Disciplinary procedures against uncomfortable members of the judiciary in Romania

 Romanian Judges’ Forum Association

(Asociația Forumul Judecătorilor din România)

 

                                                                                    Association Initiative for Justice

                                                                                  (Asociația “Inițiativa pentru Justiție”)

  

Disciplinary procedures against uncomfortable members of the judiciary in Romania

 

Judges and prosecutors who questioned or criticized the changes in the field of criminal law and/or the “Justice laws”[1] made by the Parliament, the Government or the Constitutional Court of Romania, as well as the ones who took judicial decisions unfavorable to defendants prosecuted by Direcția Națională Anticorupție (the National Anti-Corruption Directorate), hereinafter referred to as DNA, have become targets for Inspecția Judiciară (the Judicial Inspectorate).

In some cases, the proceedings[2] concern the very actions shown above, in other cases, the proceedings are carried out under some pretext, for deeds which in other situations were not considered judicial misconduct.

We exemplify this situation by the following:

 

  1. Adjudicating a criminal case, judge Georgeta Ciungan from Tribunalul Bihor (Bihor Regional Court) found herself in the situation of having to exclude all the evidence gathered by the DNA prosecutors against four defendants, in order to comply with three controversial decisions of the Constitutional Court. So, on 7 May 2019, she decided to submit a request for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union, pursuant to art. 267 para. 1 and 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The questions raised regarded whether the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism is binding on Romania, whether the Constitutional Court of Romania must refrain from decisions that fall within the exclusive competence of the courts and Parliament, whether European Union law requires that the effects of such decisions should be disregarded and precludes a provision of national law that establish the disciplinary liability for the magistrate who disapplies a decision of a constitutional court, in the context of the question raised.[3]

Soon, one of the lawyers of two of the defendants charged for corruption offences in the above-mentioned case filled a complaint against her, regarding the request of the preliminary ruling, to the Judicial Inspectorate. After preliminary checks, by Resolution of 1 July 2019 the Judicial Inspectorate started the disciplinary investigation against judge Georgeta Ciungan regarding the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by the first sentence of point (ș) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “failure to comply of the decisions of the Constitutional Court” (rom. “nerespectarea deciziilor Curții Constituționale”).

The Judicial Inspectorate stated that the disciplinary offence consists in: making comments – even by questioning or expressing dilemmas – about the jurisdiction and the compulsory character of the decisions of the Constitutional Court, putting such matters up for debate, aiming to exclude from application the decisions of the Constitutional Court and avoid a disciplinary sanction, and “disrespecting” such decisions (the judicial inspector explaining that the primary meaning of the Romanian word “nerespectare” is “having no respect”).

 

  1. On 15 February 2019, in a criminal case, judge George Dorel Matei from Curtea de Apel Bucureşti (Bucharest Court of Appeals) submitted a request for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The questions raised regarded whether the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism is binding on Romania, whether the European Union law precludes national legislation that establishes a prosecutor’s office section having an exclusive jurisdiction to investigate any criminal offence committed by a judge or prosecutor and whether the principle of supremacy of European law precludes a provision of national law that allows a politico-jurisdictional institution, such as the Constitutional Court of Romania, to infringe the aforementioned principle by means of decisions which are not open to appeal.[4]

Soon, the President of the Superior Council of Magistracy, Ms. Lia Savonea notified the Judicial Inspectorate, citing a press article about him on a different subject, published on www.luju.ro, a web site specialised in defaming magistrates.

After preliminary checks, by Resolution of 12 August 2019, the Judicial Inspectorate started the disciplinary investigation against judge George Dorel Matei regarding the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by the first sentence of point (i) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “failure to comply with the duty to abstain when the judge or prosecutor knows that grounds provided by law for his abstention are applicable”.

