In an Opinion adopted today, the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission expresses concern that many draft amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code in Romania seriously weaken the effectiveness of its criminal justice system to fight corruption offences, violent crimes and organised criminality.
The Venice Commission recommends that the Romanian authorities conduct an overall re-assessment of the amendments in both codes through a comprehensive and effective consultation process in order to come up with a solid and coherent legislative proposal benefiting from a broad support within the Romanian society and taking fully into account the applicable standards, and to follow the guidance of the Constitutional Court. On 12 October the Constitutional Court of Romania established that over 60 articles of the draft law amending the Criminal Law Procedure were unconstitutional and is expected to examine the constitutionality of the draft amendments to the Criminal Code later this month.
The Commission also adopted with some amendments the preliminary opinion issued in July on three drafts laws amending existing legislation on the statute of judges and prosecutors, judicial organisation and the Superior Council of Magistracy. This opinion criticises that these laws would adversely affect the efficiency, quality and independence of the judiciary, with negative consequences for the fight against corruption. The three laws have already been promulgated and entered into force.