PRESS RELEASE, 14 December 2021

On 14 December 2021, the Constitutional Court, in the context of the review of laws subsequent to the promulgation, unanimously upheld the exception of unconstitutionality and found that the term “claims of the civil party” contained in the provisions of Article 10 (1) of Law No 241/2005 on the prevention and combating of tax evasion, in the version prior to the amendment by Law No 55/2021, was unconstitutional.

The Court found that the application of the case for the reduction of the penalty laid down in Law No 241/2005 may be made conditional by the legislator, inter alia, on the voluntary and full payment of the damage caused, and not on payment of the claims of the civil party.

The fulfilment of the condition relating to the full satisfaction of the civil party’s claims is inextricably linked to their amount and cannot be influenced by the determination of the amount of the damage by the prosecutor. From that perspective, it can be seen that the civil party is free to make claims in an amount much higher or much lower than the quantum of damage determined by the prosecutor. This leads either to the creation of an obstacle such as to prevent the recovery of the sum in question, and implicitly to the application of the ground for reduction of the penalty limits, or to the creation of a situation such as to favour certain defendants. Although the ground for reducing the penalty is regulated by the legislator, the fact that one of the conditions is satisfied by the amount of the “claims of the civil party” results in a situation in which the application of that benefit is subject to the conduct of the injured party/the expression of the will by the civil party.

By this method of regulation, the legislator has given the injured person/civil party a privileged position, where the mere expression of the will of the latter may determine whether or not the ground for reducing the penalty limits can be applied, contrary to the right to a fair trial and to the principle that justice is unique, impartial and equal for all, governed by the provisions of Articles 24 and 124 (2) of the Constitution.


The decision is final and generally binding.

The arguments set out in the grounds for the decision of the Constitutional Court will be set out in the decision, which will be published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I.

External Relations, Press and Protocol Department of the Constitutional Court