The Judicial Inspectorate took into account the following:

Judge George Dorel Matei was a member of the court that, in another criminal case, adjudicating the appeal filed by DNA, by decision 1707/A of 19 December 2018 of Curtea de Apel București (Bucharest Court of Appeals), condemned two defendants charged for corruption offences, previously acquitted by the first instance court. The Judicial Inspectorate, notified by the Superior Council of Magistracy, stated that judge George Dorel Matei should have abstained from adjudicating that appeal, because on 4 July 2019 a challenge for annulment was admitted in principle on the ground that there was a case of incompatibility regarding him [point (f) of Article 64 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, “there is a reasonable suspicion that the judge’s impartiality is impaired”], with the consequence that the appeal shall be readjudicated.

As revealed by www.luju.ro, which accused judge George Dorel Matei of bias, one of the defendants was a public servant who solved a request sent by the judge’s father, in 2014, via the judge’s e-mail address, through which the judge’s father requested that verification of compliance with legal provisions regarding the construction of a building to be carried out.

 

  1. On 19 October 2018, in one case, a two-judge judicial panel from Curtea de Apel București (Bucharest Court of Appeals), chaired by judge Ruxandra Grecu, submitted to the Constitutional Court an exception of unconstitutionality of certain provisions of Emergency Ordinance no. 92/2018, that amended Law no. 304/2004, by establishing restrictive and unjustified rules applicable from 16.10.2018 to DNA prosecutors for continuing their activity as DNA prosecutors.

On 19 March 2019, www.ziare.ro published an article citing judge Ruxandra Grecu who explained why, in some cases, in order to ensure an effective protection of witnesses, it is necessary that the same person to be heard both under real identity and under protected identity, specified that no legal provision forbids this practice and stated that the court has the possibility to exclude any of the two statements of the witness.

Two journalists requested Curtea de Apel București (Bucharest Court of Appeals) to present an opinion on whether judge Ruxandra Grecu is biased (favorable to DNA), referring to a criminal case, where a protected witness was heard by DNA under multiple identities. By the Decision of 18 April 2019, the management body of Curtea de Apel București (Bucharest Court of Appeals) asked Judicial Inspectorate to start investigations for judicial misconduct.

Shortly, the defendant in the criminal case filled a challenge to disqualify judge Ruxandra Grecu, based on Decision of the management body. The challenge to disqualify was dismissed.

After preliminary checks, by the Resolution of 20 June 2019, a judicial inspector closed the case on the grounds that the judge only expressed legal opinions on a matter of principle, without referring to a particular case, so there are no indications about the commission of the offences provided by point (b) and first sentence of the point (i) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “violation of the legal provisions regarding incompatibilities and prohibitions applicable to judges and prosecutors” and “failure to comply with the duty to abstain when the judge or prosecutor knows that grounds provided by law for his abstention are applicable”.

The resolutions was confirmed by the Chief Inspector and no complaint was filled against it.

Surprisingly, because there is no procedural basis for such an action, by Minute of 26 August 2019 (the reasoned resolution not being communicated yet), in the same case, another judicial inspector (the same that started investigation against judge George Dorel Matei) started disciplinary investigation against judge Ruxandra Grecu, regarding the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (a) and (b) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “manifestations that affect the professional honor or probity or the prestige of justice, committed in the exercise or outside the exercise of the duties of the service”, “violation of the legal provisions regarding incompatibilities and prohibitions applicable to judges and prosecutors”.

 

  1. From 1 January 2018 to 21 November 2018 judge Crina Elena Munteanu was, temporarily, the only Judge for Rights and Liberties at Tribunalul Bihor (Bihor Regional Court), as a result of the decision of 27 December 2017 of the management body of Tribunalul Bihor (composed of seven judges, among them being judge Crina Elena Munteanu) and some other subsequent decisions of the management body of Tribunalul Bihor (Bihor Regional Court). Although the general rule is that all civil and criminal cases to be distributed randomly, this kind of solution is permitted by the Regulation of internal order of the courts for “objective reasons”. The decision was taken considering the insufficient number of judges and the need to maintain confidentiality. In other cases, the Judicial Inspectorate considered a practice of this kind to be adequate.

As a Judge for Rights and Liberties, Crina Elena Munteanu decided, during the course of the criminal investigation, upon the applications, proposals or any other motions referring to preventive measures, asset freezing, approval of searches and the use of special surveillance or investigation methods – many of them in cases in which the criminal investigation was performed by DNA prosecutors.

