CoE’s report criticise Romania’s judicial reforms

  • Cristina Nastasa
  • 25.4.2018 14:58

On 11 April, the Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) published a report on the evaluation of Romania’s judicial reforms in reaction to the ruling Social-Democrat party’s attempt to change the Criminal Code. In fact, Romania had only fulfilled two out of 13 European anti-corruption monitor’s requirements.

The Council of Europe (CoE) called for the report to be drafted last December. According to GRECO, the judicial reform may affect prosecutors and judges’ independence, the fight against corruption, but also Romania’s cooperation on organised crime and cross-border corruption cases, as it could contradict with the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption. Europe’s corruption watchdog argues that the public debate on these reforms is questionable, as it was not transparent, leaving relevant organizations out of the process, and the changes may allow arbitrary judicial appointments and dismissals. Therefore, additional safeguard measures are needed. Although the changes proposed by the Parliament do not contain some of the most controversial provisions discussed last summer, the amendments still are serious violations of anti-corruption standards and are perceived by other countries as a threat to the effectiveness of mutual legal assistance. To avoid a regress in the fight against corruption, Romania should consult the CoE’s Venice Commission and not make any further criminal law amendments which could threaten the judicial independence.

About author: Cristina Nastasa

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