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May 20, 2022

Court rules criminal code amendments unconstitutional. President Iohannis: CCR decision sanctions, for the second time, PSD-ALDE coalition’s legislative demarche

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) on Monday sustained constitutionality objections filed by the opposition Save Romania Union (USR), National Liberal Party (PNL) and President Klaus Iohannis over Parliament’s amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, CCR officials have told AGERPRES.

The sources say Parliament failed to bring provisions in the Criminal Codes in line with CCR rulings.

According to them, on July 11, constitutional judges closed debates on these objections, but delayed a final ruling. It was the seventh time that the case was postponed.

The objections regard Law for amending and supplementing Law 286/2009 on the Criminal Code, as well as Law 78/2000 on the prevention and punishment of corruption acts, and the Law amending and supplementing Law 135/2010 on the Code of Criminal Procedure, as well as amending Law 304/2004 on the organisation of the judiciary.


President Iohannis: CCR decision sanctions, for the second time, PSD-ALDE coalition’s legislative demarche


President Klaus Iohannis says the decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) regarding the Criminal Codes “sanctions, for the second time, the legislative demarche of the PSD [Social Democratic Party] – ALDE [Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] coalition” and that the modifications brought to criminal legislation are “harmful and contrary” to the Constitution, for which reason Parliament must reject them in their entirety.

“The decision ruled today by the Constitutional Court, under which there was found the unconstitutionality of the laws to modify and supplement the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, sanctions, for the second time, the legislative demarche of the PSD-ALDE coalition. This solutions shows, once more, that the modifications brought to the criminal legislation by the ruling coalition are harmful and contrary to the Fundamental Law,” the head of state is quoted in a Presidential Administration release as saying.

He maintains that these modifications of the Criminal Codes were aimed at protecting criminals, weakening the rule of law and encouraging the criminal phenomenon and he is asking the PSD – ALDE coalition to abandon “the alleged reform in the criminal area” and to reject these modifications in their entirety.

“Adopted by Parliament in only a few weeks, without any substantiation or consultation with the judiciary system and the civil society, the modifications on the criminal legislation were aimed at only one thing: protecting the criminals to the detriment of harmed persons, drawing up a whole set of procedures meant to weaken the state and encourage and criminal phenomenon. In this context, in which the two laws were successively invalidated by the Constitutional Court, I am asking the PSD-ALDE coalition to abandon this alleged reform in the criminal area. I am also asking Parliament to reject the modifications to the criminal legislation in their entirety and review the toxic changes already operated in the justice laws, which have proved true attacks to citizen’s safety,” Iohannis says.

The head of state underscores that adapting the legislation to the rule of law standards, including to the Constitutional Court jurisprudence, must be done in good faith, transparently and following thorough evaluation of the impact of the legislative interventions in view.

President Ioahnnis draws the attention of the PSD-ALDE parliamentary majority that respecting the vote of the citizens given in the 26 May referendum is compulsory and that in this respect it is imperative to transpose as soon as possible into the legislation the provisions of the National Political Agreement for the consolidation of Romania’s European path.

“I initiated this Agreement especially to consecrate the sovereign will voiced by the Romanian citizens in the referendum, in supporting the rule of law and against affecting the independence of the judiciary system. Even if the PSD and the ALDE have refused to sign the document, it cannot be ignored, and its provisions must be fulfilled by the entire political class,” the head of state concludes.

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