THE PACT OF THE STATE POWERS FOR JUSTICE

By | mai 14, 2010

Beginning from the provisions of art. 1, paragr. 4 of the Constitution of Romania, according to which “The State shall be organized based on the principle of the separation and balance of Powers -legislative, executive, and judicial – within the framework of constitutional democracy”,

 Under Art. 124 Paragr. 3 of the Constitution of Romania, according to which “Judges shall be independent and subject only to the law”

 Having in view that a competent, independent and impartial justice is essential in order for the courts to accomplish their mission of supporting the rule of law,

 Among the functions of the state, the rendering of justice is the first to justify it and the most important to maintain it.

 With regard to the firm, solidary and homogenous reaction of the magistrates’ professional body to the unprecedented degradation, during the year 2009, of the professional and economic status of the magistrates,

 Since the well functioning of the courts is itself the safeguard for the fundamental human rights,

 The Parliament of Romania, through the leaders of the parliamentary groups,

The Judiciary, through the President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice,

The Superior Council of Magistracy, through its President,

The Government of Romania, through the Prime Minister,

 agree to the following principles, which constitute

                                                              THE PACT OF THE STATE POWERS FOR JUSTICE

 General Principles

1. The interest and scope of the Pact of the State Powers for Justice is targeted exclusively towards the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, the safeguard of the rule of law and of the constitutional order.

 2. The Powers of the state are to the same extent separate and equal. The separation of Powers means the obligation of one or of the other two Powers, together or separately, not to intervene in or interfere with the constitutional and legal prerogatives of any other Power.

 3. The collaboration between the Powers of the State:

3.1. Within the limits of the separation of their constitutional and legal prerogatives, the three Powers of the State are required to collaborate.

3.2. The collaboration is public and transparent, both with regard to the relation itself and to the communication of its outcome.

 3.3. The collaboration can only take place according to a precise and previously brought to the public knowledge agenda and is materialised in institutional correspondence and/or institutional meetings open to the civil society and with the information of the media.

 4. The balance between the Powers of the State:

4.1. The balance between the Powers of the State implies, on the one hand, the equality between any of the two Powers and between the two of them and the third one, regardless of the latter being the Legislative, the Executive or the Judiciary.

4.2. On the other hand, the balance between the Powers implies their mutual control, within the constitutional boundaries. The mutual control mechanism is transparent and specific to each of the three Powers.

4.3. The mutual control also implies previous or subsequent information, according to the legal duties or to a protocol between the three Powers, the latter being drafted with the participation of the civil society.

5. The independence of justice, courts and judges, as well as the irremovability of judges, cannot be subject to negotiation between Powers. The explicit acceptance of this principle through this Pact represents an indisputable safeguard, additional to the constitutional guarantees and to the ones stated by the international treaties and conventions to which Romania is part.

 Special principles:

 1. All measures, normative or other acts and actions of the Legislative and the Executive with regard to the Judiciary must be compliant to the generally agreed principles.

2. The status of judges must be preserved. This regards their competence, independence and impartiality and also their duties and responsibilities. Any action, measure or act of the other two Powers, regardless of its nature, which would harm the confidence in this competence, independence and impartiality, is excluded. The Legislative and the Executive cannot arbitrarily interfere with the decisions regarding the selection, recruitment, appointment, evaluation or evolution of judges and neither with the ones regarding the termination of office and the disciplinary actions.

 3. The independence of justice:

3.1. The independence of justice in general and the independence of the individual judge must be a safeguard for the citizen with regard to the quality and fairness of the act of justice, and not a privilege for the justice or for the judge.

3.2.In order for a real independence of justice, courts and judges to be secured, the enforcement and the safeguarding of the European standards and of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights with respect to the meaning and limits of the independence and to the mechanisms of preserving it are necessary.

3.3. In compliance with the European legislation and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and also with the Constitution of Romania, in order to ensure the independence of justice in general and of the individual judge and prosecutor in particular, the Legislative and the Executive agree to eliminate any means of financial constraint by ensuring a budget that is adequate for the functioning of the courts and prosecutors’ offices and that would forbid, one the one hand, any negative adjustment, and, on the other hand, any cut of the current salary rights and of pensions provided by the legal frame in force at the time of retirement, in order to safeguard the constitutional principle of non-retroactivity of the civil law.  

 4. The Budget of the Judiciary:

4.1. The Legislative and the Executive are required to allocate adequate resources to the courts, in order for them to be able to function according to the standards stated in Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

4.2. During the 6 months following the signing of the present Pact, the representatives of the three Powers shall draft and start the implementation of a long-term strategy in which they shall predict the financial, personnel and material needs, including the ones regarding the expenses for the development of the justice system and of the courts, all this in order to ensure efficiency in performing the act of justice.    The strategy shall be accompanied by an action plan regarding the same period, providing the objectives of financing, intermediate deadlines, the persons responsible for accomplishing the objectives of financing, human, financial and material resources to be allocated, the way in which such allocation shall take place, the interim mechanisms of control (interim reports drafted together, at least every six months, by the representatives of the three  Powers) which shall be subjected to discussions in a common committee.

4.3. The procedure for drafting and passing the budget is the same as the one for the budgets of the other Powers.

4.4. In order to safeguard the independence of justice and to eliminate any means of constraint, is forbidden any budget cut during the budgetary year.

4.5. The budget of the Judiciary belongs to the Judiciary, through the High Court of Cassation and Justice. No normative act of the other two Powers can infringe this principle.

4.6. The budget of the courts is part of the general budget of the State, and the draft of the annual budget shall be presented by the President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice to the Parliament.

5. The Parties to the Pact acknowledge and agree to safeguard a coherent and predictable status of magistrates, including with regard to the remuneration and retirement, in accordance with the dignity and the responsibilities of the profession but also with the incompatibilities and interdictions undertaken by the magistrates.

 6. The legislative initiatives and the amendments of a legislative nature with regard to the status of judges, organisation of justice, carrying out of the judicial activities, procedural rules, can only be passed after consultations with the professional body of the judges, with the professional associations and with the Superior Council of Magistracy. To this end, a mechanism of periodical consultation of the magistrates is established, which, through its representatives, will be able to advocate in front of the legal commissions of the chambers of the Parliament  the magistrates’ position regarding the bills subject to parliamentary proceedings.

 7. The Legislative and the Executive agree to ensure the coherence of the legal framework, as a guarantee for the stability of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens. In turn, the Judiciary agrees to produce a uniform jurisprudence, as a guarantee for the stability of the legal relations.

 8. The Judiciary undertakes the position of safeguard for the rights and freedoms of the citizens. To this aim, the Judiciary shall improve the quality of the act of justice by raising the professional performance of the magistrates’ professional body.


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