Deputies’ Chamber adopted on Tuesday, by 178 “pros”, 38 “cons” and 51 abstentions, the legislative proposal amending and supplementing the Law 47/1992 on the organization and functioning of the Constitutional Court, which increases the immunity of the CCR judges and which provides that they cannot be prosecuted, detained or arrested without the approval of two thirds of the members of the Court.
The deciding Chamber for this draft law is the Senate.
Legal Committee of the Deputies’ Chamber adopted an amendment drafted by the PSD MP Florin Iordache, as follows: “The judge who was appointed for the remaining term of another judge, can be appointed, at the Constitutional Court’s renewal, for a full term of 9 years”.
Article 66 of the law is amended to read as follows: “Court’s judges cannot be prosecuted, detained, arrested or searched or sent to criminal judgment unless the plenum of the Constitutional Court approve this, at the request of the Justice Minister, notified by the Attorney General of PICCJ (Prosecution Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice – e.n.)”.
Also, “the approval mentioned in the previous paragraph is given by the vote of two thirds of the CCR judges, after the judge in question has been heard”.
“For offenses committed by the judges of the Constitutional Court, they can be prosecuted and sent to judgment only by PICCJ, and the jurisdiction to judge the case belongs to IICJ (High Court of Cassation and Justice – e.n.). In case of flagrant offenses, the judges of the Court can be detained and searched, and the Justice Minister will immediately inform the CCR President, requesting, if needed, Court’s approval for the prosecution and arrest provided by paragraph 1” also provides the legislative proposal.
According to the draft law, the judge who is subject to a criminal trial can be suspended by the decision of the plenum of the Constitutional Court, adopted by the vote of two thirds of the members of the Court. In case of an acquittal decision, the suspensions ends, and in case of a final conviction, the term of the Court’s judge ends by the law.
Article 66 currently provides that: “Judges of the Constitutional Court cannot be arrested or sent to judgment without the approval of the Permanent Bureau of the Deputies’ Chamber, of the Senate or of the President of Romania, as appropriate, at the request of the Attorney General of the Prosecution Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice”.
The MP also proposes that the Article 68 para. 3 of the Law 47/1992 on the organization and functioning of the Constitutional Court be repealed. It provides that: “If the period for which the new judge has been appointed according to the para. (2), is less than 3 years, he can be appointed for a full term of 9 years, at the Constitutional Court’s renewal”.
Also, a new paragraph is added to Article 69, after paragraph 3: “After the term for which he was appointed has expired, the CCR judge can opt to join the lawyers’ or notaries’ associations, without any examination”.
MP Adnagi Slavoliub mentions in the explanatory memorandum that concrete and separate measures are “required” to remove in advance any possibility to make any pressure on the Constitutional Court’s judges.