Press release

15.09.2014 | autonomy , Constitution
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The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) expresses its deep concern about the position of the Romanian Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM) on the draft law for the autonomy of Szeklerland. As the guarantor of the independence of the judiciary system, the SCM has exceeded its constitutional framework by expressing a political point of view, about a political issue, on a draft law which as of yet only has been leaked in the press. CSM should not act as a political agent.

The position of the SCM is a serious infringement on the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press, the fundamental principles of rule of law and the principle of separation of powers. Thus, in countless decisions regarding the freedom of expression, the European Court of Human Rights has shown that the right “is applicable not only to information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb. Such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no democratic society” (ECHR Lingens c. Austria, no. 9815/82, decision dated 08.07.1986).

 

"Freedom of expression is valuable for anyone but is obligatory for persons elected in public office, political parties and their members, as they represent their voters, respond to their concerns and protect their interests" (Incal v. Turkey par. 46, see Bârsan Corneliu, European Convention on Human Rights, commented and annotated, vol. I, page 750, pct. 66).

 

"One of the main characteristics of democracy is addressing an issue via dialogue, without recourse to violence, even when the issue in case is extremely difficult or embarrassing, democracy feeds off the freedom of speech” (ibidem, pct. 66).

 

The SCM saying that this public debate, on a subject that is of public interest is “potentially harmful to the independence and prestige of the judiciary system and an aggression to the principle of rule of law" is a serious interference and violation of the right to freedom of expression and the freedom of the press.

 

The RMDSZ calls on the SCM to publish a report (for the years 2013 and 2014) regarding the implementation of the constitutional provisions on the use of mother tongue in court: the number of cases (civil, administrative or criminal) in which the mother tongue – Hungarian – was used; the SCM strategy in ensuring the use of mother tongue in legal affairs; human resources and materials allocated by SCM in this regard; and the efforts made by the SCM to promote the use of mother tongue in the ethnic minority communities.

 

Kelemen Hunor, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ)