Statements of President Maia Sandu after the Supreme Security Council meeting: “The Superior Council of Magistracy will be operational in 30 days, not later”
President Maia Sandu made press statements on Monday, March 20, after the meeting of the Supreme Security Council (SSC) where “bottlenecks in the justice reform process and ways to effectively overcome them” were to be discussed.
“(…) We all saw what happened at the General Assembly of Judges on Friday, where the members of the Supreme Judicial Council were to be elected. Unfortunately, the vote did not take place. The assembly was held in violation of the law. For example, the law does not provide for the possibility of interrupting the meeting. Moreover, the people who were involved in organising and running this meeting were in a conflict of interest. Some of them were not reconfirmed in office and others were not admitted to stand for the SCM by the External Evaluation Commission. All the judges managed to show in this open meeting and in the public eye is that justice has rotted and is unwilling or unable to treat itself. Some judges have shown that their aim is not to do justice but to compromise justice (…).
The CSS came up with the following decisions and recommendations:
- Speed up the creation of the SCM. The SCM is to be operational within 30 days, not later. Parliament will appoint non-judge members who have passed the Pre-Vetting Commission evaluation and from these members the SCM will be created and will function regardless of what the judges decide.
- The Parliament will prepare the legal framework for the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court on restricted terms and then the new SCM will announce a competition for the selection of judges for the Anti-Corruption Court. This Court will investigate cases of grand corruption and deal with corruption in the judiciary. This Court should be operational within 3 months.
We have also discussed the need to speed up the bringing of young judges into the judiciary. This is the task of the Ministry of Justice, together with the National Institute of Justice, and obviously the new SJC. It is time to bring into the judiciary young, well-educated, educated, honest, honest people and not relatives of corrupt judges promoted until recently not on merits but on personal and corrupt interests,” the head of state said.
The General Assembly of Judges met on 17 March 2023 in session. Only two items were on the agenda: approval of amendments to the Regulation on the functioning of the General Assembly of Judges and election of permanent members of the SCM from among judges. After hours of speeches by several magistrates talking about “low salaries” and “the influence of politics on the judiciary”, the vote was taken to adjourn the General Assembly of Judges and postpone the vote on the members of the SJC. The adjournment was announced until 28 April.