PUBLIC MINISTRY
Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice

 

SHORT HISTORICAL PRESENTATION
  

On the current territory of Romania, the judicial activity appeared and evolved along with the state organization. The judicial activity was initially carried out together with the other activities of the state, not having an independent character and not being performed by specialized persons.

The first records regarding the institution date from 1831, when the Organic Regulation of Wallachia stipulated for the establishment of the Public Ministry. In Moldova, the Public Ministry was established by a law of March the 26th, 1862.

By the Law of judicial organization of July the 9th, 1865, the Public Ministry was organized according to the principles established in France, the country of origin of the institution. According to this law, the prosecutors were organized in Prosecutor's Offices attached to the Courts, having the mission to represent the society, to supervise the observance of the laws in the judicial activity and the execution of the judgments. Subsequently, a series of laws of judicial organization were adopted, without substantially changing the organizational functions and principles of the Public Ministry, but only making few changes to the structure of the Prosecutor's Offices and of the statute of prosecutors.

The Public Ministry consisted of prosecutors appointed as magistrates by the head of state.

In 1918, after the unification in one state of all the Romanian provinces, there was a concern of harmonizing the legislation throughout the national territory, including regarding the organization of the judiciary.

The law of judicial organization of June the 24th, 1924 stipulates provisions regarding the structure of the Public Ministry. In what concerns the competences and the course of action, it refers to the Code of criminal procedure.

After 1945, Romania entered a new stage in its history, when, gradually, Soviet influences emerged in the judicial organization.

By the Decree no. 2 of April the 22nd, 1948 regarding the organization and functioning of the Prosecutor's Office, it was established that "The Prosecutor's Office oversees the observance of the criminal laws, both by civil servants and by other citizens". The main task was to investigate and punish the offences against the democratic order and freedom of the economic interests, national independence and sovereignty of the Romanian state.

The Prosecutor's Office operated under the guidance of the Minister of Justice. Prosecutors enjoyed stability.

The Attorney General was appointed by the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly, at the proposal of the Government, following the recommendation of the Minister of Justice.

Law no. 6/1952 on the establishment and organization of the District Attorney’s Office eliminated the phrase "Public Ministry" replacing it with the term "prosecutor" and the Prosecutor's Office was called The District Attorney's Office.

The new institution thus created was an independent body, subordinated exclusively to the supreme body of state power and to the Council of Ministers. The Attorney General was appointed by the Grand National Assembly. The District Attorney's Office was supervising and ensuring compliance with the law, by defending the legal rights and interests of the citizens.

The General District Attorney's Office was established as a central management structure for all the Attorney's Offices consisting of 8 directorates and 3 services.

Romania becomes the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to re-introduce European criminal procedural principles into law, eliminating the Soviet influences once the Law no. 60/1968 for the organization and functioning of the District Attorney's Office, the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code were adopted.

The law provided for the right of the prosecutor to make mandatory provisions and to take measures regarding the execution of any criminal investigation act, as well as to approve, authorize, confirm or invalidate the documents and the procedural measures of the criminal prosecution body.

The right of the prosecutor to carry out any investigation act in any case and the obligation to carry out the investigation in the cases provided by law are established.

The competences of the prosecution bodies were carried out only on the basis of the law and of the provisions of the hierarchically superior bodies.

The superior hierarchical prosecutor could fulfill any of the competences of the subordinate prosecutors or he could suspend or cancel their provisions.

The new Constitution of Romania was adopted in December 1991, with the amendments and completions made in 2003, reflecting thus the democratic changes produced in the country in December 1989 and establishes a series of new principles regarding the judicial activity.

On July the 1st, 1993, Law no. 92/1992 for the judicial organization entered into force, which, in accordance with the constitutional provisions, reintroduces the term "Public Ministry", laying the foundation for the organization and functioning of the new institution.

The prosecutor was recognized as a magistrate and also his/her right to stability in office.

This law eliminated the responsibility for general supervision from the prosecutor's competence, keeping only the judicial responsibilities.

Following the modification of 1996, the name of General District Attorney's Office was eliminated and the office of Prosecutor General of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Court of Appeal was instituted.

After the revision of the Constitution by the Law no. 429 of October the 13th, 2003, there were adopted the Law no. 303 of May the 28th, 2004 regarding the statute of the magistrates (name modified in 2005 by replacing the term "magistrates" with "judges and prosecutors") and the Law no. 304 of May the 28th, 2004 on the judicial organization, which replaced the Law no. 92/1992, harmonizing the Romanian legislation with the European legislation, in the process of preparing Romania's integration into the European Union.

The prosecutor's independence was ruled in the solutions he/she orders, and the magistrate's career became a responsibility of the Superior Council of Magistracy. The new specialized structures for combating corruption and organized crime were regulated.