The Presidents of the Courts of Appeal, meeting in Iasi on June 30, 2023, based on the mandate given by the General Assemblies of June 20, 2023, adopt the following
It strongly condemns the adoption of the draft law on service pensions for judges, which violates fundamental principles of the functioning and independence of justice, with direct consequences on the quality and speed of the act of justice, whose beneficiaries are Romanian citizens.
The Presidents of the Courts of Appeal condemn the flagrant violation of the principle of loyal cooperation between state powers, the legislative path of the draft law on service pensions being carried out in total contempt for the principles of the rule of law and democracy, with manifest ignorance of all proposals and arguments brought by the judiciary.
The false statements of the representatives of the legislative and executive power according to which this draft would have been adopted through constant consultation of judges’ representatives are proof of their total contempt for justice and its fundamental role in a state governed by law. An honest dialogue involves a real analysis of all aspects punctually revealed by the judicial power, all the more so with them are thoroughly grounded and have the role of ensuring the stability of the justice system, which is in the most serious personnel crisis in the post-accession period.
The so-called rescheduling of the retirement age, much claimed by the representatives of the executive in the public space, does not exist, in reality, being a fictionality introduced into the law to create an appearance that does nothing but prove, once again, the duplicity of the political discourse, which aims to gain electoral capital at the cost of destroying justice.
The Presidents of the Courts of Appeal also condemn the duplicitous attitude of the European Commission which, on the one hand, has constantly demanded, in the past, that any change in the status of judges be made with real consultation with them, and now refuses any dialogue and negotiates the status of Romanian judges only with representatives of political power.
Judges do not defend their privileges, but defend the need to ensure a coherent, predictable, clear and absolutely necessary legislative framework for their independent status vis-à-vis the other two powers, executive and legislative, and for the proper functioning of justice.
In 2022, judges from district courts, tribunals and courts of appeal had an effective volume of activity of 3,759,358 pending cases, which were handled by a total of 3,897 judges from these courts.
The extraordinary effort made by judges allowed this huge number of cases to be solved in an optimal period of time, well below the European average.
In these conditions of overload, judges managed the extraordinary performance of having an average resolution rate of over 96% in courts and tribunals, and over 101% in courts of appeal.
Such a pace of work cannot continue, given that the number of judges in office decreases alarmingly, interest in magistracy decreases dramatically, and the retirement age of judges increases suddenly and unexpectedly. It is therefore necessary to return to a normal workload that can be managed, given the period of activity reaching 38 years according to the adopted draft, exceeding even the contribution period required for normal working conditions.
Consequently, the presidents of the Courts of Appeal ask the Superior Council of Magistracy to urgently adopt a plan for regulating the activity, which would align the workload of judges with European standards and allow ensuring a quality act of justice.
Romanian judges, as guarantors of the fundamental rights and freedoms of every citizen, will fight for justice to function under conditions specific to a democratic European state. However, as underlined in the European documents, it is incumbent on the other powers of the state to provide justice with the necessary instruments for this: independent, stable and predictable status, normal volume of activity, decent working conditions and a clear and accessible legislative framework.
1. jud. Oana Maria Petrașcu – Alba Iulia Court of Appeal
2. jud. Loredana Lenuța Albescu – Bacău Court of Appeal
3. jud. Mihaela Darabană – Brașov Court of Appeal
4. Jud. Liana Arsenie – Bucharest Court of Appeal
5. jud. Dana Cristina Gârbovan – Cluj Court of Appeal
6. jud. Alina Gabriela Jurubita – Constanta Court of Appeal
7. jud. Petre Valentin Bădiță – Military Court of Appeal
8. Jud. Adrian Glugă – Craiova Court of Appeal
9. jud. Cosmin Răzvan Mihăilă – Galaţi Court of Appeal
10. Jud. Mihaela-Diana Cheptene-Micu – Iasi Court of Appeal
11. Jud. Laura Simona Băican – Oradea Court of Appeal
12. Jud. Raluca Emilia Trandafir – Piteşti Court of Appeal
13. Jud. Paul Mihail Frățilescu – Court of Appeal Ploiesti
14. jud. Titiana Ilieș – Suceava Court of Appeal
15. Jud. Andreea Ciucă – Târgu-Mureş Court of Appeal
16. Jud. Mircea Crețu – Timișoara Court of Appeal