This Article grapples with the instrumentalization of the past in Romania, in the specific context of “judicial lustration” measures. It argues that decommunization and lustration policies, which could not be pursued in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of state socialism in 1989, were weaponized much later and used in order to advance other purposes. In 2006, an expedited judicial vetting procedure, in the context of the EU-driven fight against corruption, was repurposed by the center-right as a lustration instrument. In the same year, the dismantling of an intelligence service created after 1991 in the Justice Ministry (SIPA) to monitor ‘vulnerabilities’ in the justice system has set in motion a long series of failed attempts to bring closure to the question regarding the service’s archives, fomenting continuities of suspicion until today. More recently, in 2018, a form of ‘mock-judicial lustration’ has been used by the political left to deflect or at least delegitimize repressive anti-corruption policies. The new “lustration procedure” implicitly equated the recent cooperation between prosecutors and intelligence officers, in the context of the fight against corruption, with past practices of collusion between the members of the judiciary and the communist Securitate. These three episodes of ‘dealing with the past’ are reviewed in order to showcase path-dependencies. Such path-dependencies are not linked only with carryovers from or throwbacks to the communist past. Rather, pre- and post-communist deficiencies of modernization, combined more recently with gaps in post-accession monitoring by the EU Commission, create continuities of peripheral instrumentalism. Various narratives, such as decommunization, the fight against graft, judicial reform and the rule of law are used to legitimize short-term consequentialism, evincing a resilient, structural resistance to legislative and legal normativity.