Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled on July 29 that controversial changes to the country’s criminal code were unconstitutional. The court’s ruling follows street protests on July 27 by thousands of Romanians angry at the failure of the country’s authorities to prevent the brutal rape and murder of a teenage girl.
Protesters argued that the apparent mishandling of the case showed that changes to judicial legislation had weakened the state’s ability to fight crime.
The changes, made by the ruling PSD, included shortening the statute of limitations for corruption offences and some other crimes, a move that would automatically shut down a number of corruption cases, shorten prison terms, and decriminalise negligence in the workplace.
The changes have been opposed by EU, the US state department and thousands of local magistrates in Romania.