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A new fundamental right for the humans?

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Autor: Adrian Năstase 03 Sep 2008 - 00:00

In the Constitution, art. 23, called "individual freedom", specifies that "until the final court decision of conviction, a person is considered innocent." In short, it is the presumption of innocence. Nevertheless, an almost opposite principle is getting increasingly fashionable: the fundamental right of citizens of proving their innocence. Great offer. At least apparently.



In the Constitution, art. 23, called "individual freedom", specifies that "until the final court decision of conviction, a person is considered innocent." In short, it is the presumption of innocence. Nevertheless, an almost opposite principle is getting increasingly fashionable: the fundamental right of citizens of proving their innocence. Great offer. At least apparently.

Until yesterday, the presumption of innocence was the basic rule in our country, as in all civilized countries. It does not say that someone is innocent no matter what, as it seems to be suggested lately by certain lawyers. We're talking about something much more simple: no one is forced to prove their innocence because of a rumor, of some ghosts, of certain whispered attacks.

Once the DNA has begun to discard dozens of requests for starting the prosecution in the newspapers and on the tables of the Parliament, there were several politicians and commentators who have asked for those in this case to "have the right to probe their innocence in Court." Actually, a real pressure has begun to be exerted on the legislature, a pressure meant to intimidate it when very important decisions are needed. This pressure is not based on a presumption of innocence, but on the contrary: if you do not vote for the beginning of the prosecution, you are as "guilty" as they are, because the verdict of the political prosecutors had already come.

I would be naive not to admit that a politician can not handle certain privileges. On the other hand, it also has vulnerabilities recognized by all systems. He can be put under pressure to vote in a way or another, to be quiet about a certain issue or to look as guilty as his adversaries described him. These pressures may even take the form of judicial records. The role of the Parliament in approving such investigations is to filter out such pressures. If the filter itself is immoral or if it exists only as a specific formula for Romania, we should take it out of the Constitution. (A retired man from Prahova made me laugh the other day when he told me that the Romanian Constitution is seen as unconstitutional in Brussels). But, in this case, the politician would in the hands of those that can accuse him in Court endlessly. He would not have any more time for politics. He has to prove his innocence. This is what they want from the beginning.

Is any lawyer interested in the fact that, for example, all my files sent by the DNA in the Parliament are based on the same evidence and the Court has already declared that all that evidence was invalid? What can I defend in the Court in this situation? Why should the MPs agree to this pile of invalid papers that looks like the archive of a newspaper?  

The right to defend in Court doesn’t have to come from a certain person. It is the right o all humans given by the fundamental premises of the law that we apply. But we are talking about the right to probe one’s innocence in such a way that I think that we should mention it in the Constitution, distinctly, in a special chapter, together with the right to walk on the street or the right to open the window at certain times.
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