Igor Boțan: Despite state of emergency, constitutionality review should persist

Even if a state of emergency is declared in society, the principles of legality and the control of constitutionality should persist. This is one of the multiple lessons that should be learned following the state of emergency declared in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, expert Igor Boțan said in a public debate titled “Government’s performance during six months since its appointment and during two months of state of emergency: pros and cons” that was held by IPN News Agency.

Igor Boțan, who is the standing expert of IPN’s project, stated that when a state of emergency is declared, in most of the states the Government adopts decisions in a swift, efficient way and later Parliament checks to see if the taken decisions are in accordance with the Constitution. This way, during the state of emergency, the Governments have powers or extra-powers, commissions for exceptional situations are formed, while Parliaments check the legality of the decisions adopted in the period.

According to the expert, at least two situations during the state of emergency confirmed that the legality and constitutionality review should persist in the period. “I refer to the bill for which the Government assumed responsibility and challenges to the Constitutional Court were submitted as a result. The bill was ultimately declared unconstitutional and its provisions were included in an improved bill that was adopted ten days later. Finally, the constitutional control generated an improvement,” he stated.

“Another example is the bill to ratify the agreement on the provision of a Russian loan of €200 million. This was endorsed by the Government and Parliament, but was declared unconstitutional by the Court. It’s good that this agreement will be now renegotiated. The constitutionality review is necessary. This makes the whole administration be more disciplined so that it obeys all the rules when it takes decisions. This thing should be learned by the power and by the opposition,” stated Igor Boțan.

According to him, the pandemic caught many states unprepared and the way in which they acted was a lesson and an example that should be learned from each other so as to deduce the best practices that can be applied if a second wave of pandemic is eventually experienced.

The debate titled “Government’s performance during six months since its appointment and during two months of state of emergency: pros and cons” was the 135th installment of the series of debates “Development of political culture through public debates” that are supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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