The Lawyers Union requested Parliament to withdraw an amendment proposed by PAS MP Olesea Stamate, the head of the commission for appointments and immunities, to the law on advocacy. The amendment excludes par. 2 of Article 52, which provides that the lawyer cannot be detained, brought by force, arrested and searched without the preliminary consent of the Council of the Lawyers Union, except for cases when the person is caught red-handed. The lawyers announced that on January 18 and 19 they will go on Japanese strike and will wear white banderoles on the left arm, IPN reports.
If Parliament does not accept the Union’s request, the lawyers will go on general strike on January 20-24 and will fully cease activities, including of the lawyers of the state-guaranteed legal assistance system. The decision was taken in an extraordinary meeting of the Lawyers Union on January 17.
In a reaction on Facebook, Olesea Stamate explained that the law on advocacy was amended last year and the exam for entering the bar for prosecutors and judges was excluded. This exclusion was vehemently criticized by lawyers and by PAS. There was adopted one more amendment proposed by Marina Tauber, which instituted disproportionate immunity for lawyers. The abuses committed by the prosecution bodies in the past led to the appearance of the lawyers’ wish to be protected. The judges also enjoy immunity, but the consent of the Superior Council of Magistracy is not necessary in cases of corruption and when someone is caught in the act.
In this connection, she also registered a bill to amend the Constitution so as to limit the immunity of MPs in cases of corruption. In such a context, the immunity enjoyed by lawyers seems disproportionate.
Olesea Stamate considers there are many honest professionals among lawyers, who do their job and fight corruption in the system. But there are cases when the lawyers act as ‘intermediaries’ between the client and the judge or prosecutor. Such cases, in her opinion, should be investigated and penalized. She proposes a compromise solution – for the lawyers, at least until the extraordinary assessment of judges and prosecutors is completed, to benefit from immunity similar to that enjoyed by judges and to that proposed for MPs, which is except for cases of corruption and cases when someone is caught offending.
The amendment that excludes par. 2 of Article 52 of the law on advocacy was proposed by Olesea Stamate on December 22, 2021. The law on advocacy was given a first reading on October 21, 2021.