Romanian Judges and Prosecutors against Proposed Changes of Laws Regarding the Judiciary
In October 2017, approximately 4,000 Romanian judges and prosecutors, more than half of their total, appropriated the Memorandum to withdraw the draft amendment to the “laws of justice”, addressed to the Romanian Government following the refusal of taking into account the negative opinion on the whole project issued by the Superior Council of Magistracy. The supporters of the Memorandum believe that these changes promoted by the Minister of Justice flagrantly violate the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism, its constant reports and the foundations of a natural magistracy in a democratic state. Consequently, the undeniable will of the majority of magistrates, which, according to the supporters of the Memorandum, the Romanian Government (to which the Minister of Justice belongs) cannot disregard in a Member State of the European Union, converges in the sense of removing any doubt about the diversion of this project detrimental for magistracy, requiring its immediate withdrawal, the Ministry of Justice failing to develop a effective, concrete dialogue with the magistrates, the Superior Council of Magistracy, the professional associations of judges and prosecutors, to improve the legislative framework, after carrying out the necessary impact studies and after presenting serious and credible grounds regarding the proposed changes, in order to modernize the judicial system, in accordance with the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.
The gesture of the approximately four thousand judges and prosecutors seems to be a most unusual one. As a rule, magistrates are silent, magistrates express themselves more in their interior self and of course through the decisions or documents they issue, and less in the agora. It is a genuine public statement of the independence of the judiciary system, but not a change of attitude, while the rejection of the laws of justice was a continuous coordinate. Also, for the first time in the post-communist period, civil society thanked the thousands of magistrates who supported the Memorandum, joining its conclusions.
When democracy and fundamental freedoms are in jeopardy, the judge’s duty to be a reserved becomes subsidiary to the indignation obligation.
The brochure contains the opinion of the Romanian Judges’ Forum Association on the 10 main proposals for amending the “laws of justice”, the negative opinion issued by the Superior Council of Magistracy by Decision no. 974 of September 28, 2017, the text of the Memorandum for the Rejection of the Amendments to the “Laws of Justice” (Law 303/2004, Law 304/2004 and Law 317/2004), appropriated by approximately 4,000 Romanian judges and prosecutors, and some reactions from the civil society.