The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) has published the motivation of its ruling according to which the Senate must write a decision on the vote given on the request of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) for detaining and preventively arresting PSD Senator Dan Sova. The CCR judges found there had been a legal conflict of a constitutional nature in the Senate’s ‘refusal’ to prepare a decision to be published in the Official Journal, but say that the senators’ omission to put the Regulation in agreement with the constitutional provisions in the field ‘had not created an institutional blockage’.
The CCR decision shows that the Senate mush write a decision in the case of DNA’s request for arresting Dan Sova, because the procedure was not finalised otherwise.
According to CCR, the Parliament Chamber must debate on and make a decision on the request for detaining, arresting or searching of the member of that Chamber, which is communicated to the minister and justice and published in the Official Journal of Romania.
Following the debates during the plenary sitting of the Senate on 25 March 2015, held in observance of the lawful quorum under Section 67 of the Constitution, by the votes of attending senators, the request for approving the arrest of Senator Dan-Coman Sova received 79 votes in favour, 69 votes opposed and five votes were annulled, a juridical situation that was noted in the meeting transcript. The procedure however was not finalised by formalising the result of the vote in a juridical act that would enshrine it – the decision of the Senate, its preparation being a compulsory technical-legal operation, as the document prepared in that way is the one based on which the vote in the plenary session of the Chamber produces legal effects’, reads the Court argumentation.
The CCR judges found that ‘the omission of the Senate to formalise in a legal act the decision adopted by its plenary session answering the request made for approving the detention or arrest of a senator, regardless of the solution offered by the decision, was of a nature to remove the act from the exercise of the form of control stipulated by the Constitution and Law No. 47/1992, the constitutionality control over Parliament decisions’.
‘The Court finds that the Senate’s refusal to write and publish the decision adopted during the plenary meeting of 25 March 2015 equals a non-fulfilment of a constitutional, legal and statutory obligation which engages the public authority in a legal conflict of a constitutional nature with the authority that requested the arrest of a senator – the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, through the minister of Justice.
In as far as the Senate of Romania is concerned, the public authority that started the conflict retained by the Court, the conduct in agreement with the Constitution is apparent from the aforementioned – the exercise of competence set by Constitution and own Regulation in conformity with the constitutional provisions on the competence of the Chamber. Therefore, the Senate is bound to write the decision that was adopted by the plenary sitting of 25 March 2015 through which it decided on the request for approving the arrest of Senator Dan Sova, to communicate the decision to the competent public authorities and to publish it in the Official Journal of Romania’, the decision states.
PNL urges Tariceanu to immediately send decision in Sova case to Official Journal
The National Liberal Party (PNL) is urging Calin Popescu Tariceanu to immediately send to the Official Journal the decision of the Senate in the Dan Sova case, stating that any new second of delay was placing the speaker of the Senate outside the law.
Senator Mario Ovidiu Oprea says in a press statement that ‘Tariceanu has no reason to postpone, as he has done so far, the settlement of the constitutional nature with justice’.
‘Any new second of delay is placing the current speaker of the Senate outside the law and the Constitution’.
The Constitutional Court’s argumentation issued on Friday, which develops on the clear ruling handed down on 8 April, attests to the fact that the Senate has only one constitutional option – write a decision to accept the preventive arrest of Dan Sova.
The adoption of a rejection decision, as Tariceanu and PSD leaders have erroneously suggested in advance, finds no grounds in the motivation of the Constitutional Court. Such an option would mean a new abuse of the rule of law principles that we will bring before the Constitutional Court again’, Mario Ovidiu Oprea said.
PNL is also ‘imperatively’ urging Victor Ponta, to whom the Official Journal is subordinated, not to block the publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court in the Official Journal.