The Alba Iulia Court of Appeal upheld on Tuesday the lack of territorial jurisdiction raised by the Ministry of Justice and Minister in charge Tudorel Toader in the lawsuit against Romania’s Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar, and ordered the relinquishment of jurisdiction to the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
The court’s decision is not appealable.
The Ministry of Justice and JusMin Tudorel Toader raised an exception regarding the lack of territorial jurisdiction in the lawsuit whereby Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar requested the stay of the proceeding for his removal from office initiated by the Minister of Justice.
The legal counselor representing the defendants on Tuesday asked the Alba Iulia court to uphold the lack of territorial jurisdiction and to relinquish jurisdiction to the Bucharest Court of Appeal. According to the conclusions presented by the counselor, plaintiff Augustin Lazar “expressly” refers to his capacity as Prosecutor General, adding that the entire administrative proceedings concern the chief prosecutor.
Augustin Lazar’s lawyer Ovidiu Podar invoked Art. 10 Para. 3 of the Administrative Litigation Act, stating that the competent court is established based on domicile.
A deferral was issued at the first term in court, as the defendants challenged the competence of the Alba Iulia Court of Appeal for this case.
Back then lawyer Ovidiu Podar argued that until this summer, the Administrative Litigation Act provided for an alternative jurisdiction, in that it was possible to choose between jurisdiction based on the plaintiff’s domicile – which in this case is the Alba Iulia Court of Appeal – and the court competent for the headquarters of the defendant authority – the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
On November 2 the Prosecutor General filed with the court in his domicile city of Alba Iulia an administrative litigation lawsuit requesting the stay of the proceeding to dismiss him from office initiated by the Minister of Justice. Lazar also requested the suspension of the execution of the acts underlying the issuance of the respective proposal, including the report on his managerial activity.
Augustin Lazar argued that the proposal to dismiss him is a unilateral administrative act of individual nature which can be subject to the control of administrative litigation courts.
On October 24 Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader announced having initiated the removal from office of the Prosecutor General.
On November 19 the Prosecutors’ Section of the Superior Council of the Magistrates issued a negative opinion on the request of the Minister of Justice regarding the removal from office of Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar.