The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) has postponed for November 23 its debate on Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s notification regarding the DNA’s probe into the manner the Government adopted the decisions pertaining to the Belina Island. The Senate Speaker had asked the CCR to note the existence of a juridical conflict of a constitutional nature between the Public Ministry and the Government.
“We postponed for November 23, for profound study. It will not be placed back on the dockets, the deliberations have been postponed. We didn’t ask for any kind of explanations or supplementary information; it’s simply for a more profound analysis of the information already in the dossier, including of the points of view presented at the meeting today,” CCR President Valer Dorneanu stated.
Asked whether the judicial praxis in this matter can represent an important factor in the Court’s decision, Dorneanu replied: “We follow the Constitution, our praxis, we never eliminate the decisions issued by the courts if they are relevant for the case and can influence us.”
Regarding the CCR’s decision in the case of Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) no.13, the Court President stated that it “cannot be considered a precedent if it does not have exact relevance.”
“On a case by case basis, we deem if and to what extent one of our previous decisions matches the case we are currently analysing,” Valer Dorneanu added.
Asked whether the decision in the Belina case will be taken by seven judges, considering that two judges were absent on Thursday, the CCR President answered: “Of course, the two who were absent today (Maya Teodoroiu and Stefan Minea – editor’s note) will not take part in the debates next time.”
JusMin at CCR debate on Tariceanu’s Belina case notification: We consider it admissible. DNA has no prerogatives to probe the legality of the issuance of a Government Decision
The Justice Minister Tudorel Toader presented the CCR judges with the Government’s arguments in favour of the notification, claiming that it is admissible. He said the DNA lacks prerogatives to probe the legality or advisability of the issuance of a Government Decision.
“The decision is not of test case, but one of principle, which will define the Public Ministry’s prerogatives in relation to the Government. (…) The Senate Speaker wants to find out if it is legal for the DNA to verify the legality or advisability of a Government Decision. (…) We consider the notification admissible,” Toader told the CCR judges.
He claimed that, in the Government’s opinion, this notification is admissible, pointing out that the DNA cannot probe the legality, advisability or the circumstances of a Government Decision because the legality of such a legislative act is to be judged by the administrative court.
The Justice Minister also claimed that the DNA can only trigger constitutional mechanisms for the verification of a Government Decision’s legality, by notifying the administrative court, however it cannot substitute the latter.
In the notification lodged with the CCR, Tariceanu points out that the juridical conflict appeared as a result of the National Anticorruption Directorate’s criminal probe into the legality of Government Decision no.858/2013 and Government Decision no.943/2013.
“The document forwarded to the Constitutional Court of Romania points out: the concrete actions presented in the notification prove the existence of a juridical conflict of a constitutional nature between the Government and the DNA – a component of the Public Ministry –, which consists of the start of a criminal prosecution procedure concerning the adoption of some Government decisions. According to the rulings of the Constitutional Court, the adoption of Government decisions is the expression of the original prerogative of the Government,” reads a communique released by the Senate Speaker.
Calin Popescu Tariceanu asked the CCR to note the existence of a juridical conflict of a constitutional nature between the Public Ministry’s National Anticorruption Directorate on one hand and the Romanian Government on the other; to note the cause of the conflict: the Public Ministry’s National Anticorruption Directorate assuming the prerogative of investigating the circumstances, context, advisability and legality of the drafting of the two Government decisions; to rule that, in the future, prosecutors cannot investigate the circumstances, context, advisability and legality of Government decisions.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated at the end of September – after the DNA announced it started a probe into the way the Pavel Distributary and the Belina Island was transferred from the ownership of the state to the ownership of the Teleorman County Council, via a Government Decision – that the decision to notify the CCR about the prosecutors’ decision to probe GDs is the Executive’s prerogative, however the Justice Ministry will handle the drafting of the document. Back then, he pointed out that CCR judges will have to point out whether, against the backdrop of a CCR ruling according to which prosecutors cannot probe Government ordinances, prosecutors can probe Government Decisions.