Bucharest magistrates step up protest

The judges and ancillary workers at the Bucharest Court and six district courts decided to block the activity in those bodies starting on Monday, Aug. 31 in protest over the provisions of the draft law on a unitary salary for the public sector staff and over the chronic under-funding of the judicial system.

Bucharest Court vice-president Laura Andrei told a news conference on Friday the courts will only judge the penal cases relating to the remanding in custody and the civil cases relating to the minors’ putting into care, with all the other files to be postponed.

She announced all judges will refuse to be assigned to the electoral bureaus, which means the presidential election due in this autumn will be boycotted.
The ancillary staff will join the judges, so that the registries and archives will be closed and the official documents will be sent by mail.

Starting next week, all Bucharest courts will conduct only those activities that are compulsory under the law.

Andrei explained the judges are dissatisfied that the government had debated the draft law on a unitary salary for the public sector staff by utter lack of transparency and they complain the act would dramatically cut the judges’ incomes, who are expected to leave the system in large numbers.

Furthermore, the magistrates say the judicial system is chronically under-funded and they accuse the state officials of refusing to enact court decisions.

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