The CSM (Superior Council of Magistrates) and Transparency International presented the press yesterday a piece of research on how magistrates perceived the independence of the judiciary system. According to the research, as compared to last year, judges and prosecutors claim that in late 2006 they can feel the improvement of their independence. Magistrates think the pressure from politics, press and groups of interests is somehow lower.
Still more than 30% of them claim there are attempts to influence their decisions, coming from their colleagues, from press, politics, the Justice minister, Presidency and government. There is rather considerable dissatisfaction with the CSM too, as only 52% (as compared to 63% last year) of magistrates believe the CSM contributes to such independence of Justice.
But the research also shows something surprising for the institution of magistrates, defined as public service to serve citizens: 36,1% of the people questioned blame public opinion for negative influence on the judiciary system's independence, 73,9% blame it on the press and 28,7% think the intelligence services are at fault. (R.S.)