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January 25, 2022

USR asks PACE to notify Venice Commission about ordinances announced in justice field

The Save Romania Union (USR) asked the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to notify the Venice Commission in respect to the new emergency ordinances that the PSD-ALDE (Social Democratic Party – Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) Government is preparing in the justice field, USR informed in a release on Monday.

“The USR representative to PACE, Deputy Iulian Bulai had an intervention in the opening of the first plenary session this year of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and spoke about what happens in the Romanian justice right now. The debut session of PACE, scheduled for January 21-25 in Strasbourg, coincided with the announcement made by the Minister of Justice, Tudorel Toader, with respect to two emergency ordinances that will basically cancel the final decisions pronounced in corruption files in the past five years,” informs the said source.

In his intervention, the USR Deputy made an appeal to the MPs in the European countries attending the PACE meeting to support the request of an opinion from the Venice Commission.

“The Bucharest Government is using the decisions of the Constitutional Court to basically cancel the sentences pronounced in the past five years in the large corruption files, in order to make the current ruling party leader’s clean again. And the Minister of Justice just announced that he will do this through an emergency ordinance – which is a method to avoid any democratic control, starting with Parliament. And all this just to save one person from the long arm of the law, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, who already has two convictions. (…) Romania needs the help of our European colleagues to protect democracy and the rule of law, which is why I ask the MPs attending the PACE meeting to support us in notifying the Venice Commission about the emergency ordinances announced by the Government in Bucharest,” said MP Iulian Bulai, according to the said release.

USR also mentioned that, through its members participating in the PACE session, it will take all necessary steps for the Assembly to officially ask for the opinion of the Venice Commission in respect to the manner in which the ordinances promised by Tudorel Toader “affect the rule of law from the perspective of the European constitutional principles.”

Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader on Sunday evening announced he drafted an emergency ordinance to allow the persons convicted by “unlawfully constituted panels” no longer within the deadline to file challenges in annulment.

Tudorel Toader also announced a second emergency ordinance in relation to the protocols concluded with the SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service), but he specified he was going to wait for the explanatory of the Constitutional Court first.

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