Romania: Removal of SIIJ requested by Venice Commission

The Venice Commission recommends the removal of the SIIJ’s Crime Investigation Department (Secția de Investigare a Infracțiunilor din Justiție) “as an urgent first step” in a broader justice reform process, the commission said in a statement. The committee clarifies that the amendments voted in Parliament for the law on the abolition of the SIIJ should be removed in their entirety.

“The Venice Commission welcomes the intention of the Romanian authorities to reform the judiciary and restore the responsibilities of prosecutors in DNA and DIICOT and understands that the first urgent step in this wider reform is the removal of the Criminal Investigation Department carried out by judges. (…)

In general, the amendments adopted in the House of Representatives raise many questions both in content and in process. The Venice Commission recommends that these changes be repealed altogether.

“The Venice Commission wants to emphasize that the removal of the special section is only a first step in the reform process and that it encourages the Romanian authorities to pursue a broader reform process,” the commission said in a statement.

Full text of the opinion in English, in:

Following this, three judicial associations have recently demanded the resignation of the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Bogdan Mateescu.

Prime Minister Florin Ciţu, in a statement yesterday, Romanian Justice Day, stressed that his country has made great progress in this area and that justice reform has already been launched by pro-European forces. He added, however, that it would not be an easy process because “there are still many who want justice to remain ineffective and controlled,” he said.

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