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June 2, 2020
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Romanian Constitutional Court: The Fines Issued During Lockdown Are Not Constitutional

After the Romanian authorities imposed the most drastic authoritarian regime in the world during COVID-19 lockdown, while fines were increased up to 4,500 USD for petty violations of the curfew rules, the Romanian Constitutional Court decided these fines are not constitutional.

The fact is that up to 31 March, the fines were issued within certain limits. After that, the Liberal Government decided to issue Ordinance 34/2020 to increase their quantum. Thus, from 1100 USD the maximum fines reached 4,500 USD. Moreover, the persons couldn’t pay half of the minimum of the fine anymore in a certain amount of time, but only from the amount of the fine issued on their name.

The minister of Interior admitted abuses are committed by Romanian Police and all the other authorities. Romanian Ombudsman contested the legality of the Ordinance 34/2020 before the Constitutional Court and it proved the ordinance was not constitutional.

What happens from now on?

It seems that those who have already paid the fines issued under this ordinance cannot get their money back. Yet, they can sue the authorities in court, hoping for a favorable decision.

On the other hand, those who haven’t paid the fines so far will not be forced to pay them as the legal act which enforced the fines is not constitutional.

The authorities will still be able to issue fines, but only the ones mentioned by the previous law where the maximum fine was “only” 1100 USD.

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