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January 20, 2022

CCR to discuss, on June 21, PNL and USR notification on the amending of Lower Chamber Regulations

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) will discuss on June 21 the notification lodged by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Save Romania Union (USR) regarding the amending of the Lower Chamber Regulations.

The two parties notified the CCR last Thursday, criticising the fact that the modifications brought to the Lower Chamber Regulations make it possible for a judicial probe and a parliamentary inquiry to take place simultaneously.

“Through decision no.37/9 May 2017 modifying and supplementing the Lower Chamber Regulations, (…) the Lower Chamber proceeded to repeal Article 74. This makes it possible for a judicial probe and a parliamentary inquiry to take place simultaneously. We are in the situation in which the administering of evidence as part of a judicial probe can be influenced through the parliamentary inquiry, which represents an activity with a profound political character. The result of this modification of the Lower Chamber Regulations is that the activity of the legislative branch can influence, at any moment, the activity of the judicial branch,” the notification reads.

PNL and USR invoke a CCR ruling dating back from 2012, according to which the Public Ministry is part of the judicial branch and the fact that prosecutors are carrying out their activity under the authority of the Justice Ministry does not make the Public Ministry an institution whose activity is under parliamentary oversight.

Likewise, the Lower Chamber lawmakers of the two parties point out that the text repealed represented a guarantee for the observance of the principle of separation of powers.

“Instruments with jurisdictional character within reach of a parliamentary commission of inquiry are being legislated, thus breaking the provisions of Article 1, Paragraph 4 of the Romanian Constitution, which consecrates the separation of powers principle,” the PNL and USR lawmakers claim.

PNL and USR are asking the CCR to note that the decision modifying and supplementing the Lower Chamber Regulations is unconstitutional.

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