Augustin Lazăr

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Augustin Lazăr
Augustin lazar01.jpg
BornOctober 25, 1956
Rădești, Alba Country, Romania

Augustin Lazăr (born October 25, 1956, Rădesti, Alba County, Romania) is the current Prosecutor General of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania (April 28, 2016), university professor and author of legal publications. He had multiple de lege ferenda contributions, participating in the creation of Romanian structures for combating corruption and organized crime, as well as for protecting the cultural and natural heritage of Romania.His managerial project [1] generated a dynamic strategy of modernizing the Public Ministry, based on the knowledge and promoting of the European institutional culture values. [2]

As a magistrate, he coordinated complex investigations in the field of organized crime and corruption, as well as the repatriation of stolen historical treasures belonging to the national cultural heritage.[3] In his capacity as Prosecutor General of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, he promoted the justice reform in the spirit of European values, lead the Romanian Public Ministry in key projects destined to fight corruption, conflict of interests, money laundering offences, environmental offences and so on; he developed international judicial cooperation, actively participating in the Forum of Prosecutors General of the European Union into the establishment process of the European Prosecutor's Office. As a representative of Romania, he organized and participated at international conferences on combating corruption, business related offences, crimes against the cultural heritage and so on [4].

Studies[edit]

In 1981 he graduated the Faculty of Law of "Babeş-Bolyai" University of Cluj-Napoca, and then, he attended studies and study visits in EU countries and in the U.S.A. In 2004 he obtained a PhD in Law degree from the same university, in the field of investigation of business related offences.

Professional activity[edit]

After graduation, he served as a lawyer of the Bar in Alba County (1981 - February 1982). From the 1 March 1982 until December 1997, he successively occupied the following positions: trainee prosecutor, prosecutor at Alba Iulia Prosecutor's Office and the Prosecutor's Office attached to Alba Iulia Tribunal. During the interval January 1998 and August 1998, he served as a Chief Prosecutor at the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Alba Iulia Court of Appeal. In September 1998, he was appointed Chief Prosecutor of the Anticorruption, Criminal Investigation and Forensic Section of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and he kept this capacity until the 28th of February 2001. Between the 1st of March 2001 and the 31st of December 2012, Augustin Lazăr served as Deputy Prosecutor General of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Alba Iulia Court of Appeal, and from the 1st of January 2013 until the 27th of April 2016, he was General Prosecutor of the same Prosecutor's Office.

Promoting justice reform according to the spirit of European values[edit]

In his position as a Section Chief Prosecutor, he initiated the establishment of the first specialized structures for investigating corruption and organized crime, within the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Supreme Court of Justice: in 1998, Anti-Corruption, Criminal Investigation and Forensic Section, and in 2000, Fight against Organized Crime Department, out of which later on developed PNA, DNA (National Anticorruption Directorate) and DIICOT (Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism). For the training and professional specialization training of the prosecutors, he organized international programs and conferences involving experts being a part of advanced judicial systems.

Promoting priority projects of the Public Ministry[edit]

1.Combating corruption, conflicts of interest and organized crime. In his capacity as a general prosecutor of a Court of Appeal, then as a general prosecutor of the Prosecutor`s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, he led the Public Ministry units in priority projects related to combating corruption, conflicts of interest, money laundering crimes, etc. He contributes in achieving a uniform case law regarding the conflicts of interest. He coordinated the comparative analysis of the Romanian and European doctrine and jurisprudence on corruption and conflict of interest, organizing conferences aiming the exchange of good practices between the specialized structures of the Public Ministry, the Romanian Police, the National Agency for Integrity [5]. The Romanian Public Ministry has thus become an experienced partner [6] and a European level provider of good practices in combating corruption and organized crime [7] 2. Protecting Romania's cultural and natural heritage. Augustin Lazăr has seriously contributed to the first national case law on protecting of the national cultural heritage, confirmed by the High Court of Cassation and Justice. Related to this context, it is worth to be highlighted: the recovery and repatriation of ancient treasures belonging to the national cultural heritage [8]. The dissemination of expertise by publishing the first investigative methodology, collections of normative acts and jurisprudence, in the field, for university use and for practitioners.

