The Commission tasked with pre-vetting candidate members for the Higher Council of Judges and the Higher Council of Prosecutors won’t do the same for the Supreme Court of Justice. According to MP Olesea Stamate, chair of the Legal Committee, the Pre-Vetting Commission has been falling far behind schedule, so a different commission will have to be created to pre-vet Supreme Court justices.
“This pre-vetting process, the evaluation of candidates for HCJ and HCP membership, is underway. The first decisions have already been handed down by the Commission. For the HCJ, the last interviews will be conducted at the end of this year or in January next year. In parallel, the ground is being prepared for the assessment of the Supreme Court of Justice and all the other tiers of the court system. The justice reform is moving slowly but surely. It’s a good thing that we are flexible, we follow the actions and we can adapt. For example, from our point of view, the Pre-vetting Commission is moving slower than we expected. The initial plan was for this Commission to also evaluate the SCJ judges. But we cannot force them to work faster. This means that the evaluation of the SCJ judges will have to be handled by another commission”, Olesea Stamate said during a talk show on Vocea Basarabiei.
The Legal Committee chair admits that the extraordinary evaluation of judges and prosecutors could create a staff shortage in the system. However, those who fail the test of integrity and professionalism will be replaced by young specialists, assures Olesea Stamate.
“After the first stages of evaluation, I expect that we may have problems filling these positions that will fall vacant following the vetting. We will have to take in people with little experience. And they will have to learn fast. But before this happens, we have to prepare all the steps. The National Institute of Justice must provide both initial and continuing training. We will discuss with the donors to obtain funding for specialized training programs for prosecutors in the most important areas”, said Stamate.
At present, the pre-vetting commission is evaluating 23 candidates for HCJ membership. The first three successful examinees have already been announced: these are the judges Livia Mitrofan, Maria Frunze and Ioana Chironeț.