It would be a lost battle to try not to write about the elephant in the room… everybody is watching the street manifestations in Romania, it is the prime time news, the debate of the moment. Ironically the manifestation found its trigger in a law and has its roots in the basic principle of the modern state: the rule of law. We, the People, created the state in our benefit and after painful examples decided to break down the power of the state into separate parts, independent one from the other. Now, when Europe is in a social turmoil it seems easier to blame just one of the parts involve, namely the government. But the deeper problem is that riots come to live in our perfect democracy when all hope is lost in the State as a whole. And the state, whether we like it or not, includes the judicial power as well.
So what would be the point in writing about the message of The Council of Magistracy’s president at the first 2012 working session when those for whom justice is done feel no sense of justice right now? What would be the benefit of examining MJ’s action plan for the new codes if those whom it serves are sending the message that the state has a fatal flaw? What would be the point in telling anybody how a problematic magistrates’ liability law is apparently constitutional when those for whom the magistracy was created are telling the world that they find no comfort in the democratic procedures?
I have no interest in the political background of the manifestation nor in any conspiracy theories related to this subject, but is hard not to wonder if these public display of discontent is not a wake-up call for the justice system to do its part of the social contract and be the last resort when every other democratic lever failed. Often I have the feeling that we forgot what it is all about… justice is done not for the sake of an abstract concept of justice but for those who come in front of us to get at least a moral satisfaction. We did not created the People in order to supply parties in the lawsuits, it was the other way around. So maybe the news of the week is that justice has to come back to its roots: we are not little gods but merely civil servants that were invested with public trust to give an independent, impartial and unprejudiced decision in any situation at issue. And when the public trust is lost we have to ask ourselves what is our social justification.