The new Civil Procedure Code, which has entered into force on February the 15th, 2013, maintains many of the traditional legal institutions, but either regulates them in a more modern form, or by introducing some new instruments. These are aimed to ensure the observance of the parties’ rights, the strengthening of the judicial discipline and that court cases are solved in a reasonable and predictable period of time. This vast reform was thus needed to accelerate the settlement of disputes, simplify the legal procedures and unify the jurisprudence.
Here are some of the most important changes brought by the new Civil Procedure Code:
- the jurisdiction to solve disputes in the first instance was transferred to tribunals (district courts will still judge matters related to family law, neighbourhood relationships, building administration etc.);
- a large part of the lawsuit will take place in the chambers, and not in public sessions, as was the case up to the new Code;
- courts will ensure a rapid settlement of lawsuits by establishing a calendar of the legal proceedings that can be revised later, only for grounded reasons; if one of the parties notes that the calendar is not being observed, it can make an appeal to the superior court; the appeal will be settled simultaneously with the main cause, within a short term (5 days);
- the means of contesting a court judgment are maintained, but the deadlines are modified, increasing from 15 to 30 days for the appeal as well as for the last appeal;
- it changes the forced execution procedure, accelerating it and ensuring a consistent regulation of some special procedures, such as the payment summons;
- it sets up a new procedure – that of appealing to the High Court of Cassation and Justice for settling a legal matter that has not been addressed before; the decision of the High Court is mandatory for the appealing court and for all the Romanian courts since its publication in the Official Gazette.