Romania’s remedial changes to Justice laws to address EC’s concerns
Romania's justice minister Catalin Predoiu presented, on September 30, the main amendments to the Justice Laws, which are roughly in line with the European Commission's comments in the 2020 Rule of Law Report.
Specifically, the Justice Ministry proposes the dissolution of the Section for the Investigation of Offences in the Judiciary (SIIJ) tasked exclusively with prosecuting crimes committed by judges and prosecutors.
It also wants to restore the president's central role in appointing and removing head prosecutors, G4Media.ro reported.
The Justice Ministry also intends to increase to 25 years (from 20 years) the mandatory term served by magistrates before retirement, and reduce the seniority required for magistrates who run for specialized prosecutor's offices such as DNA (anti-corruption) and DIICOT (anti-organized crime).
The Justice Laws were amended in 2017-2019 by successive amendments operated by the coalition formed by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), with the support of the ethnic Hungarians' party UDMR.
The European Commission has severely criticized the 2017-2019 amendments under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.