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INTER-PROFESSIONAL CHARTER OF ROMANIAN JUDGES, PROSECUTORS AND COUNSELS

On the anniversary of 25 years of reform in the Romanian judicial system, since the Revolution of December 1989, as a historic landmark for Romania’s entering a new stage in its history, that of building a democratic society

Rule of Law and Justice

1. The Judicial authority in Romania is one of the three authorities that ensure the strengthening of the rule of law in Romania, by compliance with precedence of the law and applying that law with independence, impartiality, responsibility and effectiveness in all procedural stages.

2. The independence and impartiality of judges are fundamental constitutional principles for the operation of a Judiciary.

3. In the Romanian rule of law state prosecutors have independence and stability in performing their specific tasks. Those principles are guarantees for an impartial and effective judiciary that provides protection of the public interests and private interests of parties in litigations.

4. Concurrently, in the Romanian rule of law state counsels play a significant role in ensuring proper use of the law, and compliance with litigants’ rights and fundamental guarantees.

5. In judicial procedures Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels have distinct but complementary responsibilities, thus acting as the necessary guarantee for the operation of a fair, impartial and effective justice.

6. The constant inter-profession dialog between Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels is based on shared ethics principles and values, such as respect for the law, professional confidentiality, integrity and respect for litigants, professional skill, fairness and mutual respect.

Specific responsibilities

7. In judicial procedures the roles of Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels are different, but their inter-profession dialog in the exercise of their specific responsibilities in judicial procedures needs to take place in order to protect human rights and put in place the guarantee that the Romanian judicial system operates transparently and effectively.

8. Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels do their work in the best interest of the democratic society in Romania, providing litigants with a guarantee of their rights and liberties in all their facets, under national law as well as under the European Convention for Human Rights and the EC Treaties.

9. The work and conduct of a Romanian judge, prosecutor and counsel must ensure, within each profession’s remit the litigant’s confidence in the objectivity of justice.

10 Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels are independent in the exercise of their respective activities, so that litigants and society at large does not develop any suspicion that interference can exist, or any mistaking of one profession for another.

11. The status of Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels is guaranteed by law, and this creates requirements and guarantees that are similar between them in terms of conditions for recruitment, training and career development.

Ethics of Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels

12. The Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels should be individuals with outstanding integrity and professional skill.

13. Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels should engage in a conduct of abstention from speaking in public about their cases, in compliance with the principles that govern each profession.

14. Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels are under an obligation to know the rules of ethics that govern each other’s profession, as this will lead to increased understanding and respect for each other’s work and will contribute to guaranteeing a proper inter-profession dialog between the three professions.

Training of Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels

15. Confidence in the Romanian justice should be obtained from constant improvement of the professional skills of Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels, as that leads to improving the quality of justice overall.

16. The training of Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels requires indeed an acquisition and development of professional skills needed for access to those professions, but also a constant work of improvement throughout one’s career.

17. Organizing and operating a form of joint training for Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels on topics of shared interest contributes to securing justice of the highest quality.

18. Joint training for Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels in various formats, such as projects, conferences, debates about the law, is a sound basis for a common legal culture in the spirit of the democratic values of European justice, ensuring a stronger inter-profession dialog.

Constant inter-profession dialog between Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels and international cooperation

19. Developing and amending laws on the judiciary requires a more in-depth inter-profession dialog between Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels at institutional level:  in the procedure of examining and drafting legal stipulations; in being represented before the national law-makers; at national parliamentary debates; and at international judicial meetings of international bodies, thus providing consistency to the process of strengthening justice.

20. In judicial proceedings and towards ensuring compliance with the principle of equal arms in criminal as well as civil trials it is necessary that judges use an impartial inter-profession dialog with the prosecutors and counsels, based on their respective responsibilities, by setting calendars of judicial activities needed in criminal and civil trials so as to meet the due process guarantees afforded to litigants.

21. Organizing and operating joint inter-profession projects at national level and with European, regional and EC bodies between the Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels and others in Europe at institutional level, through appointed representatives, is of a nature that will contribute to establishing a shared national and European legal culture that puts in place a Justice system where the European citizens has confidence in a common judicial space.

22. Diversification of avenues of communication with the national and international mass-media for the Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels, at institutional level and through appointed representatives, based on developed joint best practices, is intended to establish the justice system as a highly credible communicator and opinion-maker.

23. The mass-media as well as the Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels should comply with the fundamental principles of the benefit of the doubt, right to a fair trial, right to privacy of litigants.

24. A constant inter-profession dialog between the Romanian judges, prosecutors and counsels and representatives of other, international justice systems shall take place only in compliance with the fundamental principles of democracy and human rights, so as to strengthen respect for the three professions and universal values.

Signed:

Chairperson of the Higher Council of Magistrates
Judge Marius Tudose

Chairperson of the National Union of Romanian Bar Associations
Consel Ph.D. Gheorghe Florea

Romanian Representative at the Consultative Council of European Judges
Judge Ph.D Rodica Aida Popa
Penal Section by the High Court of Cassation and Justice

23 September 2015