JUSTICE

Ombudsman’s notification on the law prohibiting convicted persons to hold positions in the Government, deferred again by CCR

Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) deferred again on Tuesday the notification submitted by the Ombudsman on the Law no.90/2001 prohibiting convicted persons to hold positions in the Government. The new term fixed by CCR is April 4. The notification was submitted early in January by Victor Ciorbea, one day after the Grindeanu Government’s oath at the Cotroceni Palace.

The Constitutional Judge Petre Lazaroiu stated that the notification has been deferred for April 4 because several law issues have been raised.

Constitutional Court debated the notification filed by the Ombudsman also on March 7, deferring the decision for March 21. “We couldn’t reach a solution. We felt the need to deepen the case more and to analyze the best of the alternatives we discussed today, which were several. (…) The deepening is needed to give a good solution, and not a wrong one”, stated the President of the Constitutional Court, Valer Dorneanu.

Victor Ciorbea stated on January 5 for Nes.ro that he sent to the Constitutional Court the notification on the Law 90/2001 providing that the position of a member of the Government may be held by persons who have no convictions and who are not in any of the incompatibility cases.

According to the Ombudsman, Constitutional Curt has been notified on the Article 2 of the Law 90/2001. This article provides that: “The position of a member of the Government may be held by persons who have only the Romanian citizenship and the domicile in the country, who can exercise their electoral rights, who have no convictions and are not in any of the incompatibility cases provided by Art.4 para. (1)”.

The Ombudsman has subsequently mentioned in a press release that “the provisions of the Art.2 of the Law no.90/2001 breach the principle of the balance of powers, they do not fulfill the constitutional requirements regarding the predictability and proportionality of the law, and they don’t allow the recognition of the right to difference for holding, on equal terms and without unreasonable restrictions, a position which involves the exercise of the state authority”.

The Ombudsman has directly notified Constitutional Court on the constitutional challenge of the Art.2 of the Law no.90/2001 on the organization and functioning of the Romanian Government and ministries, amended and supplemented, appreciating that they breach the provisions of the Art.1 para. (4) and (5), Art.16 para. (1) and (3), Art.20 and Art.53 of the Constitution, as well as of the Art.14 of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Art.1 of the Protocol no.12 of the Convention, Art. 2 item 1 and Art.21 item 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art.2 item 1 and Art.25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Ombudsman appreciated that there’s a lack of legislative coherence in establishing clear, objective and generally available integrity criteria in order to hold positions belonging to the three powers organized in a constitutional democracy, which is likely to harm the principle of the balance of powers, provided by Art.1 para. (4) of the Constitution, as well as Art.16 para. (3) of the Constitution referring to holding public offices and dignities “under the law”.

Victor Ciorbea also claims “the lack of predictability of the phrase «who have no convictions» in the Art.2 of the Law no.90/2001 on the organization and functioning of the Romanian Government and ministries, amended and supplemented, which breaches Art.1 para. (5) of the Constitution”.

 

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