebuked in a statement the controversial amendment to the draft bill that dismantles the special prosecution office SIIJ, giving "super-immunity" to prosecutors and judges.
The amendments were promoted by the junior ruling party UDMR and seen as an acceptable compromise by the other parties: the senior ruling Liberal Party (PNL) and reformist platform USR-PLUS.
The draft bill was passed by the Chamber of Deputies but needs the Senate's vote before being sent to president Klaus Iohannis for promulgation.
"Justice can be done only by the courts, not by administrative bodies such as the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), which has a role only in the field of disciplinary liability. The amendment gives the CSM the possibility to block cases when sent to court with a negative opinion in advance (ie the veto right), an exact saving opinion for corrupt and law-breaching magistrates. The trade of "super-immunity" against "the abolition of the SIIJ" is inadmissible and violates the principle of separation of powers in the state," claim the representatives of the civil society, G4media.ro reported.
Under the amendment criticized by the NGOs, the magistrates will be prosecuted only with the CSM's consent.
"The CSM's veto power is unacceptable and will greatly diminish confidence in the judiciary. Our request is to abolish the SIIJ unconditionally," the NGOs say.
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