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Trial Phases in Romania

by Vlad Cuc

The existence of legal ways to attack a judge’s decision in Romania constitutes a guarantee of fundamental rights and confer the possibility to remediate eventual judicial errors. The following principles rule this institution:
– The interested party must claim that existing Decision contains mistakes or an injustice;
– The Law must describe the respective Decision to be susceptible of attack, the general rule being that any Decision can be attacked.
– No extraordinary attack can be performed as long as the Decision has not been attacked through ordinary means.
– The right to attack a Decision is unique and expires once performed.
Conciliation Pre-trial Proceedings
Per the Romanian Civil Code, in trials and claims of a commercial nature which can be evaluated in money, before the claim itself, plaintiff must first try to reach an understanding with the other party (direct conciliation procedure).
As a result, in commercial trials of a pecuniary nature, the plaintiff can only register the claim with the Court if proving that the conciliation procedure was done or that 30 days have passed since unsuccessfully convoking the other party to the conciliation.

1st Appeal
All Decisions emitted by Regional Courts and Tribunals can be appealed, if the Law doesn’t have other specific conditions. The appeal is filed with the Court which has emitted the respective Decision and will be decided upon by the Court of judiciary control. The general term in which an appeal can be filed is 15 days, with certain exceptions.


2nd Appeal (“Recurs”)
Decisions emitted by judges for which the law doesn’t allow a 1st Appeal and those emitted in the 1st Appeal. The 2nd Appeal is decided by upon the hierarchically superior Court. The 2nd Appeal is filed with the Court which has emitted the respective Decision and will be decided upon by the Court of judiciary control. The general term in which a 2nd Appeal can be filed is 15 days with certain exceptions.


Contestation for annulment (“Contestatia in anulare”)
This is way to attack only irrevocable Court Decisions, for motives which could not be brought up during 1st Appeal or 2nd Appeal (“Recurs”).

Revision
This is a way to attack a Decision which permits to rectify certain errors related to a situation established through a definitive Decision.

Appeal in the Interest of the Law
This insures the unitary interpretation and application of the Romanian Law, The High Court of Cassation and Justice deciding upon the matters which have been judged in a non-unitary manner by other Courts of Law.