Decision U.no. 19/2016

U.no. 19/2016

On the basis of Article 110 line 1 and Article 112 paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia and Article 70 line 1 of the Rules of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia (»Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia«, no.70/1992), at its session held on 16 March 2016, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia took the following

DECISION

1. The Law on Changing and Supplementing the Law on Pardon (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia”, no.12/2009) SHALL BE REPEALED.

2. This decision shall generate legal effects from the date of its publication in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia”.

3. Upon the application filed by the lawyer Risto Kitevski from Ohrid, with its Resolution U.br.19/2016 dated 24 February 2016 the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia instigated proceedings for appraising the constitutionality of the Law noted in item 1 of the present Decision, as there was a reasonable question raised with regard to its accordance with Article 8 paragraph 1 lines 3 and 4, Article 9 and Article 84 line 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

4. At its session the Court found that in Article 1 of the Law on Pardon (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” no.20/1993) Article 1 of the impugned Law on Changing and Supplementing the Law on Pardon replaces the word “Law” after the word “The Criminal” with the word “Code”, and two new paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 are added after paragraph 1 which read:

“The President of the Republic of Macedonia shall grant pardon for criminal offences prescribed by the criminal law of another state, if the perpetrator is a Macedonian citizen and is serving the sentence in the Republic of Macedonia based on the execution of a criminal judgment of a foreign or international court, if it is defined by international treaty, or if reciprocity exists, or if the sanction is also imposed by the domestic court under the Criminal Code.

Pardon may not be granted to persons convicted of criminal offences against elections and voting under Chapter XVI of the Criminal Code (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” nos. 37/96, 80/99, 4/2002, 43/2003, 19/2004, 60/2006, 73/2006, 7/2008 and 139/2008), criminal offences against sexual freedom and morality under Chapter XIX of the Criminal Code committed against children and minors, criminal offences against the public health under Chapter XIX: criminal offence unauthorised production and sale of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors under Article 215 and the criminal offence enabling the use of narcotic drugs under Article 216 and criminal offences against humanity and international law under Chapter XXXIV of the Criminal Code.

The President of the Republic of Macedonia may not grant a pardon to a person who is a citizen of the Republic of Macedonia and is serving a sentence in the Republic of Macedonia, and has been convicted by a judgment of an international criminal court.

Pursuant to Article 2 of the contested Law, a new Article 1-a is added after Article 1, which contains two paragraphs.

Under paragraph 1 of the new Article 1-a, the President of the Republic of Macedonia shall, with pardon, grant immunity from prosecution, or full or partial exemption from the execution of the sentence, replace the sentence pronounced with a more lenient punishment or alternative measures, or determine removal of the conviction, or its repeal, that is, determine reduction of a specific legal consequence from the conviction or sentence. Pursuant to paragraph 2, pardon may determine repeal or shorter length of the following penalties: a ban on performing a profession, activity or duty, ban on driving a motor vehicle against offenders who are drivers by profession, and expulsion of a foreigner from the country.

Article 3 of the contested Law replaces the words “judiciary and administration” in Article 2 paragraph 3 and Article 3 paragraph 2 of the Law on Pardon with the word “justice.”

Pursuant to Article 4 of the impugned Law, in Article 5 paragraph 1 the words “the Republic” are replaced with the words “Republic of Macedonia”, and paragraph 3 is amended as follows: “A person who is serving a sentence shall file his/her application for pardon to the competent court through the administration of the penitentiary institution where he/she is serving his/her sentence. The penitentiary shall, within eight days of receipt of the application, report on the conduct of the convicted person, or provide other information of importance for deciding on the application and shall submit it to the competent court.

Article 5 of the contested Law adds a new Article 5-a after Article 5, which contains two paragraphs.

Under paragraph 1 of the new Article 5-a the President of the Republic of Macedonia shall, with decision, establish a Commission on Pardons and determine the composition and number of the members of the Commission, which shall adopt Rules on the manner of its work. Pursuant to paragraph 2 of the same Article, in preparing proposals the  Commission on Pardons takes into consideration the following criteria: the nature, type and seriousness of the crime; personality of the convict and his former life, the behavior of the convicted person after the conviction and while serving the sentence, the relation to the crime committed, previous convictions, achieved level of resocialisation, age and health condition of the convict and his family circumstances; and the impact of the pardon act on the environment the convict comes from and the environment where he committed the criminal offence.

