Publications

Prosecution of Political Corruption - Green-Lighted in Romania?

Debate has re-ignited in new EU member state Romania about the prosecution of former and current ministers under suspicion of political corruption.

Lustration and Consolidation of Democracy and the Rule of Law in Central and Eastern Europe

With a Preface by Stefanie Ricarda Roos, PhD

The publication at hand is the result of an international expert conference on the topic which was organized by the Political Science Research Centre Forum, Zagreb in cooperation with the KAS-Rule of Law Program South East Europe in Zagreb (Croatia) on May 24, 2007. It collects contributions of lustration experts from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, and Romania.

Not All Good Things Come in Threes for Romanian Judiciary

President Minister Basescu refuses appointment of national-liberal senator to minister of justice

Even in the 2nd year of its EU accession, the Romanian does not come to a rest: On 8January 2008, President Traian Basescu refused to appoint the national-liberal senator Norica Nicolai as the new Romanian Minister of Justice. Instead, he asked Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu (PNL) in writing to make a new proposal for the filling of the vacancy as justice minister. Liberal Nicolai had - despite original objections by the Prime Minister - been proposed for the post of Minister of Justice in December last year by the governing PNL. The decision led to different reactions internationally.

Pressure Factors and Conflicts of Interest in the Judiciary

Handbook for Judges

Throughout 2006, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, through its Rule of Law Program South East Europe and working together with the Romanian NGO “Society for Justice” (SoJust), organized a series of seminars for Romanian judges on "Pressure Factors and Conflicts of Interest in the Judiciary" in seven Romanian court districts (Tg. Mures, Cluj-Napoca, Oradea, Suceava, Focsani, Timisoara, and Slatina).

European Commission analyzes Bulgarian and Romanian progress

in the areas of justice reform, fight against corruption, and fight against organized crime

On 27 June 2007, the European Commission issued its reports on the progress made by Bulgaria and Romania in meeting the benchmarks which had been set by the Commission when both countries joined the EU.The two countries escaped the activation of the safeguard clauses, but the Commission noticed that the progresses in the reform of the justice system, in fighting corruption and in fighting organized crime are insufficient. It also said that it will keep on monitoring, for another year, the two new Member States and continue to cooperate/support them.The most important critic brought to Bulgaria was the lack of results in fighting organized crime, especially the lack of legal prosecution and the lack of penalties in the cases of alleged contract killings (more than 155 starting with 2000).In the case of Romania, the critics went to the way in which the Romanian Justice deals with high-level corruption cases. Very few cases are being solved.

Ensuring Independence and Impartiality of Justice in South East Europe

Presentation in the context of First Central and East European Rule of Law Symposium in Sofia

The focus of the presentation is on “ensuring independence and impartiality of justice in South East Europe”. The presentation is structured so that it reflects the main topics proposed by the organizers of the First Central and East European Rule of Law Symposium for the panel discussion on ″Efficiency of Justice in the CEE region”. Therefore, the presentation first, tries to identify challenges to ensuring independence and impartiality of justice (as well as the challenges to fair and rapid delivery of justice); second, to define roles and means, but also challenges of interaction between governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders regarding the ensurance of judicial independence and impartiality, and third, describes a success story of the Rule of Law Program South East Europe, and some lessons learned.

The Justice System in Romania

2006 Independent Report by the Society for Justice

The Rights of Suspects and Defendants in Criminal Proceedings in South East Europe

