The Romanian Judiciary
|July 28, 2011||Posted by admin under Legal Publications & Articles||
“The judicial power in Romania is exercised by the High Court of Cassation and Justice and by the other courts established by law. The court system comprises:
– The High Court of Cassation and Justice (HCCJ);
– 15 courts of appeal;
– 41 tribunals;
– 4 specialised tribunals;
-177 courts of first instance (judecatoria).”
The courts of first instance have a general jurisdiction. A decision rendered at the level of courts of first instance may be challenged in appeal at the next court level. The means of judicial review regulated by law are: first instance, appeal and second appeal (recurs).Specialised sections are in place at the level of higher courts (tribunals, courts of appeal and HCCJ).
Prosecutors’ offices function attached to the courts and include:
- The Prosecutors’ Office attached to High Court of Cassation and Justice (POHCCJ). PO-HCCJ includes the National Anticorruption Department (NAD);
- Prosecutors’ offices attached to courts of appeal;
- Prosecutors’ offices attached to tribunals;
- Prosecutors’ offices attached to courts of first instance.
Prosecutors have the following competences:
- conduct criminal investigation, according to the law;
- represent the general interest of the society and protect the rule of law;
- lead and supervise the activity of criminal investigation conducted by the police.
The Superior Council of Magistracy:
The Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM) is the institution in charge with guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary, being the only body competent with regard to the career of judges and prosecutors (appointment, professional evaluation, promotion, disciplinary sanctioning and release from office).
The attributions regarding the career of magistrates were transferred from the Minister of Justice to Superior Council of Magistracy, by the legislative package for reform of judiciary, adopted in 2004. Thus, the Council is the competent institution with regard to recruitment, promotion, transfer, secondment, disciplinary liability and dismissal from office of judges and prosecutors.
The Ministry of Justice
Lawyers are organised as a liberal profession, according to Law no. 51/1995 on the organisation and exercise of the lawyers’ profession. The lawyers have their own professional organisation – The National Union of Romanian Bars – as well as decentralised units at the level of every district. Lawyers perform their activity in private offices and represent or assist clients before courts, prosecutors’ offices or any other public authority. The lawyers may be chosen by the clients or appointed ex officio by courts, according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and Civil Procedure Code which regulate legal aid.
Public notaries are organised as a liberal profession, according to Law 36/1995 regarding public notaries and notary activity. The notaries have their own professional organisation – The National Union of Romanian Notaries – as well as decentralised units at the level at every district. The notaries perform their activity in private offices, providing services to natural and legal persons, by authenticating/certifying contracts or any other acts, according to the law.
Bailiffs are organised as a liberal profession, according to Law no. 188/2000 regarding judicial bailiffs. The bailiffs have their own professional organisation – The National Union of Judicial Bailiffs – as well as decentralised units at the level at every district. The judicial bailiffs perform their activity in private offices, having the task of conducting enforcement of judgments and other writs of execution.