Romanian Constitutional Court president makes controversial statement about justice independence

Constitutional Court president Valer Dorneanu made earlier this month a statement that brought prejudice to the independence and credibility of the judiciary system, the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) said on Tuesday, October 17.

CSM’s reaction came after, on October 7, Valer Dorneanu said in the interview with local TV station B1 TV: “I wouldn’t want to count in how many cases a political influence is felt in joint court decisions, and in how many in our case.”

The Plenum of the Superior Council of Magistracy decided during the Tuesday meeting that some of the statements made by Dorneanu during his interview with B1 TV “were likely to undermine the independence, prestige and credibility of justice, with the consequence of undermining its authority, including the judiciary in its whole.”

The CSM Plenum said that statement like the one made by the Constitutional Court president, which “was formulated in general and impersonal terms,” are likely to induce in the public perception the idea of a politicized act of justice, of a judicial system that does not enjoy independence from the political powers of the state.

On the other hand, Augustin Zegrean, the former president of the Constitutional Court, defended Valer Dorneanu, saying that the justice “is too sensitive” if any public opinion is considered to have affected its independence.

“It didn’t seem to me that it affected the independence of justice, but if the justice system is so sensitive that whatever anyone says affects its independence, this means that they have something to think about, don’t they?,” Zegrean told local Stiripesurse.ro.

Irina Marica, [email protected]

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