On March 16 this year, the Constitutional Court announced its decision on the initiative of the revision of article 70 item 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova in respect of parliamentary immunity. The proposal on limiting parliamentary immunity was made by the Government on March 1 in the following wording: « A deputy mustn’t be subjected to searches as corporal, so and in the house in which he lives, can’t be detained or arrested without the Parliament's resolution, excepting the cases, when the judgment is passed on, being not subject to appeal and in case of an egregiously criminal act».
At the moment, Article 70 reads as follows: «The deputy can’t be arrested, detained, be subjected to searches, excepting the cases of egregiously criminal act, or can’t be judged without Parliament's resolution».
In the bill of the government is proposed to abolish the parliamentary immunity not only in the case of serious crimes, but also at the stage of institution of criminal proceedings or in the case of a final judgment.
The Court recalled that earlier has announced the decisions on the revision of the parliamentary immunity in orders №1 from 25.01.01., №1 from 25.11.11 and №2 from 10.11.15, in the framework of which the court praised the draft legislations that including the offer to abolish the parliamentary immunity. Thus, the Constitutional Court said that, in principle, immunity may be limited.
In regard to the bill, proposed in March this year, the court considers that it would create uncertainty, namely in regard to the final judgment. This item, according to the court, it will be difficult to interpret.
Also, the Constitutional Court said that the bill proposed in early March, contradicts the previously accepted norms of CC (in the law decision №2 from 20.01.15 the Court ruled that the immunity doesn’t protect a convicted deputy, as its action in this case terminates).
Based on these circumstances, the Court ruled that the proposed bill of amendment the Constitution violates the norms described in Article 142, as it creates uncertainty in terms of «parliamentary immunity» and «the presence of a final judgment».
Thus, the court ruled that the bill can’t be submitted to Parliament for further reading in its present form, but only after in it will be made the appropriate changes.
Decision of the Constitutional Court is final and not appealable.
We recall that the proposal of the Government states that the executive board members don’t have the same immunity as deputies, which violates the principle of equality of the branches of government.
In the rights and obligations of members of all 3 branches of government shouldn’t be differences in legal defense.
Currently, criminal prosecution of deputies and their conviction is impossible without resolution of the Parliament.