In a press release issued on Thursday, CSM informs that the magistrates have drawn up amendments to the draft uniform public pension law because they have detected some violations of European community law, of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Constitutional Court of Romania, a lack of understanding of professional risks, ignorance of incompatibilities and interdictions on the judiciary staff, a violation of the principle of law being non-retroactive and the non-discrimination principle of the law.
CSM is arguing that the current draft version of the law fails to meet the legislative technique norms because it does not provide for necessary, sufficient and possible rules that would lead to legislative stability and efficiency, and it also fails to meet the requirements for the harmonisation of the Romanian legislation with European legislation and international treaties to which Romania is a party.
‘From this angle, the legislative solutions are completely ungrounded and haphazard, obviously based on other criteria than legislative technique,’ reads the release.
CSM is pointing out that the magistrates and the ancillary staff of the judiciary are calling on the Government to allow them to keep their right to service pensions, which they won when they entered their profession and which should be recognised in the future as well because it is similar to the exiting rights in the UK, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia.
The release mentions that according to the ECHR jurisprudence, unjustified limitation of a right recognised to a magistrates, such as a special pension, which becomes an ignored right later on without reasonable justification, is tantamount to property dispossession as defined by Article 1 of the Protocol to the Convention and a discrimination as defined by Article 14 and Article 1 of Additional protocol 12.
In accordance with European norms, the Government has to guarantee to the judge who has turned the legal age for retirement the payment of a pension which size should be as close to his or her last remuneration before retirement as possible, says CSM.
CSM is also arguing that the new law cannot affect the pensions already paid, even when the pension computation methods are changed under a new regulation, because it is inadmissible that the law may operate retroactively.
It points to a decision of the Constitutional Court that says new regulations, such as those related to pension size, have no retroactive powers and their power is strictly for the future, starting with the date of their coming into force.
CSM is also indicating that the recalculation of pensions already paid out violates the principle of non-retroactive power for laws, as inscribed in the Constitution. In conclusion, CSM mentions that there are nearly 150,000 special pensions in Romania that entail a budgetary effort of nearly RON 10 billion, and, according to August 2009 data with the National House of Pensions and Other Social Security Rights (CNPAS) only 2,488 such pension beneficiaries are magistrates.