Serious Attacks By The Minister Of Justice On The Independence Of The Judiciary

09 May 2007 13:04
We, the signatory organizations,

express our deep concern about the way in which the Minister of Justice proposed the dismissal of Prosecutor Doru Ţulus from the leadership position at DNA, which we find discretionary, alarming and unacceptable:
– it is discretionary because the Minister of Justice abuses his right , through a subjective and superficial interpretation of the legal texts, without providing a motivation based on the verification of the professional and managerial performance of the prosecutor in question;
– is alarming as it is a clear gesture of political control initiative in the fight against corruption;
– is unacceptablewhereas it constitutes an impermissible and arbitrary interference in the organization and functioning of the Public Ministry, as well as a violation of the independence of the prosecutor, as it is enshrined in art. 3 of Law no. 303/2004 republished.

We draw attention to the fact that the constitutional authority of the Minister of Justice over prosecutors must be limited to respecting their independence status in the spirit of Recommendation (2000) 19 on the role of the prosecutor in criminal justice, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 06.10 .2000, recommendation also signed by Romania. It provides for the following:
– the government, in relation to prosecutors, must exercise its powers in a transparent manner and in accordance with domestic law and international principles;
– career development, promotion and mobility of members of the public ministry must be based on transparent and objective criteria such as competence and experience;
– the procedure for removing prosecutors from office must guarantee a fair and objective assessment.
These recommendations ensure that the rule of law and, implicitly, an independent judiciary can be achieved without the interference of politics.

We strongly request:

1. The Minister of Justice to make public the reasonswhich formed the basis of the proposal to revoke the prosecutor Doru Ţulus. Public opinion and the body of judges and prosecutors have the right to know the arguments with which a politician, be he or the Minister of Justice, justifies his tendency of total, arbitrary and unmotivated control over the administrative organization of a particularly important structure of the judiciary.

2. The Minister of Justice to revoke his administrative act , devoid of any institutional logic in a state governed by the rule of law, emphasizing once again that an objective and serious evaluation of the performances that DNA has achieved is required, and not momentary decisions , emotional.

3. The Minister of Justice to avoid interference in the judiciarysuch as those related to assessments of convictions given by courts for acts of corruption or assimilated to them. It is inadmissible for a representative of the executive to apply to the courts for the execution of convictions of defendants sent to court for acts of corruption, as the judicial individualization of sentences is one of the essential attributes of the independence of the judge.

4. We ask fellow prosecutors to publicly disclose any attempt to influence their ongoing investigation by anyone who comes.

5. With regard to the statements of Chief Prosecutor Daniel Morar regarding the influences that the Minister of Justice would have exerted on him,we ask the Superior Council of Magistracy to notify itself in order to defend the independence of the prosecutors regarding whom suspicions have arisen .

6. In relation to the actions and statements of the current Minister of Justice, which we consider extremely serious in relation to the independence of the judiciary, we ask the Superior Council of Magistracy to, by virtue of its role as guarantor of the independence of the judiciary, decide whether the independence of judges and prosecutors was violated by these actions and statements .

7. We call all decision-makers in justice, but also civil society to a rational discussion, non-partisan with the object of a draft law on the role and purpose of prosecutors in the system of judicial authorities, their status. In this regard, we call on the Minister of Justice, by virtue of his role as initiator of public policy issues, to launch without delay this public debate so necessary for the achievement and guarantee of an independent judiciary .

Society for Justice (SoJust)
National Union of Judges of Romania
Association for the Defense of the Rights and Independence of Judges of Bihor
Forum of Judges of Oltenia
Association of Magistrates of Romania – Cluj Branch

Contact: Horatius Dumbravă, tel. 0740-960957, (SoJust President)
Jud. Dana Garbovan, tel. 0740-134199, (President of AADIJ from Bihor)
Jud. Elena Bendea, (Cluj Branch of the Romanian Association of Magistrates)

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