Article 6 of the impugned Law adds two new paragraphs 3 and 4 in Article 6 after paragraph 2.

Under the new paragraph 3 of Article 6, the application for pardon may be resubmitted after the expiration of five years from the date of the decision on the previous application, when a life sentence is pronounced.

Pursuant to the new paragraph 4 of this Article, if the pardon procedure is initiated ex officio, the deadline for re-submitting an application for pardon referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall run from the date of adoption of the decision on granting the pardon ex officio
.
Article 7 of the contested Law replaces the words “judiciary and administration” in Article 8 paragraph 2 with the word “justice”, and following paragraph 2 a new paragraph 3 is added which reads: “The court shall act upon the pardon application immediately and communicate it to the Ministry of Justice with all the writs within 30 days at the latest from the date of receipt.”

Under Article 8, Article 9 is amended and reads as follows: “Upon receipt the Minister of Justice shall consider the application and the other writs and together with his proposal shall submit it to the President of the Republic of Macedonia within 30 days.”

Article 9 amends Article 10 which reads as follows: “The court, that is, the Ministry of Justice shall stop the pardon procedure if the convicted person withdraws his/her pardon application, if he/she has served the sentence, if the legal consequence of the conviction has terminated, if a decision of the court has been made on grounds of an extraordinary remedy or if the convicted person dies during the pardon procedure.”

Article 10 of the impugned Law provides for the deletion of Article 11.

Article 11 amends Article 12 so that the word “law” is replaced with the word “Code”.

Article 12 amends Article 14 so that the words “judiciary and administration” are replaced with the word “justice.”

Pursuant to Article 13 of the contested Law, this Law enters into force on the eighth day after its publication in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia”.

5. The rule of law and separation of state powers into legislative, executive and judicial are the fundamental values of the constitutional order of the Republic of Macedonia, in the sense of Article 8 paragraph 1 lines 3 and 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

Article 9 of the Constitution stipulates that the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia are equal in their freedoms and rights irrespective of their sex, race, colour of skin, national and social origin, political and religious affiliation, property and social status. All citizens are equal before the Constitution and law.

Pursuant to Article 51 paragraph 1 of the Constitution, in the Republic of Macedonia laws shall be in accordance with the Constitution and all other regulations in accordance with the Constitution and law. Under paragraph 2 of the same Article, everyone is obliged to observe the Constitution and the laws.

Under Article 68 paragraph 1 lines 2 and 17 of the Constitution, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia adopts laws and gives the authentic interpretation of laws and proclaims amnesties.

Under Article 79 paragraph 3 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic exercises his/her rights and duties on the basis and within the frameworks of the Constitution and laws.

Pursuant to Article 84 line 9 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic of Macedonia grants pardons in accordance with the law.

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia decides on the conformity of the laws with the Constitution (Article 110 line 1 of the Constitution).

Pursuant to Article 112 paragraph 1 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court shall repeal or invalidate a law if it determines that the law does not conform to the Constitution. Under paragraph 3 of this Article, the decisions of the Constitutional Court are final and executive.

The right of the President of the Republic to give pardon is his constitutional authority. Thereby, in the same provision in the Constitution which stipulates this right it is also provided that it be exercised in accordance with law.

The legislator regulates the content of the institute pardon under the Criminal Code (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” nos. 37/1996, 80/1999, 4/2002, 43/2003, 19/2004, 81/2005, 60/2006, 73/2006, 7/2008, 139/2008, 114/2009, 51/2011, 51/2011, 135/2011, 185/2011, 142/2012, 166/2012, 55/2013, 82/2013, 14/2014; 27/2014, 28/2014, 41/2014 – correction, 41/2014 – correction, 115/2014, 132/2014, 160/2014, 199/2014, 196/2015 and 226/2015) and the Law on Pardon (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” no.20/1993 and 12/2009).

Thus, in accordance with Article 114 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code, the pardon grants an individually named person immunity from prosecution, or full or partial exemption from the execution of the sentence, replaces the pronounced sentence with a less severe punishment or alternative measures or determines removal of the conviction, or revokes that is renders a shorter duration of certain legal consequence from the conviction or sentence.

Under paragraph 2 of the same article, the pardon may determine the revoking or shorter duration of these penalties, prohibition of performing profession, activity or duty, ban on driving a motor vehicle for offenders who are drivers by profession and expulsion of a foreigner from the country. The granting of amnesty or pardon shall not interfere with the rights of third parties based on the conviction (Article 115).

