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ROMANIA - STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE VENICE COMMISSION

07/08/2012

Strasbourg, Council of Europe - On 4 July 2012 I made a statement expressing concern about attempts to exercise pressure on the Constitutional Court of Romania and to undermine its independence. Yesterday I received additional information from the Court about continuing pressure and threats against individual judges.

It is a general principle of the rule of law that pressure on any court, whether constitutional or ordinary, in order to influence its decisions is inadmissible. In recent years the Venice Commission has sometimes had to intervene in order to protect the independence of a constitutional court in a new democracy. It is for me surprising, and even shocking, that for the second time in a short period of time the constitutional court of a member state of the Council of Europe and the European Union feels obliged to appeal to the Venice Commission in order to protect its independence.

I appeal to all state authorities and political parties of Romania to fully respect the independence of the Constitutional Court and to refrain from exercising pressure. As regards threats against individual judges, I expect that the Romanian authorities will protect the judges concerned and their families and take all necessary steps to bring the authors of such threats to justice.

Gianni BUQUICCHIO
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