The case of "The Dacian Treasures"[edit]

For a 10 years' period, starting with 2004, Augustin Lazăr coordinated investigating teams, whose actions resulted in the destruction of multiple criminal networks and the repatriation of the national cultural heritage. Investigations led to the identification and prosecution of the guilty poachers, in a mega-judicial process, the repatriation of 13 Dacian gold bracelets certified by experts [9] (of approximately 12,700 kg),[3] as well as the recovery of coin thesaurus made of gold Kosons (of approximately 8,600 kg), Pseudo-Lysimach, Dacian royal shields and other artifacts from the archaeological sites belonging to the Romanian cultural heritage.[10] The repatriation of these treasures required extensive international judicial assistance. The extraordinary story of the Dacian bracelets discovered by poachers in the vicinity of Sarmizegetusa fortress, traded at auction houses and later on recovered by the Romanian authorities, made the headlines in the documentary “The Hunt for Transylvanian Gold”[11].

The case of the "Troesmis Table of Laws"[edit]

Augustin Lazăr conducted another case of high contribution to the protection of the national cultural heritage, resulting in the repatriation in 2015 of the tables of laws, stolen in 2002 from the Troesmis fortress site. The two bronze tabulae (weighing about 25 kilograms), written in Latin, represent the municipal law of a Roman city. They come from the site of the Roman municipality of Troesmis (Igliţa, Tulcea County, Romania) and were manufactured during the reign of emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD), representing the first and most important written document of the ancient history of Romania [12]. Recovering the artifacts was the subject of the TVR 2 national TV station documentary entitled "Troesmis Tablets: From the Thieves' Back to the Museum" [13].

Protecting of human rights and fundamental freedoms during the prosecution[edit]

In 2017, within the Public Ministry, Augustin Lazăr set up and coordinated within the Public Ministry a reflection group with the task of examining cases related to the ECHR convictions against Romania and relevant to the criminal investigation phase. In order to raise the quality level of the prosecution and for preventing these convictions, he initiated a training and specialized professional training project for magistrates, involving experts on citizens' rights and freedoms [14]..

Contributions to the international cooperation and the settlement of the European Public Prosecutor's Office[edit]

Lazar speaks on intellectual property in 2018

As a general prosecutor, Professor and European expert, Augustin Lazăr has an active role in the openness of the Public Ministry towards international [15], European [16] and regional [17] international cooperation, as well as in studying the regulation of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EP) and the model of the criminal procedure rules of the European Union [18]. He participated at the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EP) research project, as well as in the debates of several European conferences, including the Meeting of National Rapporteurs and the Conference of European Practitioners and Experts on "European Prosecutor; Model of Criminal Procedure Rules of the European Union ", organized by the University of Luxembourg on 13 -15 June 2012 [19]. He took over and actively promoted the idea of the European Public Prosecution, inspired by the institution of the International Public Ministry, proposed by Romanian jurist Vespasian V. Pella, a professor at the University of Bucharest, who cast the "sparkle of creativity" in 1925. (Jean Graven, President of the International Criminal Law Association)[20]. Thus, in 2016, Augustin Lazăr, together with other EU general prosecutors, published a letter in support of the need of establishing the European Public Prosecutor's Office - issue previously studied for 20 years [21] – by means of "the enhanced cooperation" agreement of at least nine Member States [22]. Following the approval of the European Parliament, the regulation was adopted by the JHA Council on its meeting dated 12 October 2017, Romania being one of the 20 founding states. On November, 3, 2017, he organized a Conference on the European Prosecutor's Office Institution, at the University of Bucharest. The conference was organized together with Mr. Jean-Claude Marin, Prosecutor General of the French Court of Cassation and it was dedicated to the analysis of the way the institution is being implemented [23].

Main books and studies published[edit]

