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CCR: Parliament erroneously interprets norms regarding appointment of new Councils for SRTv, SRR (motivation)

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The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) noted that Parliament managed only to erroneously interpret the legal norms regarding the procedure to appoint new Administration Councils for the Romanian Television Company (SRTv) and the Romanian Radio Company (SRR), applying them by infringing on the constitutional principle that consecrates the obligation of respect the law.

The Constitutional Court admitted last Thursday the challenge from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and decided that the Parliament Decisions regarding the appointment of ad-interim General Directors of SRTv and SRR are unconstitutional.

The Court mentions in the motivation regarding the appointment for the Romanian Television Company that, by adopting the critiqued decision, Parliament infringed the legal dispositions relevant in the case, namely art. 19 and art. 20 of the Law, invoking the applicability of the provisions of art. 21, para (3), which regulates a special situation, namely the transitory situation in which the appointment procedure of the administration council is not finalized by Parliament during the legislature in which it was started and is resumed after the constitution of the new Parliament.

"Or, it is obvious that the interim nature of the general director position of SRTv disposed by Decision 31/2021 is to be exercised during the legislature in which the procedure to appoint a new administration council was started, the hypothesis of a new Parliament being constituted in this interval being excluded," the document shows.

Moreover, the Court notes that the legal and factual situation also does not entail the incidence of provisions of art. 46, para (8) of the Law, which have as a premise the demotion of the administration council following the rejection of SRTv activity reports, as in the case the lack of legal session quorum was not noted during the plenum sitting of the Joint Chambers of Parliament, which would have allowed the Standing Bureaus of the two Chambers to appoint an interim general director.

"The court notes that, although Parliament in its entirety and each of its two Chambers enjoy full autonomy in what regards establishing legal norms that govern their organization and functioning, through their own rules or special laws that govern the ways in which the Parliament's attributions are exercised, the interpretation and application of regulations and legal norms that institute such procedural rules must always be done in good faith, in the spirit of a behaviour faithful to the Fundamental Law. In a contrary hypothesis, the results would be the blocking of the institution's activity, under the aspect of fulfilling constitutional attributions, with negative consequences on the democratic structures on which the state is founded on (see, mutatis mutandis, Decision no. 209 of March 7, 2012, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 188 of March 22, 2012)," the paper shows.

Thus, say constitutional judges, by combining legal provisions whose incidence is determined by fulfilling distinct conditions that exclude one another, Parliament made nothing more than an erroneous interpretation of the legal provisions regarding the procedure to appoint a new Administration Council of SRTv, applying them by infringing on the constitutional principle which consecrates the obligation to respect the laws, as provided by art. 1, para (5) of the Constitution.

"In conclusion, the Court notes that, by founding it on legal dispositions with no incidence in the case, Romanian Parliament Decision no. 31/2021 regarding the appointment of an ad-interim general director of the Romanian Television Company was adopted by disregarding the constitutional dispositions comprised in art. 1, para (5) which consecrates the principle of legality and supremacy of the Fundamental Law, as well as the provisions of art. 19 and 20 of Law no. 41/1994," the constitutional court mentions.

The same arguments were brought in the motivation of the decision to admit the challenge to the appointment of an ad-interim general director of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company.


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