Council of Europe secretary general Jagland urges Romania to rethink reform of the judiciary

The secretary general of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, urges Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis to seek the expertise of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission (European Commission for Democracy through Law) regarding the controversial reforms bills of the judiciary adopted earlier this week by the Parliament, according to Business-Review.eu.

The changes passed by the Parliament concern the Superior Council of Magistracy, the status of judges and prosecutors and the judicial organization.

Jagland said in a letter submitted to Romania’s president that “an opinion of the Venice Commission would provide clarity on the compatibility of these texts with fundamental rule of law standards.” “It would be complementary to the urgent assessment of these texts which is being prepared by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in the light of anti-corruption standards.”

His message came one day after seven embassies asked Romania’s ruling coalition to avoid actions that would ruin Romania’s judiciary reforms. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) reacted to the statement, claiming that the consolidation of the rule of law and the fight against corruption are among the priorities of the government.

 

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