Romania: Judges hold protests over legal system changes

Hundreds of Romanian judges and prosecutors took part in protests around the country Monday to show their opposition to legal changes they say would hamper prosecutions, according to MyDaytonDailyNews.com.

The first demonstrations were held outside courts in the capital, Bucharest, and other cities that included Cluj, Timisoara, Galati, Brasov and Constanta.

The unusual judicial display continued in the evening with a silent protest outside the Bucharest Court of Appeal and outside a court in the central city of Brasov. Many of the participants held papers printed with the oath new judges take vowing to respect Romania’s Constitution and laws.

In Cluj, people gave flowers to judges and applauded them outside court, where they held their robes in their arms to symbolize the difficulties they’d have in doing their jobs properly if the amendments, some of which Parliament approved last week, became law.

In a joint statement, prosecutors in Constanta said the proposals “don’t just hamper the anti-corruption fight, but (also) the fight against all crime.”

Among the proposed changes are a move to ban public statements about investigations and trials, and another to limit the use of video and audio recordings. A further proposal would allow suspects to be present when witnesses are giving testimony.

Prosecutors say that could mean the victim of a pedophile being obliged to give evidence in front of their perpetrator.

 

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