Sunday’s protests mark three weeks since a special parliamentary commission began debates on the bill, which the ruling party aims to approve by the end of this year.
The commission is headed by PSD veteran, former justice minister Florin Iordache who had to quit in February after a decree on corruption that he drafted, triggered the biggest rallies since the 1989 anti-communist Romanian revolution.
“Thieves and mobsters’ nest” and “United we save Romania,” shouted thousands of protesters braving gusting winds, in front of the government’s headquarters.
About 10,000 are estimated to have rallied in Bucharest and overall, 20,000 across the country overall.
Bucharest’s Victory Square witnessed large street protests at the start of the year following attempts by the ruling Social Democrats to decriminalize some graft offences and has been a gathering place for largely peaceful protests ever since.
Contested elements of the bill include changes to a judicial inspection unit which oversees the conduct of magistrates, the way in which chief prosecutors are appointed and giving the president the right to vet prosecutor candidates.
Transparency International ranks Romania among the European Union's most corrupt states and Brussels keeps Romania's justice system under special monitoring.
In a Nov. 15 report the European Commission said reform of the justice system has halted this year and challenges to judicial independence remain a persistent source of concern.
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