School navigation

National Crime Victim Law Institute

Why do Trials Take so Long in Romania?

October 22, 2010

Once a case is presented to the first instance (trial) court, cases do not proceed as quickly as they do in the United States.  In fact, trials may take a few months or a few years.    One main reason for the length of trials is that in Romania the first instance judge (the trial judge) hears between 20-40 criminal cases on a single day.   So unlike in the United States system where once trial starts a judge hears matters related to that case each day until that trial concludes, in Romania the judge is managing all of his or her cases each day.  The result is that each case is usually only on the judge’s calendar once a month, and a typical “simple” criminal trial will last at least several months.

On top of this, complex Internet fraud cases usually take even longer.  This is true for several reasons:

•        Defense attorneys use various tactics to stall the trial;

•        Since almost all victims in these cases are from abroad, the summons process can take a month or longer; and

•        The judge has an active role in reviewing all case evidence, which in these complex cases is extensive.