Common rules

Concerning the powers of the Court

Institutions of proceedings can be made before the Constitutional Court only for the cases expressly provided under Article 146 of the Constitution or under its organic Law no.47/1992.

In the exercise of its powers, the Constitutional Court shall be the only authority entitled to decide upon its competence. The competence of the Constitutional Court cannot be contested by any public authority.

The Constitutional Court shall adjudicate only on the constitutionality of acts on which it was referred, without being able to modify or supplement the provisions under review.

Concerning the acts of referral

The institutions of proceedings shall be made in writing and they shall be motivated.

Pursuant to Article 45 (1) of the Regulations on the organisation and functioning of the Constitutional Court, hereinafter referred to as the Regulations, Acts of reference to the Court shall be those established by law, whether delivered by post or courier. Such shall be filed in at the Clerk, Registry and Archive Compartment, where – on that same day – receive a date certain, after which are submitted by the First Assistant-Magistrate to the President of the Court, with the envelopes attached.

Other requests and acts of jurisdictional character, arrived by post or courier or delivered in person, as well as those sent by telegram, fax or electronic mail shall be recorded and then submitted to the President.

Applications to the Constitutional Court are exempt from stamp duty.

Concerning the activity prior to the hearing session

The jurisdictional procedure provided by Law no.47/1992 shall be supplemented by the rules of civil procedure, to the extent to which they are compatible with the nature of the proceedings before the Constitutional Court. The compatibility shall be decided exclusively by the Court.

The President of the Constitutional Court, having received the act of reference, shall designate the Judge-Rapporteur and the assistant-magistrate, by his dated signature, and shall set the date of the hearing in the cases provided by law.

The act of reference shall be returned by the First Assistant-Magistrate to the Clerk, Registry and Archive Compartment, where – on that same day – it receives number from the Register of case file entry/exit and is recorded in the general Register of case files.

Once the case has been duly assigned by the President of the Constitutional Court, the creation, photocopying and distribution of the case file record to the Constitutional Court Judges’ offices and to the assistant-magistrate shall be forthwith carried out.

Upon creation of a new case file folder, the following shall be noted on its cover: name of the Constitutional Court, case file number, authors of the referral, subject matter of referral and date of trial, once it has been fixed.

The case file folder must have all paper files sewn and numbered.

Dispatch of correspondence of jurisdictional character shall be made by post, courier, fax, electronic mail or through any other communication channel which allows identification and tracking down, and ensures its official character.

Pursuant to Article 76 of Law no.47/1992, public authorities, institutions, self-managed public companies, trading companies and all the other organizations shall have to communicate any information, documents, and deeds they hold, and which are requested by the Constitutional Court for the fulfilment of its powers.

The assistant-magistrate assigned to the case shall prepare proceedings for the debate and shall prepare the draft report.

The Judge-Rapporteur, analysing the draft report, the viewpoints and the information as he might have requested, the solutions of Romanian and foreign doctrine and case-law, as well as any other information necessary to debate, shall draw up a written report on the case.

The Chief Clerk shall take measures to provide photocopies, for each of the Judges and the assistant-magistrate assigned to the case, of the report prepared in the case, of duly received viewpoints in connection with the case, as well as other documents in the case file, if appropriate.

Notification of the parties shall be made only in cases provided for in Article 146 d), e) and k) of the Constitution.

Under the assistant-magistrate’s guidance, the clerk shall prepare the draft summons and their notice and write down reports concerning other operative ways for calling appearance before the Constitutional Court.

Preparation of draft summons and issuance of proceedings for calling appearance before the Constitutional Court shall be instantly carried out once the date of hearing has been fixed, in urgent cases, or on the next working day at the latest, in the other cases. The clerks who accomplish the summoning procedure shall mention the day of issuance thereof, on the summons forms.

Extraction of files from the premises of the Constitutional Court is forbidden.

Case files shall be made available for study to the parties or their legal representatives within the Clerk, Registry and Archive Compartment during public opening hours, after identification and having noted down the applicant’s name and surname, while checking identity papers, powers of attorney or delegations, as well as whether files have been returned intact. The registry clerk shall be supervising the study of case files.

