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Victor Ciorbea

Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea has delegated authority, but the deputy cannot notify the Constitutional Court

The Ombudsman has announced that he has delegated the authority to one of his deputies, however the power to notify the Constitutional Court is excepted. The exception is reportedly confirmed by one of the CCR decisions which reads that ‘the Ombudsman has the exclusivity in regard to the decision to refer an unconstitutionality exception, part of the institutional and operational independence he enjoys.’

Thursday evening, Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea has sent a release on the temporary delegation of authority to one of his deputies, informing that some of his powers have been delegated.

The delegation of authority does not include: the notification of the Constitutional Court on unconstitutionality issues, the hiring of new employees and others.

“The Ombudsman believes that the decision not to delegate the authority in terms of unconstitutionality control for laws and ordinances is legitimated also by the fact that the institution of Ombudsman is a unipersonal, autonomous and independent public authority. The Ombudsman argues that the above mentioned issues are a consequence of the socio-political and economic realities in Romania, which have led to the decision of the constitutional legislator to set up the Ombudsman institution with a unipersonal character. The unipersonal leadership of the institution, as provided by the constitutional provisions, is opposed to the collective leadership of other institutions of Ombudsman type, allows the Ombudsman decisional powers and at the same time personal responsibility for the decisions made. These are the underlying reasons for the decisions of the Ombudsman in delegating his powers,” Victor Ciobea has informed.

He added that unipersonal Ombudsman institution is also working in Portugal, who is assisted by two deputies that can be delegated certain authorities, however the notification of the Constitutional Court cannot be delegated.

USD, PNL and the Prosecutor General’s Office have requested the Ombudsman to refer to the Constitutional Court the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 92/2018 on amending the laws of justice. Victor Ciotbea is on vacation until October 30.

The Senate adopted on Monday a draft bill to amend the law on Ombudsman organization, providing that the institution’s leadership will receive special pensions, cumulated with the indemnity for the current mandate.

On Monday, Victor Ciorbea said the Senate’s decision is justified by the fact that the institution’s leadership is under huge pressure and is overwhelmed by the volume of work. His earnings are estimated to reach about EUR 7,500 per month.

Analysts have said this is the means to make the Ombudsman very reluctant when it comes to challenging draft bills filed by the political power and that Victor Ciorbea will thus not challenge the Emergency Ordinance to the CCR.

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