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Judges Forum asks CSM to defend independence of judicial system against Dragnea's statements

justitie balanta judecatori inspectia judiciara

The Romanian Judges' Forum Association (FJR) asked the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) to defend the judicial system against several allegations made by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, at the National Council of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the party he rules as chairman.

Several excerpts from statements made by the Social Democrat leader, Liviu Dragnea, which were taken over by the radio or television stations, were shown in a post published on the Website of the Judges' Forum of Romania. "We also have power corruption at the highest level - we are talking about thousands innocent people who were sent to prison, thousands of people who were sent to jail on fake evidence, thousands of people sent to prison by some completely unlawful panels. And also thousands of people who are still on trial and other who are being investigated right now, again unlawfully. Do you have the impression somehow that anything has changed in the attitude of the prosecutors, in the meantime? Not by far!" - is one of Dragnea's statements, presented by the FJR.

"The exacerbated nature of the said political discourse, based on concepts of vindictive reactions of the justice, identified with the so-called 'parallel state', represents a clear slippage from the principles of democracy and shapes the image of a serious threat to the independence of justice. These are not just a mere value judgments, but they contain factual, concrete statements that have nothing to do with the reality," says FJR representatives.

They showed that the discourse contains such general expressions as "selective justice" or "justice ... must be reset", which can seriously affect citizens' confidence in the act of justice, which is being placed in the sphere of arbitrariness, personal will or related to an inappropriate system, by analogy with the technical systems, which would require deletion and re-initialization.

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"At the same time, this discourse is recurring, it is repeated periodically, cyclically. The Resolution of the plenary sitting of the CSM No. 779 / 04.07.2018 also admitted a similar request for defending the independence of the judiciary, formulated by the Romanians Judges' Forum Association", a request approved by more than 1,500 judges, prosecutors, magistrates-assistants and justice auditors," the source said.

The FJR also says that the independence of magistrates is not only a guarantee of the state for justice, but equally a right and obligation of magistrates. Independence is seen as "an attribute of the position, which allows the judge to act in carrying out the legal act and, especially, to decide only based on the law and his own conscience, without any subordination or influence."

The Judges' Forum considers that such an approach, which cannot be circumscribed to freedom of opinion, as a form of freedom of speech, affects both the independence of the judiciary and the confidence that, in a democratic society, judicial organs and institutions in the judicial system must inspire in the public opinion.

"In a state governed by the rule of law, no one - and even less a representative of one of the other two powers, even if he has the capacity of a defendant or a convicted offender - has no right to extrapolate complaints concerning the handling of a particular cause. In so doing, the person making these generalizing statements inevitably violates the constitutional principle of the separation of powers in the state, with the consequence of affecting the prestige of justice and, implicitly, the independence and reputation of magistrates," emphasizes the Judges' Forum.



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