Länderbericht Rumanien 2013Raluca Oancea, Dr. Julie Trappe and Christian Schuster (right-hand side left to right) of the IRZ talking with Constantin Zegrean, the President of the Romanian Constitutional Court and with Prof. Dr. Tudorel Toader, judge at the RCC (left-hand side left to right)

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

The 12th EU progress report of January 2014 fundamentally confirms that Romania is developing positively in terms of the independence of the judiciary and combating corruption. The Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) operated more efficiently and the procedures were accelerated. It was possible to take up or conclude a whole number of corruption cases. This also includes cases of high-level corruption which send a signal to office-holders, as well as to society. Attempts by Parliament to give Members in particular a sort of "super-immunity" by amending the Criminal Code failed as a result of a review by the Constitutional Court after controversial debates and pressure from civil society as well as from Europe. This shows that Romania is still dealing with the topic of corruption, but that there is a positive tendency to get to grips with this problem. It also leads to greater trust in the judiciary, which should be enhanced as the rule-of-law structures are strengthened further by means of the 2014 to 2018 justice sector reform strategy. The major project of the four new legal Codes was advanced in 2013 with the coming into force of the new Code of Civil Procedure. This initially also constituted challenges of implementation for the judiciary, but this is coming along without any major difficulties. At the same time, preparations were made in order to see to it that the New Criminal Code and the New Code of Criminal Procedure come into force in February 2014 as smoothly as possible.

Cooperation to date

The IRZ began its cooperation with Romania in 1999, and today has good relations with the Romanian judicial institutions which have grown over the years. Cooperation with Romania was primarily characterised until 2010 by the implementation of EU twinning projects, e.g. on the organisation of the judiciary, on the fight against organised crime and corruption, as well as on the prison system. The EU has not been supporting the Member State Romania via twinning projects since 2011. The IRZ has therefore shifted its work more towards the bilateral area. Furthermore, EU grant projects on various criminal law and civil law topics were added in 2012.

Major partners

  • Ministry of Justice
  • Office of the Public Prosecutor General
  • Anti-Corruption Directorate at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General
  • National Prison Administration
  • National Institute of Magistrates
  • Constitutional Court

Strategy and method

The IRZ continues to focus its support for Romania on strengthening the independent judiciary and on the fight against corruption and organised crime within the EU's cooperation and control mechanism. In the interest of sustainability, the IRZ is furthermore continuing the cooperation with the Romanian partners in the fields of the prison system and organisation of the judiciary that was commenced in the EU twinning projects. There is ever greater concentration on the network concept and a spirit of partnership here. This particularly applies to the third party-funded projects for which the IRZ has been applying since 2011, together with Romanian partners. These projects mostly also include further partner states, so that a cross-border network of practitioners, and hence judicial cooperation, is strengthened. It is not only a matter of passing on German expertise, but above all is about all sides benefiting from one another and making things easier in legal practice.

Foci of activity in 2013

Civil and commercial law

  • Participation by Romanian experts in the conference on the topic of "Private law as a factor in the development of economic circumstances - tradition, topicality and outlook", in Chisinau (Moldova)
  • Simulation seminar on the criminal law part of the ECHR
  • Simulation seminar on the civil law part of the ECHR

Administration of justice

  • Secondment of two German experts to the summer school of the National Institute of Magistrates for judges and public prosecutors on the topic of professional ethics
  • Consultation on the standardisation of case-law and court organisation at the Bucharest Court of Appeal
  • Conference with the Romanian Constitutional Court "Constitutional case-law 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain"
  • EU grant project "Strengthening judicial co-operation in combating trafficking of human beings in the European Union" together with the Romanian Ministry of Justice and the École Nationale de la Magistrature (Paris)
  • EU grant project "Improving cooperation between judges and public notaries in cross-border civil matters"

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Further training for Romanian public prosecutors in the field of investigation techniques in economic crimes
  • Seminar on staff management in the prison system
  • Training course for staff of the Romanian prison system on the prevention of the disproportionate use of force

Outlook

The IRZ will continue to cooperate with the partner institutions in 2014 and concentrate on offering further training events in the fields of economic crime and combating corruption. Regarding the prison system, the IRZ will continue to work together with the National Prison Administration. Finally, a German-Romanian event is planned to take place with the Romanian Constitutional Court. The EU-funded project on cooperation between judges and notaries in cross-border civil law cases is to be implemented. Furthermore, the IRZ will apply for further EU projects with the Romanian partners.