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Romania Background

The American Bar Association began its programs in support of the rule of law in Romania in 1991 and has had a continuous on-ground presence in Bucharest since 1992. Over the past 16 years, the ABA has conducted programs in the areas of court reforms, training of magistrates, judicial association building, alternative dispute resolution, legal profession reforms, legal education and legislative assistance (such as commentaries on more than 60 draft laws and the Code of Ethics for Magistrates, and help in drafting a Code of Ethics for Court Personnel and a new domestic violence law).

Beginning in June 2003, the ABA has focused on promoting judicial independence and integrity, with programs involving commentaries on major bills and secondary legislation (regulations); inviting judges and court personnel to address the issue of ethical conduct; drawing on judges to analyze and debate application of the new laws on anti-corruption, and of the Romanian Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to help develop consistent jurisprudence, organize court-based offices charged with responding to information requests, and develop a list of court documents that should be made public.