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Venice Commission criticizes Valer Dorneanu for being against separate CCR opinion

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Venice Commission criticizes the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) president Valer Dorneanu, in a report on separate opinions of constitutional courts, for a CCR decision by which publishing a separate ostentatious opinion or one with political colour was forbidden.

The Report on separate opinions of constitutional courts, adopted by Venice Commission at the 117th plenary session of December 14-15 was published on the commission website.

The document refers to a decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania of June 22, 2017 which settle rules of drawing up a separate  or competitive opinion and forbids sententious, provocative or political considerations. The report reminds the fact that this CCR decision was cancelled on June 20,2018 by Bucharest Court of Appeal.

According to Venice Commission, such CCR decisions should be avoided, as the one of June 2017 allowed Valer Dorneanu to prevent the publication of a separate critical opinion against the institution he is head of.

The European institution speaks about the fact that constitutional judges in Romania who voted against can formulate a separate opinion, and in the motivation of the CCR decision they can have a concurrent opinion. Venice Commission also reminds the fact that the CCR decision of June 2017 was cancelled a year later, by Bucharest Court of Appeal.

One of the rules of article 1 is that a separate or concurrent opinion cannot go beyond  the judge’s point of view to turn into criticism against the decision of the Constitutional Court  and cannot turn into obvious criticism against it.

In case the Court judge  does not amend the opinion in order to observe those rules, the CCR president can decide that the separate or concurrent opinion will not be published in the Official Monitor or on the Internet page of the Constitutional Court and cannot be attached to the file of the cause.

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