Prosecutor General Kovesi: The 1.3-million-criminal-files-a-year record calls for urgent solutions

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2009 was the first year when the Public Prosecution Ministry reported a load of more than 1,300,000 criminal files, Romania’s Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi told on Wednesday.

‘The figures are up six times from 1989 and almost twice the 2004 load, although the prosecution offices has had almost the same staff size for ten years and there are some prosecution offices operating with slightly more than 50 percent of their jobs vacant,’ said Kovesi. Kovesi warned that the record reported could bring the Public Prosecution Ministry to a standstill, unless urgent legislative measures are found.

In order to make up for part of the more-than-500-prosecutor deficit, Kovesi said she has submitted written suggestions with short and medium deadlines to the Supreme Council of Magistrates, the Justice Ministry and other bodies in charge with judicial staff matters.
Kovesi has suggested more admittance sessions to the National Institute of Magistrates (INM) and reducing INM internships by one year, so that the number of graduates and, implicitly, of prosecutors may increase.

Other solutions identified by the Public Prosecution Ministry include modifying jurisdictions; brining cases to higher courts; temporary secondment of prosecutors to offices facing staff shortages, conditional on the prosecutors wanting so; bringing into force the principle of discretionary prosecution and the plea of guilty, both new judicial practices mentioned in the new Code of Criminal Procedure, and also calling retired prosecutors back to work.

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