CCR: Amendments brought to the Criminal Code violate principles of the rule of law
The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) explained that the amendments brought to the Criminal Code were found to be unconstitutional because they violate the article of the Fundamental Law that refers to the rule of law state.
CCR met in plenary session on Wednesday to solve, as part of the checking before the promulgation, the objections of unconstitutionality formulated by the High Court of Cassation and Justice and also by 50 MPs of the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL, main opposition party) referring to several stipulations of the Law on the modification and completion of several normative acts (the old Criminal Code and the new Criminal Code) and the single article concerning the modification of the Article 2531 of the Criminal Code.
'After the deliberations, the Constitutional Court unanimously decided the following: to sustain the objections and declare the unconstitutionality of the article I item 5 and article II item 3 of the Law on the modification and completion of several normative acts, by which the President of Romania, the Senators and Deputies are removed from the category of 'civil servants', the same as the liberal professions, based on a special law and while this last category is not receiving financing from the state. These stipulations violate the article 1 paragraphs (1) and (5) of the Romanian Constitution referring to the rule of law state and the obligation to respect the Constitution and obey the laws, the article 16, paragraphs (1) and (2) referring to the equality of chance principle, as well as the article 11 paragraph (1) regarding the obligation of the Romanian state to observe as such and in good face obligations incumbent upon it under the international treaties,' showed a release of the CCR on Wednesday.
The Court decided to sustain the objection of unconstitutionality of the single article of the abovementioned Law on the modification of the article 253 item 1 of the Criminal Code, by which the public clerks are exempted from paying for the offense of conflict of interest, while the issuance, approval, adoption and signing of administrative documents are being removed from the category of criminal offenses.
In the opinion of the CCR judges, these stipulations violate the same articles of the Romanian Constitution enumerated above.
The abovementioned source also specified that it also sustained the objection of unconstitutionality of the article I item no 2 and the article II item no 5 of the Law on the modification and completion of several normative acts, the modification of article 741 of the Criminal Code and the article 3091 respectively of the new Criminal Code, stipulations that were meant to regulate the reduction of sanctions in the case of several offenses, generically called 'offenses involving a prejudice that can be evaluated in money'.
'These stipulations are unconstitutional in relation to the article 1 paragraphs (3) and (5) of the Constitution referring to the rule of law, the obligation to obey the Constitutions and the laws of the state in terms of clarity and predictability of the norms, the article 21 regarding the free access to justice and the article 147 paragraphs (1) and (4) of the Constitution referring to the general mandatory character of the Constitutional Court ruling,' the CCR also showed.
The motivation of the Court will be presented as part of its decision to be published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I.
The CCR ruling is final and generally binding and is to be communicated to the Speakers of the two Chambers of the Romanian parliament and to the Prime Minister.