Strasbourg, 16 December 2002
CCJE (2003) 29
Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
Questionnaire on judges’ training: reply submitted by the delegation of Romania
Questionnaire on Judges, Training
a) Initial training for prospecting judges
1) Are prospective judges given any initial training? If so, how long does this last?
Yes. There exists an initial training for the prospective judges, within the National Institute for Magistrates, training that lasts for one or two years, according to the decision of the Ministry of Justice.
2) Is the right to or requirement to undergo training stipulated in any law or regulation? If so, please specify.
The training within the frame mentioned above is regulated by the provisions of Law no. 92 / August 4th 1992, on the judicial organisation.
3) Is training run and financed by the state or by other means?
Is it free of charge for prospective judges and are the latter paid? The professional training is financed by the State. The professional training is free of taxes and the prospective judges are paid a monthly stipend equal to the salary of a judge on probation.
4) Is there judges” training institution? If so, is it a permanent public body?
In Romania there exists the National Institute for magistrates, governmental body, part of the educational system, of university rank, directly subordinated to the Ministry of Justice.
5) If there is such an institution please describe briefly how it is organised, how it operates and who provides the training
The National Institute for Magistrate is made of training staff – judges or prosecutors in function and university professors. The students are persons who graduated law schools, Romanian or foreign with very good graduation results. The administrative leadership consists of a director and two deputies.
The institute is managed by a Council of eleven members: a judge of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), a prosecutor of the Prosecution Department attached to the Court of Appeal Bucharest, assigned by the Superior Council of the Magistracy, three selected representatives from the training staff of the Institute, the head of the Human Resources in the ministry of Justice, two representatives of the justice listeners (students of the institute). The Director of the Institute is rightfully part of the Council. The duration of the mandate is of three years, one year for the justice listeners, and can be renewed. The council decides on the budget. The payment of the training staff is established by assimilating those functions with the functions of magistrate and in relation with the length of service. The admission in the Instituted is based on an exam, as principal method of selection. At the training there is a final exam, those who pass it are appointed judges on probation. During the training period the prospective judges are assimilated and paid as the judges on probation are.
6) What subjects does judges” initial training cover?
On their first year of training they study basic subjects: civil law, criminal law, trade law, civil and penal procedure, in order to improve their studies on different aspects: immobile publicity, matters of public and private property, drawing up procedural acts, matters on corruption and organised criminality, money laundering, specialised subjects: judiciary psychology, human rights, Communitarian law, judicial organisation. During the second year practical activities are done, in different stages. Each of them has an experienced magistrate as coordinator.
7) Is there an end of-training examination to assess ability to perform the duties of judge?
Yes. A degree is obtained. (We have already answered at 5 point)
b) In service training
1) Is there an in service judges training scheme ? If so, how is it organised and what subjects are covered ?
Yes. The professional training has different forms beginning with the distribution of new law, discussions on those laws or of the practice created on the new or the ancient legislation, according to a programme mode by each court (first instance courts, SCJ, courts of control ). The must important aspect in the individual study of publication of judicial speciality, of collections of the judicial practice. Sometimes symposiums, conferences on different matters are build, engaging Romanian and/or foreign participants.
2) Is in service training optional or compulsory ?
In service improvement of skills and training is mandatory. There is a programme approved by the Ministry of Justice and judges are obliged to attend stages for the professional training of judges.
3) Who runes such training ?
At each Court of Appeal a judge is assigned in order to respond for the professional training of the judges.
4) What approaches are adopted to impress upon judges the need to improve their professional skills ?
Judges do not always know the international conventions as well as they should. This could be solved by documentation being better organised within tribunals, with the aid of computers, if necessary.
Too often judges consider international conventions not as integrated dispositions of their domestic law, but as a kind of "foreign body" applied rather reluctantly. This situation may only be solved through an improved awareness of judges of the international dimension by receiving a practical and theoretical training on international conventions, by having access to documentation which they may refer to, and by familiarising themselves with ways in which international conventions may be developed and interpreted.
If international conventions are difficult to apply or interpret, judicial interpretation must remain the principal rule without causing the principal of the primacy of international conventions to be deprived of its proper force.
In the light of the above, Romania agreed to recommend a certain number of measures with regard to the training of judges on the application of international conventions.
To develop the study of international law, treaties, European and other international institutions within the framework of university courses.
To introduce tests on the application of international norms in examinations and entrance competitions for judges, and to develop the international dimension in initial and further training of judges.
To establish and provide law students with a document containing important information regarding all the international treaties concerning each State ; to examine the possibilities of providing this information on the Internet network.
To make judges aware of the need to apply international norms directly.
To develop, by means of conferences where information can be divulged, other methods of training such as workshops, which allow a practical approach to problems often encountered by national jurisdictions.
To organise training rotas according to the university or professional qualifications of the participants.
To organise training seminars for judges and prosecutors aimed at promoting a better knowledge of international instruments.
5) The professional training for the judges on probation is separated from the forms of training and includes different themes, regarding the capacity exam – at the end of the 2 year period of probation.