This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Commission. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania- the Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH) and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.
Pre-trial detention in Romania is applied significantly more often than other alternative preventive measures. Recent changes to the law have reduced the use of pre-trial detention, but there is little research analysing the nature of pre-trial detention decision-making and whether pre-trial detention is applied lawfully and the defence’s rights are safeguarded throughout the procedure. These aspects are assessed in this report.
As part of an EU-funded project, a common research methodology was applied in 10 EU Member States, with research data gathered through the monitoring of pre-trial detention hearings, analysing case files, as well as surveying defence lawyers and interviewing judges and prosecutors. In the course of the Romanian research, 19 hearings were observed, 67 case-files analysed, 23 defence lawyers surveyed, and 6 judges and 2 prosecutors interviewed.
APADOR-CH has identified a serious of problematic issues that require the attention of various stakeholders at the national level.
Given that the ECtHR-standards are often not upheld in practice during the judicial decision-making process on pre-trial detention, it is recommended that a number of priorities need to be identified in order to tackle these problems. The main recommendations are the following:
APADOR-CH is aware of the fact that some recommendations require financial resources and therefore might take time to be addressed. But this report also includes practical steps to be taken to correct some of the gaps identified in the application of the law and practice related to pre-trial detention in Romania. The organisation will continue to work with all parties interested in the promotion of good practices in the field.
For a full list of recommendations see in Section X on page 44 – 46.