  • Anti-Fraud Investigation in the Business Environment, Lumina Lex Publishing House (ed., 2004, 2008);
  • Corpus Juris Heritages, Lumina Lex Publishing House (ed. 2005, 2007, co-author);
  • Investigation Manual in the Economic and Financial Environment, PÎCCJ, Bucharest, 2009 (co-author);
  • Combating Crime against European Archaeological Heritage, Lumina Lex Publishing House, Bucharest, 2008, (co-author);
  • Combating Crime Against European Cultural Heritage, Mega Publishing House, 2009 (co-author);
  • Combating Traffic of Cultural Goods, Universul Juridic Publishing House, Bucharest, 2013 (co-author);
  • Toward a Prosecutor for the European Union, Hard Publishing House, Oxford, 2013 (coauthor chapter);
  • "Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Goods in South East Europe: Fiat Lux!", In the volume of Countering Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods, The Global Challenge of Protecting the World Heritage, ICOM Paris, 2015;
  • Defending the Environment and the Forestry Fund by means of the Criminal Law, Romanian Academy Publishing House and Universul Juridic Publishing House, Bucharest 2016 (coordinator);
  • Public Ministry - History and Perspectives, Universul Juridic Publishing House, Bucharest 2017 (coordinator);
  • Conflict of interests. Theory and Jurisprudence. Comparative Law Studies, Universul Juridic Publishing House, Bucharest (editions 2016, 2017).
  • European Prosecutor - retrospection of pre-scientific research of the proposals of the European Commission, Pro Lege Magazine no. 4/2016.

Teaching activity[edit]

Since 1993, he is lecturer, associate professor, and since 2009, a professor of criminal sciences at "1st December 1918" University of Alba Iulia.

Affiliation to professional associations[edit]

Member of the Romanian Society of Criminology and Criminalistics; member of the Association of Prosecutors from Romania, member of the Association "Amici dell'Accademia di Romania in Rome".

Prizes, decorations, honors[edit]

  • The National Order "Faithful Service" in the rank of Officer, Decree no. 528 / 1 December 2000 of the President of Romania;
  • United States Department of Justice Appreciation, for the activity in the Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training Program, 2001;
  • "Judicial merit" diploma awarded by Decree no. 23/28 June 2002 of the President of Romania;
  • Certificate of Award, Who is Who World Society Corp., Encyclopedia of Personalities in Romania, December 6, 2011;
  • Honorary Member of European Lawyers Union, Luxembourg, 2016.

Family life[edit]

He is married with two children.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Project on performing the duties specific to the position of Prosecutor General of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice
  2. ^ Public Ministry - History and Perspectives
  3. ^ Andrew Curry, Gold Looted From Ancient Empire Returned to Romania
  4. ^ Meeting of EU General Prosecutors on Combating Cyber Crime; Augustin Lazăr attended the meeting
  5. ^ Conflict of interests - a comparative analysis
  6. ^ Augustin Lazăr -official visit to the Netherlands
  7. ^ POHCCJ, Prosecutor`s General Working visit to the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Serbia and the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation
  8. ^ PÎCCJ: POHCCJ: Exchange of best practices following the meeting of the Romanian General Prosecutor with the US Justice Department Prosecutors
  9. ^ Bogdan Constantinescu, Roxana Bugoi, Viorel Cojocaru, Martin Radtke, Thomas Calligaro, Joseph Salomon, Laurent Pichon, Stefan Röhrs, Daniele Ceccato, Ernest Oberländer-Târnoveanu, Corine Ionescu et Dana Pop Dacian bracelets and Transylvanian gold: ancient history and modern analyses
  10. ^ The Piatra Roşie Treasure of the Dacians
  11. ^ „The Hunt for Transylvanian Gold”
  12. ^ Ioan Piso: Romania must actively defend its assets. The Ministry of Culture should propose laws in order to cease the theft
  13. ^ The case of the "Troesmis Table of Laws
  14. ^ The launching conference of the project "protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms during the criminal proceedings"
  15. ^ Augustin Lazăr participated at the General Meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors, held in China
  16. ^ Visit to France of the General Prosecutor; among the discussed topics - the establishing of the European Prosecutor's Office
  17. ^ Romania - Republic of Moldova Forum on Justice
  18. ^ Toward a Prosecutor for the European Union Volume 1
  19. ^ Detailed information on the research project coordinated by the University of Luxembourg - available on the project website
  20. ^ See Vespasian V. Pella, War of Crime and War Criminals. Reflections on International Criminal Justice. What is it and what it should be, Publishing House Universul Juridic, 2013, translation from French, dr. A. Duţu, introductory study, prof. M. Duţu.
  21. ^ Pro Lege Magazine nr. 4/2016
  22. ^ European public prosecutor's office : 16 member states together to fight fraud against the EU budget
  23. ^ Working visit to Romania - Jean-Claude Marin – General Prosecutor of France