On 11 January 2019, the Judicial Inspectorate registered a complaint, referred by a lawyer, regarding the distribution of cases under the jurisdiction of the Judge for Rights and Liberties at Tribunalul Bihor (Bihor Regional Court).

After preliminary checks, by Resolution of 21 February 2019, the Judicial Inspectorate closed the case, finding no indications about the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (o) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “failure to comply the principle of random distribution of cases”. This resolution was invalidated by the Chief Inspector, who ordered additional checks.

By Resolution of 11 April 2019, the Judicial Inspectorate started disciplinary investigation against all the seven judges members of the management body regarding the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (o) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004.

By Resolution of 10 June 2019, the Judicial Inspectorate decided to dismiss the lawyer’s complaint against six of the judges members of the management body and to exercise the disciplinary action against judge Crina Elena Munteanu before the Section for judges of the Superior Council of Magistracy.

In the Judicial Inspectorate’s view, only judge Crina Elena Munteanu had the capacity to understand that the principle of random distribution was violated by the management body, so she manipulated the others members of the management body. The Judicial Inspectorate considered that because four of the judges were operating in other sections of the tribunal than the criminal section and one judge was operating in the criminal section but had lesser experience (one judge was omitted), these judges did not understand the implications of their vote.

The Judicial Inspectorate also claimed that the management body has no power to ascertain existence of “objective reasons” and the fact that a practice can be found adequate in other cases does not remove disciplinary liability.

 

  1. On 14 March 2017, judge Ciprian Coadă from Curtea de Apel Constanța (Constanța Court of Appeals) criticised Decision no. 68 of 27 February 2017 of the Romanian Constitutional Court in an article published on www.juridice.ro. Analyzing the decision, judge Ciprian Coadă observed that the Romanian Constitutional Court, exceeding its powers, introduced a new form of parliamentary and ministerial immunity and also a new cause for removing the criminal character of the acts committed in the exercise of the legislative activity, thus legitimizing the abuse of power.

Following a complaint referred by the Romanian Constitutional Court, judge Ciprian Coadă was subject of the disciplinary proceedings and received a final ruling from the High Court of Cassation and Justice. By civil decision no. 128 of 27 May 2019, in civil case no. 584/1/2019, the Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice sanctioned him with a warning for the disciplinary offence provided by point (a) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, manifestations that affect the professional honor or probity or the prestige of justice, committed in the exercise or outside the exercise of the duties of the service”, after initially the Section for judges within the Superior Council of Magistracy applied him the sanction of decreasing his salary by 5% for 2 months.

 

  1. On 2 October 2018 the professional association of judges Asociația “Forumul Judecătorilor din România” (the Romanian Judges’ Forum Association) published on its own site a study entitled “White Paper: Cooperation Protocols between the Romanian Intelligence Service and Various Judicial Authorities with Competence in Criminal Matters”, available at http://www.forumuljudecatorilor.ro/wp-content/uploads/FJR-White-Paper-Protocoalele-de-cooperare-dintre-SRI-si-diverse-autoritati-din-sistemul-judiciar-avand-competenta-in-materie-penala.pdf . At the same time, the association released a statement containing the conclusions of this study, at the end of which was mentioned “Contact person: judge Anca Codreanu, co-president of Asociația Forumul Judecătorilor din România”.

Dissatisfied by this study, a defendant prosecuted by DNA, through a lawyer, filled to judicial Inspectorate a complaint against all the members of the professional association, He was dissatisfied that the word “offender” (rom. “infractor”) was used in the study and that some of ideas expressed in the study are contrary to the ones expressed on the same topic by other judges (presidents of 14 courts of appeal in Romania), so he alleged that the study represents an attempt to influence other judges. As a consequence, judge Anca Codreanu from Brașov Regional Court (Tribunalul Brașov), functioning in the 2nd Civil Section, of administrative and fiscal litigation was subject of preliminary checks. Judge Anca Codreanu was the only member of the professional association concerned by the preliminary checks.

