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February 1, 2023

President Basescu promulgates Law repealing art. 276 of Law on Penal Code

President Traian Basescu on Wednesday signed a decree promulgating the Law having to do with the repealing of art. 276 of the Law no. 286/2009 regarding the Penal Code, the Public Communication Department of the Presidential Administration informs.

Early this October, the head of state had notified the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR)about the Law meant to repeal art. 276 of Law no. 286/2009 on the Penal Code, eliminating the crime of ‘pressures upon the judiciary’.

On November 4, the CCR decided that the repeal is constitutional, unanimously denying thus President Traian Basescu’s request and setting in motion the promulgation of this law.

In the notification, President Traian Basescu mentioned that the crime of ‘pressures upon the judiciary’ belongs to the category of crimes against the carrying out of justice and secures protection for both the judge and the criminal investigation authorities.

‘The principles of judiciary impartiality and independence of judges are enshrined by art. 124, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the Constitution of Romania. Through the repeal of the mentioned crime, these principles may be affected, fact that negatively affects the carrying out of justice. As such, the person that, during judiciary procedures, makes public statements that are false, that regard the judge or the criminal investigation authorities committing crimes or grave disciplinary offenses regarding the instrumentation of the case in which they are involved, with the purpose of influencing the decision or intimidating those responsible for the issued decision, will no longer be criminally responsible, according to the new law,’ the letter addressed to the CCR by the head of state shows, quoted by Agerpres.

Basescu believed that, through the repeal of the mentioned crime, the protection granted to the judiciary is eliminated, protection necessary so that justice can be impartial and conducted by independent judges. Furthermore, the President reminded that the existence of the rule of law implied actions on the part of the state through which the good conduct of public authorities be guaranteed, including the good conduct of the judiciary authorities.

The Law to repeal art. 276 of Law no. 286/2009 regarding the Penal Code was initiated, as a legislative proposal, by the National Liberal Party and adopted by Parliament in February, this year, yet Traian Basescu had asked the legislative, on March 18, to re-examine the law sent to promulgation, reasoning that a repeal of the article may ‘affect the carrying out of justice’.

Later, in September, the two Chambers of Parliament have rejected, in separate plenary sessions, the request of the head of state, adopting once more said law.



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