At request by either of the parties or their legal representatives, the President may order the release of copies of documents from the Constitutional Court case file.

Concerning hearing session

The Constitutional Court shall be authorised to act in the presence of two-thirds of the Judges.

The sessions of judgement shall be open, unless the Court may, with good reason, decide otherwise.

The acts and proceedings of the Constitutional Court, on the basis of which it shall pronounce its decisions and rulings or it shall issue its advisory opinions shall not be made public.

All Judges of the Constitutional Court shall have to participate in the Plenum sessions, except where some of them are not in attendance for justified reasons.

Sessions shall be presided over by the President of the Constitutional Court. In the absence of the President of the Court, the sessions shall be presided over by a Judge designated by the President. Sessions must also be attended by the assistant-magistrate assigned to the Judge-Rapporteur and, in cases provided by law, by the representative of the Public Ministry and by other persons or authorities summoned to this end.

The access of the public is restricted to the number of seats in the courtroom. The Secretary General shall take measures so as to ensure public access into the courtroom.

The auxiliary specialised staff who has been designated to attend the session proceedings shall announce entrance and exit of the Court’s Plenum, to the public in the courtroom. When the Judges enter or withdraw, the public is commanded to rise.

For purposes of ensuring the solemnity of sessions, the utilisation of any sound or video equipment for taking, recording, or broadcasting voice and/or picture in the courtroom shall be allowed only before commencement of proceedings, with prior authorisation of the President of the Constitutional Court.

Any kind of propaganda, either viva voce or by posters, placards or other similar materials shall be strictly forbidden, under the sanction of being removed from the courtroom and having police called in, if the President of the Constitutional Court so deems necessary in regard of the gravity of such activity.

Provisions under Articles 122 and 123 of the Code of Civil Procedure on the rules of conduct while in court shall apply accordingly.

While attending public sessions, the Judges, the assistant-magistrates, public prosecutors, and lawyers shall wear court attires (robes).

Once legally vested with a case, the Court shall proceed to carrying on the review of constitutionality, in which neither provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure regarding the suspension, interruption or termination of proceedings, nor those concerning the challenge of Judges shall be applicable.

A joining of cases entered on the docket of the Constitutional Court is ordered when the object of the exception is identical.

The assistant-magistrate who has prepared the proceedings shall enter courtroom before the beginning of the hearing, and take on the cases as assigned to him/her.

After the President has opened proceedings, the cases shall be called out by the assistant-magistrates, in the order established on the hearing list. The President, upon request by the parties or ex officio, can order that some files be called out with priority or left for the end of the session.

For each and every case, the assistant-magistrate takes the call-over of the parties, thereafter reports about the manner in which the summoning procedure and other measures ordered by the Constitutional Court to the process have been accomplished, and gives a brief account on the case subject-matter and stage of the proceedings.

In the course of a public session the assistant-magistrate shall take notes, per case number, of the oral arguments made by the parties and by the public prosecutor, of the measures ordered by the Court, as well as of any other aspects arising from the development of the proceedings, in the record book whose pages are consecutively numbered and affixed with a seal. On its basis, the assistant-magistrate shall prepare the minutes of the proceedings. Such records shall be kept in the archives of the Court for a period of five years as from the date of the last written notes.

Should the Constitutional Court defer the delivery of judgment, the President shall announce the day set for the pronouncement. As a rule, such postponement shall not exceed thirty days. When pronouncement is being given, the date on which the debates have taken place shall also be entered in the register of adjudication sessions. Where proceedings or pronouncement in the case have been adjourned, the assistant-magistrate shall write down the fixed date in the Journal of judgement sessions, and within the next 24 hours prepare the interim order of adjournment, which must state the reasons for such measure.

After drawing up the interim order, the assistant-magistrate shall hand over the case file to the clerk in order to accomplish the summoning procedure, as applicable, and ensure that any other measure ordered by the Constitutional Court is being carried through.