By Resolution of 19 April 2019 the designated judicial inspector closed the case, finding no indications about the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (a) and (l) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “manifestations that affect the professional honor or probity or the prestige of justice, committed in the exercise or outside the exercise of the duties of the service” and “interference in the activity of another judge”. This resolution was invalidated by the Chief Inspector, who ordered additional checks regarding the participation of other co-president of the Romanian Judges’ Forum Association. By Resolution of 27 May 2019, the same inspector closed the case again, this decision being final, because the law does not permit another invalidation.

 

  1. Judge Mihai Bogdan Mateescu, elected member of the Superior Council of Magistracy, well-known for his for his opposition to legislative changes affecting the rule of law, was subject of disciplinary proceedings, as a consequence of a Facebook post of 31 May 2018, in which he expressed a rhetorical question regarding the general binding nature of the decisions of the Romanian Constitutional Court, after giving as an example, among others, the situation of a member of the Constitutional Court acting in this position about 10 years, although the Romanian Constitutional Court has ruled that the mechanism by which the term of office of a member of the Romanian Constitutional Court is extended beyond the 9‑year constitutional term is unconstitutional.

Following a complaint of that member of the Constitutional Court, after the performing of the due preliminary checks, by Resolution of 21 September 2018, the Judicial Inspectorate started disciplinary investigation against judge Mihai Bogdan Mateescu, regarding the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (a) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “manifestations that affect the professional honor or probity or the prestige of justice, committed in the exercise or outside the exercise of the duties of the service”. By Resolution of 12 December 2018 the complaint was dismissed, but indications of non-compliance with the Deontological Code of Judges and Prosecutors were found.

In consequence, on 13 December 2019 the Judicial Inspectorate emitted a Report that was referred to the Section for judges within the Romanian Superior Council of Magistracy showing that there are indications of non-compliance with Article 7 and paragraph (2) of Article 9 of the Deontological Code of Judges and Prosecutors, “Judges and prosecutors have the duty to promote the rule of law and to defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.” and “Judges and prosecutors must refrain from any behavior, act or manifestation that may impair their impartiality”.

By Decision no. 579 of 10 April 2019, with the majority, the Section for Judges stated that there are no indications of judge Mihai Bogdan Mateescu’s failure to comply with the above-mentioned rules of conduct and consequently dismissed the notification of the Judicial Inspection (6 votes for and 2 against).

 

  1. Prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog, deputy chief military prosecutor of Parchetul Militar de pe lângă Tribunalul Militar București (Military Prosecutor’s Office near Bucharest Military Tribunal), is subject of three disciplinary actions.

The first disciplinary procedure has as its object the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (a) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “manifestations that affect the professional honor or probity or the prestige of justice, committed in the exercise or outside the exercise of the duties of the service” and concerns the opinions expressed in the article “The main issues liable to seriously affect the judicial system, published at 25 January 2018, on the website www.juridice.ro, The Judicial Inspectorate acted ex officio.

By Resolution of 27 August 2018, the Judicial Inspectorate decided to exercise the disciplinary action against military prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog, stating that he deliberately denigrated the majority of the members of the Section for judges of the Superior Council of Magistracy, by characterizing them as “loyalized” and “favorable to the current political power”, and the inspectors of the Judicial Inspectorate, by describing them as “bodies controlled by the political factor through which (…) pressure can be exerted on the magistrates”.

As prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog challenged before Curtea de Apel București (Bucharest Court of Appeal) the legality of a provision of the Regulation on how inspection acts shall be performed by the Judicial Inspectorate, adopted by the Superior Council of Magistracy, that added to the law, harming his rights in the disciplinary procedure, by civil sentence no. 4823/2018 of 23 November 2018, given in case no. 2873/2/2018, that provision was annulled and its application was suspended until a final settlement of the case.

As Superior Council of Magistracy and Judicial Inspectorate (which claimed, against law and evidence, that the chief inspector adopted the Regulation in question, so it should have been a party in the case) appealed to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the first term being set for 18 February 2012, the disciplinary procedure is suspended.

