High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania (HCCJ) requested an advisory opinion from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), following a plea by Chiuariu & Associates. The procedure was carried out in accordance with Article 1 of Protocol no. 16 of the European Convention of Human Rights (Convention).
This is the first case whereby the Supreme Court of Romania requests an advisory opinion, making use of Protocol no. 16 of the Convention. The request is related to a case which is currently in the phase of appeal on points of law (”recurs” in Romanian legal system), and the merits of the case concern confiscation of the assets that allegedly cannot be justified. The request for an advisory opinion is set to question the conformity of national legislation on control of wealth with the Convention.
According to Article 1 of Protocol no. 16 of the Convention, the supreme national courts of the High Contracting Parties, designated as such on the basis of Article 10, can request the Court to give advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or the protocols thereto. This can occur only in the context of a case pending before the national court. The Grand Chamber shall deliver the advisory opinion.
At national level, the procedure is regulated through Law no. 173/2022, which grants the competence to request advisory opinions to the High Court and the Constitutional Court, through Articles 2 and 3, respectively.
The original case remains suspended until the advisory opinion is to be delivered.
The representation in front of the HCCJ was performed by Dr. Tudor Chiuariu.