Former CCR Judge Zegrean: GEO on Criminal Codes – the Gov’t cannot amend a law undergoing debate in Parliament

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An emergency ordinance on the Criminal Codes would mean judicial conflict of constitutional nature between the Government and the Parliament, because the Parliament has started the debate on the normative act and no one may take it away, former Constitutional Court chairman, Augustin Zegrean, said on Tuesday for

Zegrean argues that the Executive cannot amend by emergency ordinance a law under the debate of Parliament, a decision on this issue being made by the CCR – no. 1431/2010.

“The Government can issue emergency ordinances only in extraordinary situations, when regulation cannot be postponed, when it is an emergency. One cannot amend an article of the criminal code, let’s say the definition of abuse of office, claiming it is an emergency justifying the decision by ordinance,” Zegrean says.

The former CCR Judge added that for the Criminal Procedure Code cannot be amended some articles and other not, because the institutions are connected.

“Such an ordinance is a classic case of conflict of constitutional nature,” he argues, and President Klaus Iohannis may then refer it to the Constitutional Court. This would mean that the Government intervenes in the Parliament’s attributions, Zegrean said.

Judge Danilet: Five arguments why the Gov’t cannot issue a GEO

In a post on Facebook, Judge Cristian Danilet also argues that the Government cannot issue a GEO on constitutional articles of a bill and brings five arguments.

  • The draft bill on amending the Criminal Codes has been adopted by both chambers of Parliament, so the legislative procedure is completed;
  • The constitutionality check found irregularities that should be corrected by Parliament so the legislative procedure is to be resumed only on these issues;
  • When a bill is in the final phase in Parliament, the Government cannot adopt a normative act on the issue, CCR said in in decision no. 1431/2010, it would violate the principle of separation of powers;
  • Such on ordinance should be approved by Parliament and then to CCR; it is illogical to go on such procedure, as the first procedure is in the final phase;
  • The GEO is based on emergency in an exceptional situation; nothing special happened lately to justify an ordinance.

The Government announced on Monday it will adopt an emergency ordinance to adopt the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, amended by the special parliamentary committee led by ex-Justice minister Florin Iordache. The GEO will only refer to the articles declared constitutional, not also to those 31 articles declared unconstitutional. They will be further discussed in the Parliament.

PM Dancila explained that the ruling party, PSD, has taken this decision so that the adoption of the criminal codes amended by Iordache committee should not be delayed further more.

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