CC declares rise in number of SCM members from 12 to 15 unconstitutional

The law of December 2019 by which the Law on the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM) was amended and the Parliament decision of March 2020 concerning the appointment of four law professors as SCM members were declared unconstitutional. The Council will thus return to its makeup of 12 members, three of whom are chosen from among full-time law professors, instead of the current 15-member composition, IPN reports.

PAS MPs Sergiu Litvinenco and Veronica Roșca asked the Constitutional Court to pronounce on the constitutionality of the challenged law, arguing it was adopted by violating the procedures, in the absence of decisional transparency and of the necessary appraisals. The CC restored the provisions of the Law on the Superior Council of Magistracy that were in force before the adoption of the law of December 2019 and revoked the Parliament decision by which law professors Elena Belei, Carolina Ciugureanu-Mihăiluță, Valentina Coptileț and Ion Crețu were appointed as SCM members.

In a press briefing, CC president Domnica Manole said the decision to name the four as SCM members was adopted based on an unconstitutional law and in breach of the lawmaking procedures stipulated by the Constitution, with an essential requirement of parliamentary procedures being violated.

The Court suggested returning to the 12-member makeup of the SCM that includes three full-time law professors, but cannot decide which of the four current members of the Council from among law professors should remain on the Council. Therefore, the mandate of the four SCM members named by the challenged Parliament decision is interrupted on the date the judgment is pronounced. However, the documents adopted by the SCM meanwhile will not be affected.

The four full-time law professors were named SCM members by Parliament on March 17, 2020 by the votes of 55 Socialist and Democratic MPs.

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