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Venice Commission delegation expressed concern regarding the adoption of the emergency ordinances

Representatives of Parliament's special committee on justice met on Thursday with the delegation of the Venice Commission, with discussions focusing on the emergency ordinances bringing modifications to the justice laws. Participating in the meeting on behalf of Parliament were: Florin Iordache, Robert Cazanciuc, Liviu Pop, Eugen Nicolicea - PSD, Eduard Dirca, Iulian Bulai and Vlad Gheorghe - USR and Valeria Schelean-Somfelean - PNL.

PNL (National Liberal Party) Deputy Valeria Schelean-Somfelean on Thursday stated that she told representatives of the Venice Commission that the parliamentary majority did not apply all recommendations of this body in respect to the justice laws and she mentioned that the main discussion had to do with the Section for investigating magistrates.

"Today's discussion exclusively focused on the emergency ordinances that brought modifications to the justice laws. Obviously, we also managed to tackle the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, which were adopted yesterday in Parliament, but discussions did not focus on these matters, which they will be included in a future notification and a future opinion, respectively. As you know, after legislating, the current parliamentary majority did not implement, under any circumstance, all the recommendations of the Venice Commission, as expressed in 2018, with respect to these laws, with the main concern and discussion was related to this section for investigating crimes in justice. I am glad that these representatives of the Venice Commission were able to detect the double language of those holding the Power - PSD [Social Democratic Party] - ALDE [Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] - for they tried to mislead everybody through the information they provided during the talks and these things were noticed and sanctioned by the representatives of the Venice Commission," Schelean said after the meeting between the delegation of the Venice Commission and the MPs from the special committee for justice.

She also said that the main concern voiced by the members of the Venice Commission was related to the adoption of the emergency ordinances and the reason for which the Government comes to adopt them, although the Romanian Parliament does have a committee especially created to systematize laws in the justice field.

The Venice Commission delegation didn't make any recommendations, according to her, but they will probably be expressed in the opinion to be issued.

She also mentioned that the Power did not observe and it won't observe all the recommendations of the Venice Commission, considering that it won't give up the Section for investigating magistrates.

On the other hand, Senator Robert Cazanciuc of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), chairman of the Romanians Parliament's Judiciary Committee, said on Thursday after meeting a visiting Venice Commission delegation that there was an open dialogue in which he explained that the controversial emergency ordinances on justice legislations were adopted to unblock things.

"About my meeting with the Venice Commission I can say it was an open dialogue. If they take into account what I told them, there will be a win-win for everyone situation, as I explained very clearly why emergency ordinances were needed: because there were blockages, we did not always agree with all the solutions. We had a very good dialogue in Parliament, there is nothing special, and however, we are far below the number of emergency ordinances issued, for example, by the Ciolos Cabinet lengthwise. Unfortunately, as far as I am concerned after the last meeting, what we discussed at the meeting was not very much reflected in the report; I hope it happens this time, at least we have been assured that it will be an objective reflection of the situation," said Cazanciuc after a meeting of the Venice Commission delegation with representatives of the Judiciary Committee at Parliament House .

Cazanciuc pointed out that Emergency Ordinance 92 was issued precisely to implement the recommendations of the Venice Commission regarding the retirement age, the replacement of the members of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM).

Asked to comment on the members of the Venice Commission having recommended that a special section to investigate magistrates should not be established, Cazanciuc said: "I suggested them to discuss with former prosecutor Tiberiu Nitu about the need for the special section to discuss with judges in Oradea, in Bucharest, who have been pressured into ruling a certain way. I explained to them that for me as minister of justice it was very difficult to accept - the mind of an educated, civilised man is not set to understands that at the level of a central organisation someone may abuse that position. "

The establishment of the special section, added Cazanciuc, was considered by the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) to be in accordance with the constitution, and he said that the members of the Venice Commission "do not correctly perceive the realities experienced in Romania in recent years," and voiced hope that after the meeting they will have at the newly established special section, "where they will have evidence of over 1,500 cases on magistrates, they will better understand the need for this section."