It is worth mentioning that, exposing the grounds for the appeal, the Judicial Inspectorate criticised the conduct of the judge for hasting to provide the reasons of the above-mentioned sentence and shortly the Judicial Inspectorate started disciplinary proceedings against the judge for delayed reasoning in other cases.

The second disciplinary procedure has as its object the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (m) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “unjustifiable failure to comply with the provisions or decisions of an administrative character, disposed in accordance with the law by the head of the court or prosecutor’s office, or other administrative obligations provided by law and regulations” and concerns the activities carried out by the military prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog regarding the gendarmes’ acts of violence against the peaceful anti‑corruption protesters in Bucharest on 10 August 2018. The Judicial Inspectorate acted ex officio.

By Resolution of 8 January 2019, the Judicial Inspectorate decided to exercise the disciplinary action against military prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog, claiming that by going to Victory’s Square to see what is happening and taking action ex officio (accordingly to Article 292 of the Criminal Procedure Code), he violated Article 89 of the internal Rules of Procedure of the Prosecutor’s Offices (which does not forbid free movement or curiosity of prosecutors and states that prosecutors shall exercise any attributions provided by law). The Judicial Inspectorate also considers that prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog violated Article 2 and 5 of Order 192/2010 of the Prosecutor General by failing to inform his superior about his activities, although he did inform his superior.

On 6 March 2019, in case no. 3/P/2019, the Section for prosecutors within the Superior Council of Magistracy suspended the disciplinary proceedings until a final ruling of the High Court of Cassation and Justice in the case no. 2874/2/2018.

The third disciplinary procedure has as its object the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (a) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “manifestations that affect the professional honor or probity or the prestige of justice, committed in the exercise or outside the exercise of the duties of the service” and concerns the opinions expressed by prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog, as a representative of Asociația ”Inițiativa pentru Justiție” (a professional association of prosecutors) at a meeting organised by the president of Romania, Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis on 27 March 2019 – opinions presented to the public in a press release of 31 March 2019, signed by all three co‑presidents of the professional association, prosecutors Sorin Marian Lia, Ionuț Marcu and Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog.

The procedure started following a complaint referred to Judicial Inspectorate by all the members of the Section for the Investigation of Offences within the Judiciary (a special body recently created within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice) against prosecutors Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog and Sorin Marian Lia.

Initially, the procedure concerned the very opinions communicated to the President of Romania by the two representatives of Asociația ”Inițiativa pentru Justiție” (Association Initiative for Justice), but after military prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog proposed the hearing of all participants in the meeting, including the President of Romania, the object of the proceedings was limited to those contained in the press release.

By Resolution of 30 August 2019 the Judicial Inspectorate decided to exercise the disciplinary action against military prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog on the grounds that his critical opinions regarding the Section for the Investigation of Offenses within the Judiciary (described as a having a double role: to act as a repressive body, that controls and puts pressure on uncomfortable judges and prosecutors, and also to ensure impunity for corrupt judges and prosecutors) and the prosecutors functioning in this section (considered as not part of the elite of prosecutors) do not correspond to reality.

 

  1. Prosecutor Sorin Marian Lia, chief prosecutor of Parchetul de pe lângă Judecătoria Corabia, was subject of disciplinary proceedings together with military prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog, for opinions expressed at a representative of Asociația ”Inițiativa pentru Justiție” at the above-mentioned meeting organised by the president of Romania, Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis on 27 March 2019 – opinions presented to the public in association’s press release of 31 March 2019.

After preliminary checks and disciplinary investigations for the commission of the disciplinary offence provided by point (a) of Article 99 of Law no. 303/2004, “manifestations that affect the professional honor or probity or the prestige of justice, committed in the exercise or outside the exercise of the duties of the service” – being unclear on what grounds, apparently because he didn’t contradict prosecutor Bogdan Ciprian Pîrlog – by Resolution no. 2861/B/30.08.2019 of 30 August 2019, the Judicial Inspectorate concluded that manifestation of this kind, with reference to the authors of the complaint or the special section within which they function, cannot be identified and dismissed the complaint as regards prosecutor Sorin Marian Lia.

