The Constitutional Court of Romania announced on Tuesday that it has notified the Venice Commission and the President of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts about the “virulent attacks against it”, whereby some representatives of public authorities and parliamentary parties have discredited and delegitimized the authority of this fundamental state institution – the guarantor of the supremacy of the Constitution. According to the CCR, “calls were made to the people and to the President not to respect and implement” the decision on the dismissal of Kovesi as the DNA chief prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, and thus doubting the binding nature of its decisions.
“The Constitutional Court of Romania plenum, on May 5, 2018, unanimously voted in the presence of all its members, the notification of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, of the European Commission for Democracy by Law (the Venice Commission) and of the President of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts in connection with virulent attacks against the Constitutional Court, whereby some representatives of public authorities and parliamentary parties have discredited and delegitimized the authority of this fundamental state institution – the guarantor of the supremacy of the Constitution – thus doubting the necessity of its decisions, and even made calls addressed to the population and the President of the State to disregard and not to implement the Constitutional Court’s Decision no. 538 dated May 30, 2018, on the request for the settlement of the legal conflict between the Minister of Justice on the one hand and the President of Romania on the other, and secondary between the Romanian Government and the President of Romania, a request made by the Prime Minister. The Plenary of the Constitutional Court considered that these actions are likely to imperil democracy, the rule of law and the functioning of constitutional justice,” the court communiqué reads.
Valer Dorneanu: CCR decisions should be respected exactly
CCR Chairman, Valeriu Dorneanu, says in a press release issued on Tuesday evening that the CCR decisions should be respected exactly “by all public authorities, all public institutions, all citizens and the society as a whole”. He also brings clarifications about Judge Petre Lăzăroiu, who is in the tenth year of his term in office, although the Court itself has stated that it is unconstitutional that a judge exceeds nine years of office, arguing that Lăzăroiu carries out his work on the basis of an uncontested law which enjoys the presumption of constitutionality, and a presumable change in the statute of the constitutional judge, which he considers unlikely, can have consequences only in the future and would not affect the decisions already made.
Tudorel Toader: Such attacks against CCR are absolutely inadmissible
Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader, said on Tuesday that attacks on the Constitutional Court are inadmissible in a state governed by the rule of law.
“Such attacks on the CCR are absolutely inadmissible in a state governed by the rule of law,” said Minister Tudorel Toader, in the context of the Constitutional Court’s decision to notify European institutions of the attacks against the institution after the decision targeting Laura Codruta Kovesi.
Augustin Zegrean: The situation is very serious
Former Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Augustin Zegrean, says that if the CCR has decided to refer the Venice Commission, then the situation is serious. He recalls that a similar referral was made in the context of the 2012 referendum on impeaching the President.
“If the Constitutional Court has come to the conclusion that it has to do so, it means that the situation is very serious. The Constitutional Court did so in 2012 regarding the situation created in connection with the referendum to impeach the President, when the Court was subjected to unprecedented attacks, and then the Court’s decisions have not been published in the Official Gazette,” Zegrean says.
The former CCR Chairman says it is a practice of the Constitutional Courts that, in critical situations, to bring the matter to the Venice Commission.
Zegrean says the alarm signal is sent by the Court judges on respect for the judiciary, not on personal threats.