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He said. She said.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or better yet, reality is in the eye of the beholder. I was reading EC’s  preliminary report on Romanian Justice System and it was one of those times when certainty arose that there are indeed parallel universes. I’m sure that things look different from a distance and they can have a positive glow when you are a bystander, but looking at the report and at our reality in the same time is as amusing as watching an award winning comedy. As I don’t want to rob you of any comic pleasure let’s start the „she said…he said”.

The report presents a smooth passing from the old civil code to the new one and good perspectives for the other codes to be implemented succesfully, they say there is enough time to recruit as many magistrates as we need; here on Earth there are constant arguments: if the code is good, if it was the right moment, if the system can take the change. The other three codes are heavily criticized, as to recruiting magistrates, if we don’t want to ask people on the street to become judges and prosecutors, I doubt we will have a magistrate abundance any time soon.

In the parallel universe view, some kind of important progress has been made in Parliament regarding the extensive seizure of goods; here, in our reality, many think that all hope is lost for such a measure to come to life. Moreover with all the protests, and the new government and the winter snow which always takes us by surprise, I think the only progress possible is for someone to remember that there is such a provision in parliamentary debate.

We come back to the new liability law for judges and prosecutor and in „their” view it is a good thing it came in to force as it is clear and stable and it makes all things better; remembering all the petitions and all the fuss about this law, how many trees were cut in order to have enough paper to criticize it, I start to think they received a better translation than the law itself.

As to how well we fight coruption and how proud we are of some institution, how hard they work and how they solve the big enigmas of the legal system, I truly believe it is a statement that somebody forgets every year in the report. I won’t write the other opinion; it suffices to say that the big achievement of one of these institutions was that they found 18 possible unjustified „fortunes” which, by the way, I am pretty sure the owners kept because the law regarding seizure is in the middle of a big progress in Parliament.

Even if, for he who lives in the system, the report was a little bit funny, the climax of the story was by far the statements that followed: some people say that it is very important that all decisions be published shortly after they are written, I say that it is important for judges to have a computer on which they can write their decisions first; everybody has a public statement saying that we are on a positive trend because the report said so, I wonder what we would do if someday nobody will take the trouble of  drafting a report; the officials declared that the preliminary report is a true description of the progress we made, I still think that parallel universes exist and I am in the wrong one.

In a serious note, I have to admit that things change, we are making progress as a democratic society, the justice system evolves but not that fast and certainly not because some people, looking in through a thick glass, say so. The only question is if we prefer a picture that is not entirely true only because it is pretty or we look reality in the eyes and try to draw our own picture…

Alexandra LANCRANJAN

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