The impugned Law Changing and Supplementing the Law on Pardon contains an identical definition of the content of this institute.

The Criminal Procedure Code (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” nos.150/2010 and 100/2012) governs the legal effect of a given pardon in criminal proceedings. In such a case, it is one of the grounds for: rejection of criminal charges (Article 288 paragraph 1); stopping of the investigation (Article 304 paragraph 1 line 2); adoption of a judgment rejecting the indictment where the accused was released from criminal prosecution with pardon (Article 402, item 6); a violation of the Criminal Code as a basis for an appeal when the prosecution is excluded due to pardon (Article 416, item 3); modification of a final judgment without reopening of proceedings with which a single sentence is pronounced for several criminal offences that could not be executed in part because of the pardon (Article 447 paragraph 1 item 4); and filing an application to reopen the criminal proceedings after the convicted person has served the sentence regardless of the pardon (Article 451 paragraph 2).

The Pardon Law (including the amendments of the impugned Law) regulates other issues as well: the President grants pardon to individually named persons for criminal offences provided for by laws of the Republic of Macedonia, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code and the provisions of this Law (Article 1 paragraph 1); the possibility to grant pardon for criminal offences prescribed by a criminal code of another state, if the perpetrator is a Macedonian citizen and the conditions under which it can be given (Article 1, paragraph 2); establishes a limit for which criminal offences and in which cases pardon may not be granted (Article 1, paragraphs 3 and 4); determines the ways in which the pardon proceedings is initiated – at the request of the convict and ex officio (Article 2); the conditions for initiating an pardon proceedings for exemption from criminal prosecution and persons authorised for initiating the proceedings (Article 3); the urgency of the pardon proceedings (Article 4); the bodies with which the pardon application is filed and the actions that they are required to take (Article 5); the establishment of the Commission for Pardons by the President of the Republic and the determination of its composition and number, the method of regulation of its work and the criteria for preparing proposals for pardon (Article 5-a); the moment when an pardon application may be filed (Article 6); the acting of the court, the Ministry of Justice and other competent authorities in the pardon procedure (Articles 7, 8, 9 and 10); the legal consequences when the pardon replaces the pronounced sentence with a suspended sentence, that is, when pardon determines removal of the conviction (Articles 12 and 13); and establishes the authority for the Minister of Justice to adopt a bylaw (instruction) for the action of the courts and penitentiaries in cases for pardon and the period in which this act is to be adopted (Article 14).

It follows that the exercise of this competence of the President of the Republic refers to the rights and freedoms of the individual and citizen, has an impact in the criminal-legal sphere and that there is unquestionably constitutional ground, but also a need for legal operationalisation of this right in terms of the proceedings in which a decision is taken on granting pardon, definition of the content of the law itself, the obligations of the other bodies involved in the proceedings, rights of persons on whose application pardon is requested, etc.

On the other hand, when considering the conformity of the L which is here challenged with the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, a necessary question that is raised is whether the provisions contained therein violate the fundamental value of the constitutional order – the division of state powers into legislative, executive and judicial, equality of citizens and the constitutional right to grant pardon of the President of the Republic and his constitutional position as part of the executive power.

The impugned Law for Changing and Supplementing the Pardon Law, inter alia, in Article 1 in the new paragraph 3 provides for a limitation for the President of the Republic in granting pardon, so that he may not grant pardon to the persons convicted of the criminal offences defined in the same paragraph.

It is a new legal solution which is not stipulated in the 1993 Pardon Law. In fact, Article 1 of this Law has only one paragraph, under which the President of the Republic of Macedonia grants pardon to individually named persons for criminal offences provided for by the laws of the Republic of Macedonia, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code and the provisions of this Law.

Pursuant to the new paragraph 3, the restriction applies to persons convicted of: criminal offences against elections and voting of Chapter XVI of the Criminal Code (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” nos.37/96, 80/99, 4/2002, 43/2003, 19/2004, 60/2006, 73/2006, 7/2008 and 139/2008); criminal offences against sexual freedom and morality of Chapter XIX of the Criminal Code committed against children and minors; criminal offences against the public health of Chapter XXI; criminal offence unauthorised production and sale of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors referred to in Article 215; criminal offence enabling the use of narcotic drugs referred to in article 216; and criminal offences against humanity and international law from Chapter XXXIV of the Criminal Code.