Volume I - Studies in Original Language

INTRODUCTION by Stefanie Ricarda Roos Criminal Procedure is much more than a purely technical device: It is applied constitutional law, a seismograph of the Constitution, and an indicator of the legal and political culture of a people. It is for this reason that the promotion of criminal procedural law, insofar as it secures respect for human rights and fundamental principles of the rule of law, is one of the goals of the Rule of Law Program South East Europe (RLP SEE) of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. For the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Rule of Law Program wishes to support the establishment and consolidation of democratic states based on the rule of the law in South East Europe. In view of the Rule of Law Program’s emphasis on procedural law, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung – through the RLP SEE – decided to highlight one of the focus issues in the area of justice during the German EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2007, i.e. the promotion of certain procedural rights in criminal proceedings throughout the European Union (see preface by Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister of Justice, Germany, and summary of contents and objectives of the proposal for a Council Framework Decision on such rights). The RLP SEE – which, with the exception of Bulgaria and Romania, who joined the EU on 1 January 2007, is currently composed of non-EU members only (i.e. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) – intends to support this initiative despite the fact that it focuses on the safeguarding of procedural rights within the EU. Two main points motivate this decision: First, the RLP SEE wishes to support the programme participant countries in calibrating their legal orders to the European legal structure and order. Many countries of the region are currently undergoing, or have just finished, criminal law reforms regarding both substantive and procedural criminal law. These reforms, though local in nature, shall not take place irrespective of legal initiatives and developments in the area of criminal procedural law at the European level. Rather, the countries in South East Europe which are not members of the EU still need to be engaged in European developments prior to their accession to the European Union. This is also recommendable because these countries should be prepared as soon as possible to participate in European legal reforms and processes. The European initiative for the promotion of minimum standards with regard to procedural rights in criminal proceedings (which Germany intends to re-initiate, re-vitalize, and further develop during its Council Presidency) is one such legal reform and process. Second, all the program participant countries are members of the Council of Europe, and as such are parties to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The abovementioned focus issue in the area of justice during the German EU Council Presidency is directly linked to the procedural guarantees of the European Convention, which the Rule of Law Program South East Europe wishes to promote in the countries of South East Europe. One means of promoting the abovementioned Council initiative is the comparative law study at hand. Distinguished authors from Bulgaria, Romania, and six other South Eastern European countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) participated in this study. The experts were asked to examine the legal status quo (i.e. law and practice) with regard to the procedural rights of suspects and defendants in criminal proceedings.

Factorii de Presiune si Conflictele de Interese in Justitie - Ghid Pentru Judecatori

Handbook for Judges on Pressure Factors and Conflicts of Interest in the Judiciary

The right of each person to an independent and impartial tribunal is a fundamental human right, and a pillar of a democratic state based on the rule of the law. The State parties to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) – one of which is Romania – have recognized this right through their ratification of the ECHR. Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Convention states: “[E]veryone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law”.The independence and impartiality of a judge, both personal and substantive, can be influenced and endangered by various internal and external pressure factors and conflict of interest situations. Judicial independence can only be effectively defended against such factors and situations through a multi-faceted approach which must include not only institutional and normative instruments, but also awareness-raising and consciousness-building measures. Among the latter are seminars which help judges and those responsible for guaranteeing judicial independence to reflect upon which pressure factors and conflict of interest situations exist, why and how they can negatively impact judicial independence, and how judges can deal with these situations in their daily work.This publication, and its best practice guidelines, are the product of such seminars. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, through its Rule of Law Program South East Europe and working together with the Society for Justice, organized these seminars in seven Romanian court districts (Tg. Mures, Cluj-Napoca, Oradea, Suceava, Focsani, Timisoara, and Slatina) throughout 2006. The guidelines come from the participants’ observations and comments in the seminars as well as from their answers to a questionnaire in which the judges were asked inter alia to define the terms “pressure factors” and “conflicts of interest”, as well as to describe whether the institutional, normative, and practical protections against such influences are sufficient. The guidelines are intended to serve Romanian judges as a tool for dealing with pressure factors and conflict of interest situations in their daily work, thus contributing to the further improvement of the independence of the Romanian judiciary. The support for the establishment and strengthening of a rational, accessible, transparent, impartial, and efficient justice system, with a special emphasis on promoting the independence of the judiciary, is one of the primary goals of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Rule of Law Program South East Europe. Dr. iur. Stefanie Ricarda Roos, M.A.L.D.Director, Rule of Law Program South East EuropeBucharest, February 2007

Country Reports

Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.

Event Reports

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at www.kas.de. In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.

Press Review

On a monthly basis the Rule of Law Programme South East Europe publishes a press review collecting selected articles and reports from newspapers and news portals in English and German. Giving our readers an overview over the most important developments, we focus on news reports in the areas of democracy and the rule of law. The press review covers the following ten countries, where we also implement our activities: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania and Serbia.

Translation of Federal Constitutional Court decisions

In order to strengthen the institutional and judicial cooperation between Germany and the countries of South East Europe, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung considers translations of landmark decision of the Federal Constitutional Court as an important step in the realm of preserving fundamental rights and liberties, safeguarding the constitutional order and applying the rule of law. All decision so far translated can be accessed in several official languages of the countries of South East Europe (PDF file and EPUB).