Concerning the sessions of deliberation

Deliberation shall be in secret, and only the Judges who have also taken part in the debate proceedings and the assistant-magistrate assigned to the case are allowed to attend.

The first one to vote is the Judge-Rapporteur, second comes the youngest of the Judges, then the others, while the President of the Constitutional Court is the last to vote.

Where either of the Judges demands to interrupt deliberation in order to have a better sight into the matters under their current examination, and the President of the Constitutional Court or at least one third of the Judges of the Plenum consider that such request has good reason, pronouncement shall be adjourned for a later date, taking into account the urgency of the case.

If not all of the Judges who have taken part in the debate proceedings are present or where conditions provided by Article 58(3) of Law no.47/1992 are met, adjudication on the case shall be deferred for a later date. Postponement shall be written down in an interim order which is prepared by the assistant-magistrate and must state the reasons for such measure.

If further clarification of certain aspects may appear to be necessary while in the process of deliberation or for lack of required concurrence by the majority established under Article 51(1) second sentence of Law no.47/1992, republished, the President of the Constitutional Court may order that proceedings be re-opened, also fixing a new trial date. The assistant-magistrate shall prepare the interim order, which must state the reasons for such measure.

In cases provided above, the interim orders shall be prepared within 24 hours, and the dates fixed thereupon shall be entered in the Journal of judgements sessions.

The result of the deliberation is recorded in the minutes, which is signed by the Judges who have taken part in the session and by the assistant-magistrate.

The assistant-magistrate shall forthwith enter the dispositions of the case as have been rendered, into the register of sessions, and it shall be signed by the Judges.

Concerning the activities following the session of pronouncement

Decisions, rulings and advisory opinions are drafted by the assistant-magistrate who attended the debate, under the direction of the judge-rapporteur. Drafting period shall not exceed 30 days from the pronouncement.

Judges who have given a negative vote may formulate a separate opinion. With regard to the reasoning of the decision, it is also possible to write a concurring opinion. The separate (dissenting) and, as the case may be, concurring opinion shall be published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, together with the decision.

Decisions, rulings, or advisory opinions shall be certified by the President of the Constitutional Court and by the assistant-magistrate who has participated in the proceedings. They receive numbers in their order of entry on the register of sessions, but singled out as decisions, rulings, and advisory opinions.

The acts of the Constitutional Court shall be prepared in as many copies as needed in order to have them attached to the case file, communicated in the cases provided by law, and sent for publication to the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I.

After drafting the decision, ruling, advisory opinion or interim order, the Assistant-Magistrate shall return the case file to the Clerk, Registry and Archives compartment.

After adjudication of the case, the folder shall be laced up and sealed, and on the inside back cover the registry clerk shall certify the number of paper files in figures and words.

Return of original documents filed in with the Constitutional Court shall be approved by the President of the Court upon motivated request made by the petitioner, and only if the document can be kept as paper copy, without so causing prejudice to either of the parties in proceedings. The document copy shall be certified for conformity by the Chief Clerk, who shall affix the Constitutional Court stamp on each and every page.


Concerning publication of the acts issued by the Court

Decisions and rulings shall be delivered in the name of the law.

Decisions, rulings and advisory opinions of the Constitutional Court shall be published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I.

Concerning the effects of the acts by the Court

The advisory opinion concerning the proposal for suspension from office of the President of Romania is the only act of the Court having merely advisory nature.

Decisions and rulings of the Constitutional Court shall be generally binding and with effects only for the future.

Therefore, all public authorities must comply with the decisions and rulings of the Constitutional Court. Likewise, pursuant to its case-law, the res judicata accompanying jurisdictional acts, therefore also the decisions of the Constitutional Court, shall apply not only to the operative part but also to the reasoning part thereof. Consequently, Parliament and Government, respectively public authorities and institutions are to fully comply with both the operative part and the reasoning part therein. To that effect, see Decision no. 1/1995of the Plenum of the Constitutional Court, Decision no.1415/2009, Decision no.414/2010, Decision no.415/2010.