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Legal policy starting point
Romania acceded to the European Union on 1 January 2007. Since then it has been subject to the EU’s cooperation and control mechanism. The reports of the European Commission, which are submitted on a six-monthly basis, confirm that Romania has made progress, however, they criticise that the reforms have not yet become established. The focus is on the judicial reform, as well as on the fight against organised crime and corruption. German consultation remains welcome and expedient in these fields. The cornerstone of the comprehensive reforms of the Romanian legal system towards European standards is the adoption of four new fundamental laws, namely the Criminal and Civil Codes, as well as the Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure. The Parliament finally adopted these four Codes in 2009 (Criminal Code and Civil Code) and 2010 (Code of Criminal Procedure and Code of Civil Procedure), respectively, after many years of work. The Criminal Code and the Civil Code came into force in 2011. Romania now faces the challenge of implementing the codes.
Cooperation to date
Cooperation between the IRZ and Romania began in 1999. Excellent relations with the Romanian judicial institutions have been established and developed over the years, in particular with the Ministry of Justice, the National Institute of Magistrates, the High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors, the Office of the Public Prosecutor General, as well as its anti-corruption department. Until 2010 cooperation with Romania was primarily characterised by the implementation of various EU-funded twinning projects. The subject-matter of consultation was the organisation of the judiciary, the law on insolvency, the reform of criminal procedure law, the prison system, the fight against organised crime and corruption, as well as the organisation of the High Council of Magistrates. In 2011 the EU stopped the funding of twinning projects with the Member State Romania. Since then there has been more bilateral cooperation, albeit the foci remain the same. Furthermore, support in the field of legal training through regular seminars in various fields of law, in particular in criminal law, is of high importance.
- Ministry of Justice,
- Office of the Public Prosecutor General,
- anti-corruption department at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General,
- High Council of Magistrates,
- National Prison Administration,
- National Institute of Magistrates,
- Law Faculty of the University of Bucharest.
Strategy and method
The IRZ Foundation has been accompanying Romania in the extensive reforms carried out in the judicial area, and these are continuing after accession to the European Union. In the interest of sustainable support, the reform processes launched in recent years by the twinning projects in the area of standardising case-law, the prison system, the organisation of the courts, as well as the fight against corruption are being continued. The IRZ is carrying out follow-up projects in all fields. One focus of the IRZ’s activities remains criminal law and criminal procedure law. Regular seminars and further training events are carried out, following on from the IRZ’s World Bank project on the reform of the Code of Criminal Procedure (2007/2008). After the entry into force of the new Code of Criminal Procedure and of the new Criminal Code, intensified implementation assistance will be offered in this field.
Since 2011 the IRZ, in cooperation with the Romanian partners, has applied for third-party projects co-funded by the EU based on the concepts of partnership and networking. It was possible to obtain and commence three such projects in 2011, one in the field of financial investigation, one in the field of money laundering and assets recovery and one in mutual assistance in civil law. The work in 2012 will focus on these partnership projects.
Foci of activity in 2011
- Criminal law and prison system
- Seminars with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on “Questioning techniques”
- Seminar with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on “Asset recovery”
- Seminar with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on investigations of IT crime and DNA analysis
- Seminars with the National Institute of Magistrates on investigation methods in commercial criminal matters
- Seminar on personnel management of the National Prison Administration (follow-up to the twinning projects in the prison system of 2010)
- Seminars with the National Institute of Magistrates on criminal law aspects of the law on minors
- Seminar with the Romanian Academy of Science on criminology and the youth court system
- Series of seminars with the National Institute of Magistrates on civil law aspects of the law on minors
- Seminars on the protection of minors by the Family Court and the Youth Welfare Office with the National Institute of Magistrates
- Seminar on the law on minors and on court assistance with the National Institute of Magistrates
- Seminars on “Family law” with the National Institute of Magistrates
Administration of justice
- Secondment of a German expert to the summer school of the National Institute of Magistrates on “Professional ethics for judges and public prosecutors”
- Consultation on the standardisation of case-law and court organisation in appeal courts
- Seminars on didactic methods for trainers of the National Institute of Magistrates
- Fact-finding trip by a delegation of Romanian basic and further trainers of the National Institute of Magistrates to Germany
- ISEC project with the Romanian Ministry of Justice on the training of experts from the judiciary, the police and the administration in charge of the fight against money laundering and asset recovery (term: 18 months)
- EU Action Grant 2010 with the Romanian Office of the Public Prosecutor General on the training of public prosecutors, police and finance officials on financial investigation of serious and organised crime (term: 14 months)
- EU Action Grant 2010 with the Romanian Ministry of Justice on mutual assistance in civil matters (term: 14 months)
The IRZ will continue to support Romania in the ongoing reforms. The consultation on court organisation and on the standardisation of case-law will be continued. There is a follow-up programme in the prison system to the twinning projects which ended in 2010. Further activities are planned on the “Youth Court System”. A number of seminars are planned with the National Institute of Magistrates. With regard to constitutional law, an event on the topic of “Data protection” is envisaged. As to the four new fundamental Codes, implementation assistance is to be offered. In addition to the three EU projects already in progress, a further EU project on the fight against human trafficking will commence in 2012.