The Foundation For The Defense Of Citizens Against State Abuses (FACIAS) and the Committee for the Investigation of Abuses, Corruption and Petitions of the Romanian Parliament will hold a debate on Thursday, 19 October, starting at 11:00 a.m., at the Palace of Parliament, entitled "Rule of law means no conviction without evidence".
Given that Romania has seen a large number of cases being acquitted or dismissed in recent years, this debate aims to critically and constructively analyse the ways in which evidence and proof have influenced the act of justice.
Based on the recent FACIAS report, which addresses from a theoretical and practical perspective the abuses in the judiciary system over the last decade - abuses confirmed by the courts - the event will create a framework for dialogue to develop a set of legislative proposals needed to prevent this kind of abuse from occurring. It aims to improve procedural rules on the standard of proof, a fundamental element for fair and just administration of justice in a state governed by the rule of law.
Topics on the agenda include:
- Abuse of power and fair trial: How does the lack of hard evidence affect the fairness of the trial?
- New Code of Criminal Procedure: What are its implications for the evidence regime?
- Ethical and legal issues: How is evidence obtained unlawfully or administered unfairly viewed?
- Reporting in the justice system: Types of whistleblowers and the effects of coercion, an undemocratic and illegal way.
The event will bring together personalities and specialists in the field, representatives of Romanian state institutions, university professors, experts and professionals with extensive experience in the legal field.
The debate will discuss cases in which acquittals have been handed down on the grounds that there is no crime or for lack of evidence, while people have had the presumption of innocence violated for years or have been detained despite the lack of evidence.
As part of the "No conviction without evidence" project, FACIAS has carried out an analysis of the most important cases of judicial abuses in the last 10 years and will formulate a set of appropriate legislative proposals on procedural rules on the standard of proof, aspects of judicial organisation in order to prevent such abuses from recurring.
The proposals and conclusions of the debate will be published in a book that FACIAS will publish following the event.
FACIAS reaffirms its commitment to promoting a strong rule of law, where every citizen is protected and no conviction should be handed down without evidence.