Justice Minister Tudorel Toader states that he does not know whether the government emergency ordinance (GEO) amending the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code will be ready by the end of the year. “At this moment we are analysing, to see to what extent we will resume projects from last year.”
Asked when will the ordinance on amnesty and pardoning be issued, Tudorel Toader said: “The eternal question and the eternal answer. I repeat, the answer I kept giving to this question stands today too.”
Asked whether this ordinance will be issued by the end of the year, Toader repeated that he has the same answer as before.
Likewise, he was asked whether the draft GEO on the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code will be ready by the end of the year.
“We don’t know. We don’t know because it must be examined. Now I would like to remind you that last year, in 2017, on 18 August 2017, I hope I’m not mistaken, the Government adopted a bill amending the Criminal Code in line with the Constitutional Court’s decisions and transposing the directive on extended confiscation. The bill was debated, there was decisional transparency, the Government adopted it and we sent it to Parliament’s special committee. Many other solutions were added there, within the special committee – of course, it has constitutional prerogatives –, some of which were constitutional, as proved, others were unconstitutional. Consequently, the Justice Ministry sent only the bill amending the Criminal Code in line with the Court’s decisions and extended confiscation, the rest pertains to the competence of the lawmaker,” he said.
Toader went on to recall that in November 2017 the Justice Ministry issued a bill amending the Criminal Procedure Code in line with Constitutional Court decisions and with the transposition of the directive on the consolidation of the presumption of innocence.
“Nothing more, nothing less. The bill was adopted by the Government and sent to Parliament for adoption; of course, Parliament had the freedom to come up with other solutions too and it did so. At this moment we are analysing, to see to what extent we will resume projects from last year, because the Constitutional Court jurisprudence exists since 2009, saying this: ‘the urgency of adopting an emergency ordinance in order to transpose a European directive so as to avoid an infringement procedure is justified,’ which means that we can return to what we proposed last year at the Justice Ministry,” Toader added.
JusMin says CVM recommendations are taken into account: Of course, we want the recommendations to have objective content, not moving goalposts
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader says that the CVM recommendations are taken into account and an attempt will be made to fulfil them, adding that for the past 12 years Romania has been fulfilling the four initial recommendations. “Of course, we want the recommendations to have objective content, not moving goalposts; of course, we want the CVM to be lifted,” he stated.
The Justice Minister was asked whether the idea of challenging the CVM is being considered.
“The one who launched that idea should explain it to you. I’ve stated, and I repeat: of course, we are taking into account the recommendations. Of course, the recommendation is not – as someone said – like a convention or international treaty, because those rapporteurs who came here, three, four, five of them, did not become super-lawmakers here, to adopt something that has a juridical power equal to that of treaties and conventions. So, of course, we will observe, we will try to fulfil the recommendations. Of course, we want the recommendations to have objective content, not moving goalposts. Of course, we want the CVM lifted. Of course, when it was introduced, in December 2006, there were four recommendations, we have been fulfilling them for the past 12 years,” he stated.
In its latest CVM report, the European Commission has recommended the immediate suspension of the enforcement of the judicial laws and of subsequent emergency ordinances, the immediate suspension of all ongoing procedures to appoint and dismiss chief prosecutors, the observance of the Superior Council of the Magistracy’s negative opinions on the appointment or dismissal of chief prosecutors, the freezing of the coming into force of the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, and the relaunch of the revision procedure.
UDMR doesn’t support the amendment of the criminal legislation by an Emergency Ordinance
The Democrat Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) doesn’t support the amendment of the criminal legislation by an Emergency Ordinance, the leader of the Alliance’s senators, Cseke Attila stated for RFI, after PM Viorica Dancila announced that the Government takes into account to issue a GEO for the articles that have been declared constitutional in the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes.
Cseke Attila says UDMR doesn’t agree with a possible GEO for the Criminal Codes.
“Regarding the criminal legislation, if it depends on us, of course, we are not ruling, but we don’t support the adoption of some measures, of some actions, by an Emergency Ordinance”, he explained.
According to him, “it was a mistake also in 2016, when the technocrat Government adopted such a measure, amending the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code by GEO”.
“It would be a mistake also this time, if it would be done, even if there are articles that have been declared constitutional. This is why we have a Parliament, it’s a draft law that returns from CCR to the Parliament. The Parliament is entitled to make the changes that can be made, in order for the draft law to be constitutional. So, in a word, we wouldn’t support such a way to amend the criminal legislation”, Cseke mentioned.
Iohannis: Government cannot issue emergency ordinance on constitutional articles in Criminal Codes
President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday in Brussels that it is not possible for the Government to issue an emergency ordinance on the constitutional articles of the Criminal Codes, stating that it cannot legislate by ordinance on a case that is in the usual procedure in Parliament.
Asked how he comments on the Government’s intention to issue an emergency ordinance on the constitutional articles of the Criminal Codes, Iohannis said: “This simply cannot be done. It has been attempted before. There is the practice of the Constitutional Court, which declared such attempts simply unconstitutional”.
At the same time, the head of state said that the Executive “cannot legislate by ordinance on a case which is in usual procedure in Parliament”.
“The explanation is very simple. So, it cannot be done,” Iohannis said before joining the European Council meeting in Brussels.
Premier Viorica Dancila announced on Monday that the PSD (Social Democratic Party, major at rule, ed.n.)’s National Executive Committee discussed and decided the timeliness to approve an ordinance amending the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code in the sense of adopting those articles that were declared constitutional.