After the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) ruled on Wednesday that there is an institutional conflict between the Government and the Presidency and said Ioahnnis is to issue the decree to recall DNA chief prosecutor from office, Justice Minister said on Thursday there is no CCR ruling that should not be observed and should not produce effects, adding that the Court’s motivation is expected to reveal the grounds that underlay the decision on Kovesi.
„There is no ruling by the Constitutional Court that should not produce legal effects and there is no ruling of CCR that should not be observed by any physical or legal person, or authority. We only have the press release. We are waiting for the grounds, for the motivation to be published in the Official Gazette and then we’ll certainly be able to do an assessment. At this moment, I think we must stay reserved within the limits of the press release and everyone should carry out his legal duties,” the Justice minister said.
He announced he would have a press conference on this matter next week.
Ex-constitutional judge Zegrean: It’ s a new practice. You cannot order the President
Former judge of the Constitutional Court, Augustin Zegrean told Digi24 that it’s the first time that the Constitutional Court is solving a constitutional conflict between institutions by imposing a decision, and this decision is mandatory, for it cannot be challengedby any means.
Zegrean said the decision is an unprecedented one, unusual, for, as usually, CCR only comes down to ascertain if there is conflict or not and not rule mandatory orders.
„From now on, we can expect any minister taking office , and we have a high frequency on this, to change the chief prosecutors. Why shouldn’t be able to also change the prosecutors? Nothing can stop them (…) It is not the court that decides how the constitutional conflict is solved (…) So, it is a new practice (…) We are talking about Romania’s President, the person elected with the highest electoral legitimacy. You cannot order the president. He only has the Constitution in the job description. You cannot go that far (…),” Zegrean said.
He added that the CCR rulings are generally mandatory since they are published in the Official Gazette and the decision must be motivated in one month at the most. Zegrean also pointed out that there are very good experts on constitutional law at the presidency and they will analyse the ruling.
DIICOT head: CCR has put prosecutors under the discretionary power of a political minister
The chief prosecutor of the Directorate for Investigating of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), Daniel Horodniceanu, also retorted to its latest ruling, stating that the CCR has actually placed the prosecutors not under the authority, but under the discretionary power of the minister of justice, who is either a politician or enjoys political support.
He said that the consultative opinion of the CSM Prosecution Section “is useless” if the President is compelled to respect the minister’s decision.
“It is a logical aberration if we want an independent judiciary. The demarcation line between the state powers is being erased to the detriment of the independence of a part of the judicial authority, the prosecutor magistrates. This also calls into question the binding character of the CCR decision,” said Horodniceanu.
Prosecutor in Dragnea’s case: Gov’t interference affects the prosecutor’s independence
Alexandra Carmen Lăncrănjan, the female prosecutor who is handling the third criminal case against PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, reacted in this case, saying in a message in English posted on Facebook, that the Government’s interference in the activity of the prosecutor is affecting his or her independence.
“Prosecutorial independence and impartiality are two of the key human rights set out in international standards dealing with the prosecution service.
Prosecutorial independence and impartiality are related rights and in certain ways overlap. Like judicial independence, prosecutorial independence has institutional and individual components. To be institutionally independent, the prosecution service must not be subject to executive or other interference (e.g., from a private or public organization, a national or international organization, or a person); it must be insulated from such external pressure. Prosecutors must also be insulated from internal pressure, such as from colleagues or others inside the prosecution service. The prosecutor should be guided only by law and his or her solemn oath. “Individual independence” means that prosecutors should be personally independent in carrying out their duties. Ensuring that the terms and conditions of their prosecution service are secure is one step toward achieving this independence. A third step toward prosecutorial independence requires maintaining public confidence in the judicial system, which depends on ensuring transparency in the prosecutorial activities and ensuring that the prosecution service is representative (i.e., that prosecutors come from a variety of groups, ethnicities, and religions, etc., and that they represent the population as a whole)”, prosecutor Lăncrănjan says.