Abstracts Nr 1, 2010


Valentin Constantin, Human Rights, Between “Don’t Want To” and “Can’t”


Abstract: The article is a set of reflections occasioned by the imminent entry into force of Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights. This reform confirms the transition from the “constitutional” goal to that of “victim protection”. This de facto change of goal raises legitimate doubts concerning effectiveness. In the particular case of Romania, the large number of complaints to the Court is explained in two main ways. The main source seems to reside in the ambiguity governing the direct application of the Convention by domestic judges. There are also additional factors involved in the crisis of enforcing the fundamental rights. The article focuses on one in particular: the weak commitment of judges to the values of the European Convention.

Keywords: European Convention on Human Rights, pilot decisions, margin of appreciation, fair satisfaction, self-executing treaty, jurisprudence, rule of law


Corneliu-Liviu Popescu, Preserving the Constitutional Regime after Constitutional Revision


Abstract: Political life is currently dominated by the revision of the Constitution. The article argues that a further step should be taken: adopting a new constitution. The fundamental values of democracy, rule of law and human rights must be clearly defined and, especially, safeguarded through a coherent, explicit, and detailed constitutional mechanism.

Keywords: constitutional reform, rule of law, political pluralism, independent judiciary, parliamentary control


Alina Mirabela Gentimir, Which Form of Autonomy Is Favorable to Romania?


            Abstract: Romania has adopted a democratic, human-rights-based perspective on religious and linguistic diversity after 1989. The efforts to harmonize domestic law with international standards have clearly proven the constant interest in guaranteeing the individual rights and liberties of the members of national minorities. The 2003 Constitution of Romania and the National Minorities Statute both acknowledge a right to cultural autonomy: to use the mother tongue in the court system, in education and in administration. As the Hungarian minority is the most important of its kind in Romania, the Bucharest authorities have been engaged in a constant dialogue with those in Budapest. The sensitive context in the Balkans and the two countries’ EU membership show that territorial autonomy in the three districts where Hungarians make up a majority of the population would be ineffectual.

Keywords: national minorities, international instruments, territorial autonomy, cultural autonomy, National Minorities Statute, Venice Commission


Gabriel Andreescu, An Answer to the Question: “Which Form of Autonomy…”


            Abstract: This study is a response to the previous article by Alina Mirabela Gentimir. It raises several traditional issues of national minority doctrine: the extent to which assessments of national policy may be “objective”; the relevance of international instruments in a society with powerful historic minorities; the relevance of territorial autonomy in relation to cultural (personal) autonomy. The article makes several critical observations concerning the National Minorities Statute, the draft of which has been awaiting adoption in the parliament since 2005.

Keywords: national minorities, minimal standards, special measures, territorial autonomy, cultural autonomy, National Minorities Statute