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Bucharest
February 9, 2023
POLITICS

New regulations on length of house arrest : House arrest pending end of criminal investigation will be 30 days, with the possibility of extension to no more than 180 days

On Tuesday, the Government issued an emergency ordinance deciding that house arrest pending the end of a criminal investigation may be no longer than 30 days, with the possibility to be extended by no more than 30 days, with the maximum allowed duration of 180 days. During the criminal trial, house arrest may be enforced for periods of 30 days, the maximum allowed period being 5 years.

The emergency ordinance changes the provisions on house arrest in the Code of Criminal Procedure. The legislation is therefore brought in agreement with the Constitutional Court ruling of 7 May sustaining the unconstitutionality exception of the part of Section 222 on the duration of house arrest of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The normative act adopted by the Government creates the necessary normative framework for the enforcement of the measure of house arrest in the preliminary chamber phase of proceedings or during the hearings by the Court of first instance, within constitutional boundaries. The changes adopted on Tuesday limit the maximum house arrest period with the possibility of extension for specifically stated periods, according to a Government press release.

In the course of criminal investigations, house arrest may be enforced for no longer than 30 days and extended only if needed, as long as the grounds for taking the measure are still valid or if new grounds have come up, each extension being by no more than 30 days. The maximum total duration of house arrest pending the end of criminal investigation is 180 days.

The house arrest may be \extended by the judge of rights and liberties with the Court that has jurisdiction on the case as a Court of first instance or with the same rank Court that has jurisdiction over the place where the crime was committed or the prosecutor’s office that conducts or oversees criminal investigations. The judge of rights and liberties is notified in order to extend the house arrest measure by the prosecutor who must bring arguments for his/her proposal, accompanied by the case file, at least five days prior to the expiration of the duration of house arrest, according to the amendments approved by the Government.

The length of house arrest does not count towards the calculation of the maximum duration of preventive arrest of the defendant in the course of the criminal investigation.

‘The change of legislation was urgently needed because, in its absence, the house arrest was not operational for the preliminary chamber phase of criminal proceedings or during the hearings by the Court of first instance. A quick legislative intervention by emergency ordinance of the Government was requested by the High Court of Cassation and Justice Prosecutor’s Office and by the Superior Council of Magistrates’, the Government also states.

The measure of house arrest during the criminal trial may be enforced for a maximum of 30 days and extended. However, the maximum period of house arrest may not exceed half of the custodial sentence stipulated by law for the criminal offences on trial, but no more than

 

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