 

In contrast to the above mentioned cases, we show that the Judicial Inspectorate considered as falling within the limits of freedom of expression the messages of judge Adina Daria Lupea who expressed her support for the violent acts of the gendarmes on 10 august 2018 (Resolution of 28 November 2018), and her contempt for homosexuals (Resolution of 07 December 2018) or the statement of 14 presidents and vice-presidents of Courts of Appeal who, acting as heads of high-ranked courts, minimized the extent of judges’ and prosecutors’ protest and criticized the intention of a group of judges and prosecutors to go to Brussels in order to discuss with the First Vice-President of European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans, the state of the justice system in Romania (Resolution of 8 August 2018). In this situations, and similar ones, the Judicial Inspectorate closed the cases after performing preliminary checks.

The Judicial Inspectorate also considered as falling within the limits of freedom of expression a series of very insulting and slanderous messages regarding the judiciary coming from public persons, as Aurelian Pavelescu, lawyer and head of a political party, who characterized the protesting judges and prosecutors as “impostorous magistrates”, thugs”, morons”, political police of Romania”, the most corrupt of all the Romanians”, Bolsheviks”, rogues”, members of Mafia”, politicaly used animals” (Report of 05 November 2018 regarding a claim for the defense of the judicial system filled by 172 judges and prosecutors) or Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, ex leader of the government party, ex president of the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament, currently in detention for corruption offences, who last year had several extremely violent speeches against justice. Many pages would be required to render the statements of Dragnea, the man who on 9 June 2018, addressing to a crowd of about 180,000 people, called judges and prosecutors “rats” (leaving aside the pages required to render the Judicial Inspectorate’s arguments for defending his manifestations). For that reason, we limit ourselves here to show that the Judicial Inspectorate wrote in its reports regarding Dragnea’s speech at the National Council of Social Democrat Party of 16 December 2018 that his affirmation regarding “thousands of people who are still in trials, others who are prosecuted, also illegally” represent an expression of a value judgment in a political speech not exceeding the limits of freedom of expression mentioned in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, and all his affirmations – including “Read the CVM Report! I did not find any row, any word to speak about the independence of judges.” and Justice in this country must be reset” – do not distort the reality, do not induce the idea of an abnormal and incorrect functioning of the judicial authority and fall within the limits of permissible criticism (Report of 31 January 2019 and Report of 21 February 2018, regarding a claim for the defense of the judicial system filled by Asociația “Forumul Judecătorilor din România” – Romanian Judges’ Forum Association).

Worryingly, even though the Superior Council of Magistracy, by Decisions no. 51 and, respectively, no. 50, both of 14 March 2019, admitted the claims for the defense of the judicial system in the two cases mentioned above – despite the Judicial Inspectorate’s conclusions – the decisions were taken only by a majority of 11 to 5.

 

[1] Law no. 303/2004 on the Statute of judges and prosecutors, Law no. 304/2004 on Judicial organisation and Law no. 317/2004 on the Superior Council of Magistracy.

[2] For a better understanding, we mention that the disciplinary procedure established by Law no. 317/2004 has the following steps: carrying out preliminary checks, conducting disciplinary investigation, exercising the disciplinary actions before the Section for judges, respectively for prosecutors, within the Romanian Superior Council of Magistracy, as a disciplinary court. The decision of the Section may be appealed by the magistrate (judge or prosecutor) or the Judicial Inspectorate to Înalta Curte de Casație și Justiție (the Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice), the decision of which is final.

We also mention that, based on the Regulation on how the inspection acts shall be performed by the Judicial Inspectorate, adopted by the Superior Council of Magistracy through Decision no. 1027/2012, the Judicial Inspectorate conducts investigations on non-compliance with the Deontological Code of Judges and Prosecutors and submits the result of this investigations to the Section for judges, respectively for prosecutors, within the Superior Council of Magistracy, to decide if there is a non‑compliance. The decision of the Section may be challenged to the Plenum of the Superior Council of Magistracy, the decision of which may be appealed to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the decision of which is final.

[3] Case C-379/19.

[4] Case C-195/19.