Romania’s Constitutional Court again calls on Venice Commission for help, claims judges threatened

Romania’s Constitutional Court has again gone to Council of Europe’s Venice Commission seeking support in the face of political pressure ahead of the Court’s ruling on the validity of the referendum. Venice Commission president Gianni Buquicchio (in picture) said he had “received additional information from the Court about continuing pressure and threats against individual judges,” in a statement made yesterday (August 7 ).

Buquicchio again underlined that pressuring any court, constitutional or otherwise, was unacceptable and said he found it “shocking” that Romania’s Constitutional Court felt under threat for a second time in such a short period of time. The Venice Commission president asked all Romanian politicians to stop attempting to influence the decisions of the Constitutional Court. Regarding the claims of threats made against individual judges Gianni Buquicchio said he expects 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.”

Just over a month ago, Romania’s Constitutional Court asked the Venice Commission for help after the government issued emergency ordinances and overturned its decisions.

The Court is awaited to say whether the presidential impeachment referendum on July 29 was valid, and gave August 31 as deadline for its decision, after further studying the country’s electoral rolls.

The Venice Commission, or the European Commission for Democracy through Law, is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters. Founded in 1990, the commission has played a lead role in the adoption of constitutions in Europe. The Commission meets four times a year at the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, in Venice. Originally the Commission included 18 Council of Europe states, since then it has expanded and now has 58 members, in Europe, Central Asia, North Africa and beyond.

Liam Lever, [email protected]

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