However, the Romanian “success story” had also a “tragic side” which many knew, but nobody dared to speak about: countless collateral victims, who were detained, indicated, prosecuted without the guarantees of a fair trial and in some cases acquitted after many years of painful struggle with a deficient criminal justice system.
The race for results, prestige and power which was reinforced by individual ambitions, numbers and quantitative statistics produced a systemic output-oriented excess that was not effectively restrained. The process of accumulation of disjointed “organizational results” was neither constrained by the heads of the prosecution and anti-corruption agencies, nor by the Superior Council of Magistrates (often dominated by prosecutors) and the Judicial Inspection. The parliamentary oversight committees over intelligence structures were superficially implemented, based on obsolete laws and remain an “unfinished business” (see Zulean and Şercan 2018).
The European Commission, foreign embassies, most part of the press and civil society – instead of blowing the whistle and drawing attention to excess and unfair procedures, instead of beneficially constraining overly ambitious and at times abusive prosecutors of various territorial structures of the DNA – have opted to draw a veil of silence over these matters.
However, such a transnational pact of silence may have precluded accountability and at least
delayed the auto-correction of a deficient system. While the Constitutional Court as the “Guardian of the Constitution” turned out in recent years as an effective restrainer of abuse and excess, more concrete (procedural, ethical, legal and organizational) measures are required to restore an equitable criminal justice system with a human face.
Such corrective reform measures are currently contested. Two competing factions can be identified in Romania. They reflect a fierce struggle between advocates of procedural justice and (outcome-oriented) distributive justice.
*Cu mulțumiri pentru T. C. care mi-a atras atenția asupra acestui draft, și mulțumiri datorez și lui R. R. care mi-a spus că pagina 32 i-a plăcut în totalitate.
(15 Years of Anti-Corruption in Romania: Augmentation, Aberration and Acceleration, februarie 2019, la p. 32, publicat în format draft pe academia.edu, disponibil aici)