On 14 November, the National Association of the Romanian Bars (NARB) has informed the CCBE about their concerns with regard to the Ministry of Justice proposals to amend Law n. 303/2004 which establishes the statute of judges and prosecutors. These proposals would allow judges, prosecutors, magistrates and judicial staff assimilated to magistrates, to join the Bar without any examination if they have a minimum of 18 years of professional experience.
It is important to note that regulating the admission to the profession and enrolment of lawyers is one of the main competences and functions of European Bars. However, according to the information available to the CCBE, NARB was not consulted when the work on the draft law was started and only learnt about these proposals when they were already final and made public on the website of the Ministry of Justice.
The Romanian Bar considers this to be contrary to the independence and self-regulation of the Bar. In support of the position of the NARB, the CCBE wrote a letter, in which it stresses that it is of utmost importance that the Bar is consulted on such proposals as they directly affect the legal profession i.e. the access to the profession. The CCBE urged the Ministry of Justice of Romania to establish a proper consultation process which includes representatives of NARB so that the views of the legal profession concerning this important proposal can be properly heard and fully taken into account.