Institutional Legitimacy – a Romanian Case Study on the Question of Trust in Judicial institutions

Since 1989, when the democratisation of the country begun only two governments could serve their full four-year mandate. The lack of trust in political actors and the functioning of the state organs is evident. In recent years the narrative concerning distrust has directed towards the question of institutional legitimacy of the judicial system. The issue of institutional legitimacy of the judiciary can be assessed from different perspectives, depending on institutional framework and governmental structure. For example in the the USA the politicization of the Supreme Court ( Robert A. Dahl), is self-evident, it has a policy-shaping role and serves as an ultimate legitimizer of the government’s policy. But Romania is a civil law country, with a semi-parliamentary system, where the independence of judiciary from any political interference is a key element of the democratic functioning, it is important to raise the question whether institutional legitimacy can be a reasonable expectation.