The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) has declared unconstitutional some provisions included in the law on judicial organisation, and has postponed for January 30 the debate on the two judicial laws, namely the statute of magistrates and the organisation of the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM).
“The dossiers which concern the statute of magistrates and the organisation of the CSM, we postponed them for January 30, and we issued a decision on the one concerning the judicial organisation. The decision consisted of the rejection of the extrinsic objections of unconstitutionality which concerned the way the parliamentary committee was formed. We admitted four of the points included in the texts that the authors invoked,” CCR President Valer Dorneanu announced.
Constitutional Court judges discussed on Tuesday the challenges against the modifications brought to the judicial laws, challenges lodged by the High Court of Cassation and Justice and the PNL.
The order of the day of CCR’s meeting on Tuesday included the unconstitutionality objection against the law amending and supplementing law no.303/2004 on the statute of judges and prosecutors, lodged by the High Court of Cassation and Justice; the unconstitutionality objection against the law amending and supplementing law no.304/2004 on the judicial organisation, lodged by 29 PNL Senators; the objection of unconstitutionality against the law amending and supplementing law no.303/2004 on the statute of judges and prosecutors, lodged by 56 PNL House lawmakers; the unconstitutionality objection against the law amending and supplementing law no.304/2004 on judicial organisation and of the law amending and supplementing law no.317/2004 on the organisation and functioning of the Supreme Magistracy Council, lodged by the High Court of Cassation and Justice; the unconstitutionality objection against the law amending and supplementing law no.317/2004 on the organisation and functioning of the Supreme Magistracy Council, lodged by 52 PNL House lawmakers.
On 29 December 2017, the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) notified the Constitutional Court, opining that eight Constitutional articles are broken by the amendments that Parliament brought to the law on the organisation of courts and prosecutor’s offices and to the law on the organisation and functioning of the CSM.
Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar expressed his conviction that Constitutional Court judges will issue a “historic” decision on the notifications against the amendments brought to the judicial laws.
“The Public Ministry continues to be very careful, following with the utmost attention the procedure of verifying the constitutionality of these laws. We have put at the disposal of competent institutions all the unconstitutionality suspicions we had, and we have the conviction that the Constitutional Court will issue a decision that will be a decision of reference, no doubt a historic decision, and I believe the Constitutional Court will issue a wise decision in a case that is under the scrutiny of Romanian public opinion,” Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar stated last week when arriving at the CSM meeting.
Likewise, present at CSM’s first meeting this year, President Klaus Iohannis said he hopes and trusts that the CCR will judge with a lot of objectivity the notifications lodged against the modifications brought to the judicial laws, the Head of State stating that these modifications were adopted through an unclear, ad-hoc procedure in which “the Opposition was muzzled,” and under the pressure of time.
Ina ddition, USR announced it lodged with the Constitutional Court a challenge against the three judicial laws. USR President Dan Barna said that USR jurists also discovered other unconstitutionality reasons besides those that ICCJ and PNL had already brought to the attention of the CCR.
CCR acknowledges Iohannis’s notification regarding maintaining repeal of prosecuted civil servants’ suspension
Romania’s Constitutional Court admitted on Tuesday president Klaus Iohannis’s notification regarding the law maintaining the repeal of the prosecuted civil servants’ suspension.
“I had an unconstitutional challenge of Law no. 188/1999 on the civil servants’ Code of Conduct, an objection raised by the President, that we okayed and we established that – the repeal of the texts which aimed at the possibility to lawfully suspend the labour contract of the civil servants who had been prosecuted – was illegally repealed,” CCR President Valer Dornean announced.
“In its jurisprudence, the Constitutional Court held that the sanction provided for by art.94, paragraph (1), letter m) of Law no. 188/1999, the one of the lawful suspension of the employment of the civil servant prosecuted for committing an offense of the nature provided for in art.54, letter h) is meant to protect authority or the public institution from the danger of pursuing the illegal activity and the extension of the dangerous consequences of the criminal deed perpetrated by the civil servant,” the head of state shows.
He maintained that, taking into account the administrative nature of this measure “the non-observance of the habeas corpus is out of the question, that will however need to be observed throughout the entire criminal case launched against the respective civil servant, until the final decision of conviction.
The head of state shows that, since the public function involves the overall attributions and responsibilities, established under the law, with the purpose of achieving the public power prerogatives, the standards regarding the integrity and deontology of the civil servant must be thus established that the criminal deeds perpetrated by the latter while in office not reflect on the public institution.
On 14 November, the Chamber of Deputies adopted the amendment draft of law 188/1999 on the civil servants’ Code of Conduct, maintaining the repeal of the provision according to which civil servants are suspended from office in case they are prosecuted for offenses, including corruption and pertaining to the improper use of office.
The Chamber of Deputies rejected, thus, the objections raised by president Iohannis, contained in the reexamination request on this draft, initially adopted by Parliament in June 2016.