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December 5, 2022

Cazanciuc: Quarantine bill drafted by the Gov’t is a disaster, a collection of repeated violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms

Social Democrat Senator Robert Cazanciuc slammed on Sunday the quarantine and isolation bill put forth by the government, and which is up for debate in the Senate after clearing the Lower House with amendments, labeling it a “disaster” and that as a result, the regulatory act will be voted only when it meets “the Romanians’ needs”, after debates with all the entities involved in its enforcement.

Cazanciuc reminded that the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) were invited to submit opinions, and that the government must present examples from the European practice in support of the provisions regarding compulsory hospitalization and the compulsory secondment of doctors.

“The bill drafted by the government is a disaster, a collection of repeated violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens, which – were it adopted in the form referred to us – would run counter not just to the Constitution, but also to the practice of ECHR and other European courts. With regard to the process of adopting this law, the Premier complained yesterday that the postponement of the vote in Parliament until Monday has driven him to the end of patience. Let me remind you that Parliament worked on Friday until 23.00 hrs, that the Law Committee worked until 4.00 in the morning, that we worked again on Saturday; Parliament is in extraordinary session until July 15 and if needed, we’ll extend it. We put behind a week in which President Iohannis chose to go public on TV and scold everyone, the Romanians for not observing the rules, and the politicians, but he should only argue with his government,” Cazanciuc told a news conference.

He went on to say that it’s “clear” that the Liberal government has “gotten out of control”. “The official figures reported by the government itself stand proof for this. It’s as if a highshool student who didn’t learn much and doesn’t have a clue what to write, would blame the teachers or the exam commission for failing the baccalaureate. That’s exactly what Orban does at this moment,” Cazanciuc said, according to Agerpres.

He added that the Senate Law Committee will meet again on Monday.

“When we are satisfied that the law meets the needs of the Romanians, we will vote for it, whether the vote is on Monday, on Tuesday or on Wednesday, we’ll see depending on the debates in the committee. We have invited not only representatives of the Justice Ministry and CSM to the debates, we also invited NGOs, professional associations, everyone who is involved in one way or another in the enforcement of this law must present their point of view, because if the law is unclear, if it’s not easy to understand, we would only deceive the Romanians that we have a law that protects them. All the mechanisms in the law must be extremely clear and in line with our needs today,” the Social Democrat lawmaker added.

Cazanciuc said that the government must present by Monday a substantiation from the European practice on compulsory hospitalization and the compulsory secondment of doctors.

“We have asked the government to provide us by Monday with support from the European practice, from what is customary practice in Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy regarding compulsory hospitalization and the compulsory secondment of doctors. We have also asked the Justice Ministry to advise whether this bill complies with Romania’s fundamental law and with ECHR practice in this matter. We also sought the opinion of CSM because, contrary to the Constitutional Court ruling, the bill designed by the Orban Government is definitely not accompanied by CSM’s opinion,” the PSD Senator explained.

Cazanciuc specified that the bill provides “no guarantee that the citizens won’t be snatched off the street for simply sneezing”, and that the “suggestive signs” the bill refers to do not represent a clear, scientific evidence to justify quarantine, isolation or hospitalization.

The law must also regulate in other situations similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PSD Senator argued, explaining also that the law does not specify on what period the measures apply, and that no guarantees are provided in the case where the assets of an isolated or quarantined person are confiscated and destroyed.

Regarding the challenge of the restriction of rights, Cazanciuc specified that the Constitutional Court requires the procedure for instructing the measure and for challenging it to be regulated in detail.

“This is the third time that the government sends Parliament at the last minute a poorly designed bill, full of mistakes and leaving room for abuse,” Cazanciuc said, adding that Prime Minister Ludovic Orban should have come on his own initiative before Parliament to support the bill.

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