Thereby, the reason why the legislator has foreseen this solution is contained in the explanation of the Proposed Law on Changing and Supplementing the Pardon Law. There it is stated that the basic purpose (for the proposal of the solution) is not to grant pardon for these criminal offences to prevent from committing these criminal offences in the future, as well as eradicate and highlight the importance of protection from the criminal offences.
Prevention from commission of these criminal offences in the future as considered by the legislator, according to the Court cannot be a reason for restricting the right to grant pardon in the manner envisaged by the impugned Law on Changing and Supplementing the Pardon Law.

Specifically, prevention in criminal law is related to the purpose of punishment, which, besides the repressive, has a function of preventing the commission of criminal offences which can be directed towards the offender (“special prevention”) or other members of society (“general prevention”).

In particular, the Criminal Code in its Article 32 establishes that in addition to the realisation of justice, the purpose of punishment is: preventing the offender from committing criminal offences and his rehabilitation and to have educational influence on others not to commit criminal offences.

Thereby, the Code in Article 33 paragraph 1 establishes the following types of punishment: imprisonment; fine; ban on performing profession, activity or duty; prohibition to drive a motor vehicle; expulsion of a foreigner from the country; and a ban on attending sports competitions.

Furthermore, Article 39 paragraph 1 of the Code stipulates that the court shall mete out punishment to the perpetrator of a criminal offence within the limits prescribed by law for that crime, considering the criminal liability of the offender, the seriousness of the offence and the purposes of punishment. Paragraph 2 of this Article provides that the court shall consider all the circumstances affecting the punishment to be lesser or greater (mitigating and aggravating circumstances), and in particular: the level of criminal liability, motives for which the crime was committed, the gravity of the threat or damage to the protected good, the circumstances under which the crime was committed, the contribution of the victim in the commission of the crime, the previous life of the offender, his personal situation and his conduct after the committed crime, and other circumstances relating to the offender’s personality.

In addition to the penalties, the Criminal Code provides for alternative measures and security measures as criminal sanctions through which prevention is also realised. Thus, under Article 48 of this Code, the purpose of alternative measures is that a punishment is not pronounced against criminally liable offender for minor offences when it is not necessary for criminal-legal protection and when it can be expected that the purpose of punishment can be achieved with a warning with a threat of punishment (suspended sentence), a warning (court reprimand) or measures of assistance and supervision of the conduct of the perpetrator while being free. Under Article 60 of the same Code, the purpose of the security measures is to remove situations or conditions that may affect the perpetrator in the future to commit criminal offences.

On the other hand, the Criminal Code does not specify the pardon as a punishment, that is, criminal sanction and systematises it in a separate chapter from the General Part of the Criminal Code (Chapter XI “Amnesty and pardon).”
The reason being that by its nature it is not an act with the character of punishment or other criminal sanction through which prevention would be achieved. The pardon only expresses a milder attitude towards the offender and it is irrevocable and final act of mercy of the President of the Republic, who does not decide in the capacity of a judicial authority, but as a state body that has obtained his legitimacy from the citizens through direct elections.

The pardon is an inviolable constitutional and legal right of the President of the Republic of Macedonia, which can be used on his own assessment in a procedure which is defined by law and for the reasons that may not be of a criminal-legal nature (for instance, social, health, political reasons or for reasons of justness) and does not go into the factual and legal assessment of the court. The pardon may be given prior to the sentencing in the form of exemption from criminal prosecution or after the judgment pronouncing the sentence becomes final.
In addition, the way in which the criminal offences are defined in our criminal law provides no basis for the legislator to exclude certain offences from the possibility for pardon.

Namely, under Article 7 of the Criminal Code, a criminal offense is an unlawful act which is by law defined as a criminal offence and whose characteristics are determined by law.

