Bucharest judges begin protests by adjourning cases

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The Bucharest Court judges and prosecutors adjourned the cases on Monday, thus beginning a protest over the provisions set in the unitary salary law for the public sector staff.

The judges at the civil and administrative litigation court sections adjourned the cases until October or November. The only cases to be judged will be the ones at the criminal sections on remand in custody and other similar measures.

The Bucharest Court judges decided at a general meeting on Thursday to start the protests, as the magistrates are dissatisfied with the provisions of the law on the public sector staff’s unitary salary and 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 adjourned.

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 this 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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