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Romania: top judges say justice overhaul is unconstitutional

December 22, 2017

Romanian law students hold copies of the country's constitution during a silent protest outside the Faculty of Law building in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. Romanian students staged a protest over planned modifications to the legal system they say will hamper prosecutions. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian judges have filed a complaint with the constitutional court over a series of contentious changes to the legal system approved by Parliament.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice’s 89 judges unanimously agreed to submit a complaint Friday claiming recent amendments to existing laws violate 14 articles of the constitution.

Thousands of Romanians have recently protested the judicial overhaul, which includes an amendment obliging the state to seek damages from prosecutors and judges in the case of a judicial error made “in bad faith” or due to “grave negligence.”

Lawmakers recently voted to ban public statements about investigations and trials and also to limit video or audio recordings as evidence in trials.

The laws still need to be signed by President Klaus Iohannis, a critic of the proposals.

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