Some 21,000 Romanian lawyers entered strike on Monday to protest the existance of so-called parallel bars, entities that function in parallel with the official national bar and which they say are unconstitutional.

The strike threatens to bring the judicial process to a halt for a week unless their call is answered. They say they would not plea in extreme urgency cases either.

Regional bars from across the country have enough autonomy to decide whether to take part in the national protest. In some cities, they have announced they would plea in urgent cases.

The protest comes as talks about their claims with the Justice minister and with the new prosecutor general of the country failed to provide results.

And the protest was sparked by the emergence of a “parallel bar” created in a small town, functioning “as an NGO” and operating activities such “body massage”, as Romanian media has reported.