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May 17, 2021

Emergency ordinances amending Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code, tacitly adopted by Senate

On Tuesday, the Senate tacitly adopted two emergency ordinances, one amending the Penal Code and the Penal Procedure Code and the other extending the payment options for the campaign to procure Brancusi’s “La Sagesse de la Terre” sculpture, to include online donations, text messages and telethon.

The Government had adopted the emergency ordinance amending the Penal Code and the Penal Procedure Code, invoking the need to transpose into legislation fifteen decisions adopted by the Constitutional Court of Romania, as well as European directives, including the one concerning the cessation of criminal prosecution and raising sentencing limits. The ordinance adopted by the Government includes a total of more than 150 amendments.

In the introduction to the Government’s emergency ordinance which amends both the Penal Code and the Penal Procedure Code, the Justice Ministry invokes as grounds for its adoption “the relatively high number of texts declared unconstitutional and not set in line with the fundamental law, despite the fact that the 45-day deadline stipulated by Article 147, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution expired, which could lead to different interpretations in the jurisprudence in what concerns applicable criminal lawsuit norms, liable to affect fundamental rights and liberties,” and “the existence of several infringement procedures, some of them in advanced stages, which could lead to Romania being condemned by the European Court of Justice, the consequence being the enforcement of pecuniary sanctions whose quantum could be significant, liable to affect the state budget and the attainment of the goals adopted by the Government.”

Legislating without prior public consultation is explained thusly: “because of the extent of the phenomenon and of the aforementioned negative consequences impacting the general public interest, we consider that legislating in any other way than by legislative delegation, even under emergency procedure, would not be liable to immediately remove these negative consequences that continue to have effect on the general public interest which concerns society’s confidence in the judiciary.”

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