Constitutional Court institutes a procedure for evaluating Article 11-a as amended by the Pardon Act

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The Constitutional Court, at its session today, initiated a procedure to assess the constitutionality of Article 11-a of the 2016 Law on Amending the Pardon Act.

This Article of the Law provides for the President of the Republic to annul the pardon given without prior pardon procedure within 30 days from the day of adoption of this Law, whereby the President is not obliged to explain the decision.

The person who has been pardoned has the right to submit a request for annulment of the pardoning decision to the President of the Republic. The President of the Republic is obliged, within 30 days from the day of submitting the request, to annul the decision.

The Court considers that the Law amending the Pardon Act establishes a legal basis on which a pardon may be revoked, but such a statute goes beyond the powers vested in the President in Article 84 of the Constitution and can reasonably be questioned upon Article 8, paragraph 1, indent 3 of the Constitution, because it violates the principle of the rule of law and the legal security of the citizens.

– This amendment to the Law on Pardon, which gives the President the opportunity to annul the pardon that has already been given, leads to unequal treatment of the subjects. Namely, according to the Constitution, the President has the right only to grant pardon, but not to annul it, which means that the Constitution does not provide for the possibility of withdrawal of the previously pardoned, say the Constitutional Court.

They point out that in many EU Member States that were asked for their opinion on the material obtained it was concluded that in their legislation there was no possibility of withdrawal of the pardon.

 

“Namely, the pardon decision adopted by the president is an e sui generis act, which is neither an administrative act that would be challenged before the Administrative Courts, nor a normative act that could be challenged before the Constitutional Court,” the court said.

Having regard to the analysis made, as well as to international practice, the Court considers that the introduction of the possibility of annulment of the pardon granted in the contested law thereby calls into question its compliance with the principle of the rule of law and the legal certainty of the citizens of the North Macedonia provided for in Article 8, paragraph 1, indent 3 of the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court at today’s session did not initiate a procedure to assess the constitutionality of provisions of the Law on Material Security of the Unemployed due to the Privatization of State-Owned Enterprises, on the Law on Audio and Visual Media Services and on the Law on financing of local government units.

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