Press release

Civil society underlines the gravity of the precedent created by the Constitutional Court's admission of appeals against the two Senate resolutions, validating the members of the Superior Council of Magistracy, which risk throwing Romania in an unprecedented institutional crisis.


The Constitutional Court of Romania has announced last week the reasons for the decisions declaring unconstitutional the decisions of the Senate to validate the list of magistrates elected in the SCM as well as representatives of the civil society. It is the Decision no.53 / 2011 which establishes the unconstitutionality of the Senate Plenum Decision No. 43/2010 regarding the validation of the magistrates elected in the SCM and the Decision no.54 / 2011, which establishes the unconstitutionality of the Senate Plenum Decision no. the election of the two representatives of civil society.


The signatories of this press release consider that the Constitutional Court has made a legality and not constitutional review in making these decisions, as proof of this being the very reasoning of the Court, which is an overstepping of its constitutional and legal powers. In so doing, the Court violated the principle of the separation of powers in the State, substituting, on the one hand, the Senate's rights to decide in matters exclusively under its jurisdiction, and, on the other, the courts of common law which would have been competent censure an act of administrative law. Civil society warns that this behavior is a highly vulnerable constitutional institution - the Superior Council of Magistracy - called to defend the independence of the judiciary, but not independent in managing its own election process as a result of Constitutional Court interference.


Civil society also protests against the restriction of its right protected by law to participate in public life and to contribute to the democratic functioning of state institutions through the designated representatives. This limitation of civil society rights follows the decision by which one of the representatives of civil society has been "revoked" the mandate of a member of the SCM, although according to the principle of reciprocity, who grants a mandate must also revoke it, and the Court is not in this situation . In order to decide this, the Constitutional Court analyzed the evidence handled in the file - a procedure specific to the courts of common law, but it also did not ensure the equality of arms of the parties, since the evidence belonged only to one of them. Furthermore, the Court, although knowingly, ignored the fact that the Court of Appeal was pending a file on the issues under consideration.


Last but not least, the signatories of this press release draw attention to the fact that, in the two judgments handed down, the Court seriously undermined the individual rights of the elected members of the SCM against which they have effect. Thus, the Constitutional Court intends to decide on issues that are already in the hands of ordinary courts, pre-empting in the respective cases. It follows that in a society in which respect for citizens' rights and freedoms must be the foundation of democratic life, the fundamental institution in their assurance seriously violates the individual's right to defense and the right to a fair trial, the freedom of association and the presumption of innocence, and guaranteed by the Constitution and all international conventions on the protection of human rights.


We see that the situation created is likely to seriously destabilize the national integrity system as a result of the imbalance between the different fundamental institutions: the Senate, the Constitutional Court, the Superior Council of Magistracy, the judiciary, and last but not least the organized citizens in the structures of civil society.


In this context, the signatory organizations appeal to all competent policy makers to treat with maximum accountability and transparency the implementation process of the two decisions so that the errors produced can be corrected and place Romania within the limits of a rule of law.


Contact person: Iulia Cospanaru (

Transparency International Romania Romanian Association for Transparency

Civil Society Development Foundation (FDSC)

Center for Support for Non-Governmental Organizations (CENTRAS)

Pro Democracy Association (APD)

Media Monitoring Agency - ActiveWatch

Center for Independent Journalism (CJI)

Center for Legal Resources (CRJ)

The Romanian Federation of Journalists MediaSind

The Romanian Press Club (CRP)

Trade Union Confederation Na

Data publicare: 08/02/2011