Think the overall state of emergency ‘lockdown’ has not been ruled on here, but the right to charge/fine people for breaking the lockdown is not strictly kosher
Romania: State of Emergency decree issued on 26 March ruled unconstitutional
By Daniel Stroe/ Published on: 07/05/2020
Romania’s Constitutional Court (CCR) ruled on Wednesday that the government’s state of emergency decree no 34/2020 issued on 26 March amending the article no. OUG 1/1999 on the state of siege and state of emergency had been found unconstitutional. According to the CCR, the government cannot restrict the exercise of rights and freedoms through an emergency decree. These decisions can only be taken by a law approved by Parliament.
According to the decision, the provisions of two articles of the Government Emergency Decree no OUG 1/1999 and no OUG 34/2020 concerning fines for non-compliance with restrictions during the state of emergency, “are characterized by a lack of clarity, accuracy and predictability”, which “encourages the police to arbitrarily punish offenders”. The CCR states in a press release that the law on infringement, like criminal law, is subsidiary, and should intervene only when other legal remedies are not sufficient to protect certain social values.
About 300,000 fines have been imposed since the state of emergency came into force, totaling more than 600 million lei (about 120m euros) for the violation of the restrictive measures.
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said he was “shocked” by the Constitutional Court’s ruling, which justifies “a very small minority that does not respect the law” and ignores the “overwhelming majority, over 98%”, who behaved “responsibly during this period “. He added that the government would seek “a legal way to allow the authorities” to fight “effectively against those who do not respect the rules” and risk spreading the virus. “We will definitely find constitutional and legislative solutions”, said Prime Minister Ludovic Orban. He claims the CCR’s decision is an “invitation for every citizen to break the law” and the rules that were enacted during the state of emergency. “Basically, it’s a call for anarchy and it’s a call for misbehavior towards society”, Orban stressed.