Romania’s Constitutional Court rules government’s judicial “reform” unconstitutional

  • Cristina Nastasa
  • 2.2.2018 21:48

On 30 January, Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled that parts of the controversial judicial reform laws proposed by the Social-Democrat Party (PSD) are unconstitutional. The decision is a setback to PSD’s attempts to reduce the competencies of national anti-corruption investigative bodies, decriminalise some grant offences, eliminate the president’s role in appointing senior prosecutors and instead grant this power to the Senate, which they control.

PSD’s renewed push to subordinate the justice system triggered mass protests in the country similar in scope and scale to last year's. Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis, met on 21 January with EC’s President, Jean-Claude Juncker, and reaffirmed his commitment to safeguard the Romanian justice’s independence.  Although Juncker stated that EU will not initiate the provisions of Article 7 in Romania’s case, the backtracking on anti-corruption and rule of law could further delay Romania’s accession into Schengen Area, which has been already postponed in the light of concerns over corruption and lack of transparency. PSD’s efforts to undermine the judiciary threaten Romania’s security by weakening its rule of law, checks and balances and the country's principal institutions, and should be regarded in the context of the crisis Eastern Europe’s democracies are currently traversing.

About author: Cristina Nastasa

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