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August 15, 2022

CC rejects AP notification concerning procedure of appointing judges prior to revising the Constitution

The Constitutional Court (CC) rejected yesterday, with unanimous votes, the Ombudsman’s (AP) notification concerning the procedure to appoint judges prior to the Constitutional revision of 2003, the AP claiming that the said judges are not immovable, a situation denounced in Adrian Nastase’s trial. The notification filed by the Ombudsman pointed out that the judges from all courts are appointed in office through Presidential decree and become, from that point on, immovable (cannot be revoked – editor’s note). “In this context, the promotion and transfer of judges can be done only after the act of appointment through Presidential decree,” a communiqué signed by former Ombudsman Gheorghe Iancu (sacked by Parliament on July 3 – editor’s note) reads. In the Ombudsman’s opinion, the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) could not appoint judges within the Supreme Court, neither directly nor through transfer or promotion. Iancu had also asked the CSM “to reanalyze the way in which the appointments, promotions and transfers of judges within the High Court were done, considering that the citizens’ right to a fair trial is affected.” Although a decision was expected, the Court postponed yesterday, for July 10, talks over the legality of government emergency ordinance 27/2012, the ordinance that transferred the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) from the Presidency to the Senate. The latter will appoint, within 15 days’ time, both ICR’s operative leadership and the members of its leadership board.

Corlatean backs down

Also yesterday, the Justice Minister withdrew the complaint he filed within the Constitutional Court, a complaint concerning the incompatibility of Judge Iulia Motoc. We remind our readers that Justice Minister Titus Corlatean (PSD) notified, on June 28, the Constitutional Court and the National Integrity Agency (ANI) about the situation Constitutional Court judge Iulia Motoc finds herself in, being of the opinion that she is incompatible with the office held. Corlatean’s arguments were that Motoc is also an expert within the UN’s Human Rights Committee, a member of the Administrative Board of the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights and member of the Consultative Committee of the Framework-Convention on Protection of National Minorities. Corlatean underlined that the Justice Ministry considers that judge Iulia Motoc’s two commitments at international level also enter the sphere of incompatibility decided by constitutional and legislative norms for Constitutional Court judges.

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