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July 29, 2021

CCR rules that it’s up to the legislator to establish who gets amnesty

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) decided that it’s up to the legislator to establish who gets amnesty, officials of the institution told AGERPRES on Thursday.

They brought to mind the President’s right to grant an individual pardon, which is granted for humanitarian reasons first of all, and added that it is wrong to forbid the President to pardon a convicted person for reasons related to life and health.

The Constitutional Court discussed on Thursday about the observance of the constitutional provisions of the two draft laws for revising the Constitution submitted to Parliament for debate by the National Liberal Party (PNL) – the Save Romania Union (USR), the Social democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE).

According to article 19 of the Law No.47/1992 regarding the organisation and functioning of the Constitutional Court, prior to notifying the Parliament to initiate the legislative procedure for revising the Constitution, the draft law or the legislative proposal, accompanied by the approval of the Legislative Council, shall be filed with the Constitutional Court, which is obliged to rule, within 10 days, on the observance of the constitutional provisions regarding the revision.

On 1 July, the opposition parliamentary parties lodged to Parliament the draft law meant to amend the Constitution, which transposes the result of the referendum on 25 May.

PNL deputies leader Raluca Turcan explained at that time that the proposals for the revision of the Constitution are in line with the National Political Pact on Consolidating Romania’s European Course, initiated by President Klaus Iohannis and signed by the opposition parties. The project was signed by all the PNL and the USR, the PMP MPs and nine MPs belonging to the PRO Romania party.

Thus, according to the draft law, the amnesty or pardon for persons convicted for corruption acts is forbidden, the individual pardon of the President for such acts is also forbidden, the criterion of integrity for holding a public office will be provided in the fundamental Law. The citizens who are definitively convicted for offenses committed intentionally will not be able to run for parliamentary, local, European and presidential elections. According to the same draft, the abuse of emergency ordinances will be stopped, emergency ordinances will be subjected to a constitutional control at the request of Romania’s President, the High Court of Cassation and Justice, 50 deputies or 25 senators or the Ombudsman.

Moreover, in the beginning of July, the PSD and the ALDE submitted to the Chamber of Deputies a draft law for the revision of the Constitution, which stipulates that the persons who were sentenced to prison are banned to hold public offices, as well as the extension of the right to refer to the CCR for emergency ordinances.

“Through this legislative initiative we propose to amend and supplement the provisions of the Fundamental Law, in view of establishing a ban on granting individual pardon for corruption offenses and creating a new normative framework on Government ordinances limiting the areas in which the emergency ordinances can be regulated and extending the sphere of regulation of constitutional control over ordinances. We propose that the Government no longer be allowed to regulate through emergency ordinances in the areas of crimes, punishments and the regime of their execution, and, at the same time, assign to the President of Romania, to one of the Speakers of the two Chambers, to at least 50 deputies or at least 25 Senators the authority to notify the CCR regarding the emergency ordinances, as well as the ordinances issued under an enforceable law through an objection of unconstitutionality, within five days from the publication of the ordinance in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I,” shows the explanatory statement of the draft law, which was signed by 140 MPs from the PSD and ALDE.

Another amendment proposed aims to forbid the President of Romania to grant pardon for corruption offenses.

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