Justice Minister Predoiu calls on magistrates to cease protests

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Minister of Justice and Citizens’ Liberties Catalin Predoiu, in a press conference on Monday, called on the magistrates to cease their protests and resume their normal activity, because the Government resolved the problems related to their salaries and the under- financing of the legal system, through the draft law on the unitary pay and the budget revision.

‘The protests, as a whole, are illegal and non-statutory and generalizing and continuing them seriously affect the citizens’ interests, the economic activity, the legal security, the citizen’s safety and the public order.

The Government solved the problems the magistrates’ officials had raised, namely problems such as the legal system’s under-funding and the salary level, through the budget revision and the draft law on unitary pay,’ the justice minister said.

Predoiu stressed that after his ministry’s officials attended the works drawing up the law on unitary pay, the Government worked out a draft law keeping the magistrates at the peak of the pyramid of the budget-paid employees, and that observed the principle of their equality with the Government and the Parliament power, while the pay for the other legal system employees had been improved.

‘In the context of the existing budget restraints, the draft law stipulates that starting 2010, the payment rights to the magistrates and other legal system’s professional categories would include the money value of the bonuses earned through jurisprudence.

Technically speaking, part of the bonuses was included as bonuses additional to the basic salary, ‘ he added.
The justice minister stressed that as regards the financing of justice, he made sure there was no risk to disrupt the law courts’ activity, over the latest months.

In this respect, late in August, the Government allocated extra funds to the justice minstry’s budget, which grew by 111 million lei.
Thus, the goods and services were allocated more 65 million lei, compared to 149 million as it got in 2008, which represents an increase by 6 percent than a year before.

The budget execution data say that the funds the law courts currently require to work had been allocated, but the courts are responsible for their management, Minister Predoiu stressed.

The justice minister thinks it is required the urgent normalization of the activity by the judges delegated to the Commerce Registry Office, the blockage of which affects directly the national economy.

Predoiu asks the judges to resume their activity in the law courts, because the protests’ escalation would be, in his opinion, a gesture of ungrounded and irresponsible pressure.

The minister expects the plenary meeting of the Superior Council of Magistracy on Thursday to adopt a responsible attitude contributing to unblocking the situation.

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