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Lia Savonea elected chairman of Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM)


Former Bucharest Appeal Court chairman Lia Savonea was elected as chairman of top judicial watchdog CSM for next year on Wednesday, after being the only candidate running for the office.

Savonea was appointed after being validated for the office by the CSM plenary, which also appointed Nicolae Solomon as deputy chairman of the body for next year.

The two will replace current chairman Simona Marcu and deputy Codrut Olaru, who held their respective offices for 2018.

Lia Savonea was appointed Bucharest Appeal Court chairman in 2010, after she had been appointed deputy the previous year. She requested in November a procedure which could have led to the dismissal of Supreme Court Chairman Cistian Tarcea.
In her candidacy project, Savonea noted that judicial independence should not serve as a “façade” behind which justice itself is violated and that the principle was somtime compromised by the way past CSM plenaries treated it.

Nicolae Solomon also ran for the office of deputy chairman last year, losing the contest to Codrut Olaru. The Bucharest prosecutor has ten years of experience and also activated within the country’s General Prosecutor’s Office.

 President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday stated that independent justice is the most important instrument to be used against the arbitrariness of power, in which context he underscored that the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) has a very tough mission.

"Romania's role in the EU and commitment to European values must be reflected also internally, in the coherence of public policies. In the justice field, CSM plays an active role in meeting the obligations arising from our capacity as an EU member state. In 2018, Romanians were united in defending justice independence and you will certainly have an ally in the future too, in each citizen who wants a better future, a future which can only rely on an independent, fair and efficient justice. An independent justice represents the most serious instrument against the arbitrariness of power, and you, the members of the CSM, have a very difficult mission, which is, on one hand, to advocate for ensuring the stability of the act of justice and, on the other hand, to react to the attacks against the independence of judges and prosecutors, no matter whomever launches them," said Iohannis, at the plenary sitting of the CSM. The head of the state specified that he will do everything in his power so that "Romania won't take backward steps."

"I assure you of my unconditional support in guaranteeing the good functioning and independence of justice to the direct benefit of Romanians. In this, I am your partner. I urge you to stay dedicated to your noble mission and I wish you a lot of success in the year to come," said Iohannis.