CCR rules on existence of conflict between state powers

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Romania’s Constitutional Court (CCR) on Wednesday issued a unanimous opinion ruling on the existence of a constitutional conflict between the judiciary, on one hand, and Parliament and the Government, on the other.
‘In exercising its powers provided for in Article 12 6(3) of the Constitution, the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation is entitled to secure the uniform interpretation and enforcement of the law by all the courts of law, while obeying by the fundamental principle of separate and balanced state powers, enshrined in Article 1(4) of Romania’s Constitution.
The Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation may not institute, modify or abrogate judicial rules of a legal power or carry out the constitutional control thereof,’ reads the CCR opinion.
The ruling of the Constitutional Court is final and generally binding; it is published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part 1.
On May 4, President Traian Basescu called on the Constitutional Court to solve a conflict between the state powers, arguing that the judiciary had overstepped its powers.
‘The fact I mentioned is that under Law 50 of 1996 pay bonuses were granted to magistrates and similar staff,’ said Basescu.
He also argued that it is not normal for the judiciary to try to arrogate a prerogative that is not its under the Constitution, namely to manage part of the Budget. He explained that over the past years the judiciary staff had enjoyed constant pay rises, and now the society is entitled to request to see the outcome of the judiciary activity.
The President mentioned that with the reform of the pay system in 2000 for magistrates and other categories, under Government Ordinance 83/2000, all bonuses were included in the base pay so as to secure full pay transparency. Thus, the provisions of Law 50/1996 concerning the pay bonuses accorded to magistrates were expressly repealed and all the bonuses were included in the base pay.
The President claimed that this way the Budget was virtually established by the courts of law, and not the Government and Parliament, as normal, and thus the judiciary overstepped its powers.
‘This phenomenon has to stop and normalcy has to resume,’ said Basescu.
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