Furthermore, the Special Part of the Criminal Code classifies the criminal offences as follows: Chapter XIV (Crimes against life and body); Chapter XV (Crimes against the freedoms and rights of the individual and citizen); Chapter XVI (Criminal offences against elections and voting); Chapter XVII (Criminal offences against the working relations); Chapter XVIII (Criminal offences against the honor and reputation); Chapter XIX (Criminal offences against sexual freedom and morality); Chapter XX (Criminal offences against marriage, family and youth); Chapter XXI (Criminal offences against public health); Chapter XXII (Criminal offences against the environment and nature); Chapter XXIII (Criminal offences against property); Chapter XXIV (Criminal offences against the cultural heritage and natural rarities); Chapter XXV (Criminal offences against public finances, payment operations and economy); Chapter XXVI (Criminal offences against general security of people and property); Chapter XXVII (Criminal offences against public transport safety); Chapter XXVIII (Criminal offences against the State); Chapter XXIX (Criminal offences against the Armed Forces); Chapter XXX (Criminal offences against official duty); Chapter XXXI (Criminal offences against the judiciary); Chapter XXXII (Criminal offences against legal traffic); Chapter XXXIII (Criminal offences against the public order) and Chapter XXXIV (Criminal offences against humanity and international law).

From the legal definition of the criminal offence, it arises that there is no division or gradation of criminal offences, but all have in common that they are illegal acts which are by law defined as criminal offences and whose characteristics are determined by law.

Also, within the Specific Part there is a grouping of criminal offences, but here it is done according to the social good that crimes of a chapter protect (for instance, criminal offences against the working relations, public transport safety, etc.), and not according to the criterion of greater or lesser importance of the criminal offences.

Therefore, it is not accidental that Article 1 of the basic text of the Law on Pardon of 1993 does not limit the criminal offences that may not be pardoned, but norms that the President of the Republic of Macedonia grant pardons for criminal offences stipulated by the laws of the Republic of Macedonia, according to the provisions of the Criminal Code and this Law.

The Court does not find controversial the social danger of the criminal offences that the challenged law exempts from the possibility of being pardoned. However, it cannot be accepted as a criterion or reason for such an exemption because social danger is also a characteristic of the other criminal offences that are not exempted, and for some of them the most severe penalties provided by the Criminal Code may be imposed.

The fact that the President of the Republic has such competence does not mean that pardon would be granted for any offender for any criminal offence committed. This competence will be exercised in those cases when the President deems that they should be pardoned, taking into account the characteristics of the offender and the offence committed. Thereby, the social danger of the criminal offence committed had already been sanctioned by envisaging it as a criminal offence and by the final judgment imposing a sanction envisaged by the legislator.

According to the Court, the restriction of the President’s right to grant pardon means interference with his constitutional authority by the legislator. If the possibility for the legislator to have such a right would be accepted, the question raised is what would be the boundary and the criterion for such limitation and whether in this way the meaning of the constitutional institute pardon would be lost, which would depend on the perception of the legislator and some phenomena at a certain time in society.

Pardon is related to individualisation of criminal offenders, not a general listing of criminal offences that are eliminated from the pardon, because generality is an element of amnesty, not of pardon.

The drafter of the Constitution with the norms in the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia has not limited the pardon for specific criminal offences, that is, the Constitution does not define the criminal offences that may and may not be covered by the constitutional institute of parole. Considering that, the general definition by law which criminal offence may and which may not be pardoned has no constitutional basis, for the Constitution has not engaged itself in general enumeration of the criminal offences that may not be pardoned, especially because of the indisputable legal basis that individualisation is an element of pardon.

In this case, the new paragraph 3 of Article 1 of the challenged Law violates the constitutional right of equality of citizens under Article 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia. Namely, convicted perpetrators of crimes for which the legislator has envisaged that may not be pardoned are deprived of the possibility of being pardoned, unlike the convicted offenders of other crimes, which represents a different treatment of persons who have the same status (convicts) and are in the same legal position.

Taking into account all that has been noted above, it appears that the constitutional authority of the legislator under Article 84 line 9 of the Constitution to regulate pardon by law does not mean a possibility for it to determine for which crimes the President of the Republic may not grant a pardon.

The reason being that the legislator is limited by the fundamental value of the constitutional order – the separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial, the constitutional right of equality of citizens and the constitutional position of the President of the Republic, but also by the way our criminal law defines criminal offences.

Additional argument is that the very legislator under the Constitution is empowered to grant amnesty which by its content and legal effect is similar to pardon, and as a criminal-legal institute is also defined by the Criminal Code. Thus, under Article 113 of this Code, the persons covered by the act of pardon are granted immunity from prosecution or full or partial exemption from the execution of the sentence, have replacement of the sentence with a less severe punishment, have deletion of the conviction or repeal of certain legal consequence of the conviction.

Thereby, the granting of pardon differs from pardon in that that it is an act of the legislator (adopted in the form of a law), is granted for an indefinite number of persons and according to the legal definition, the sentence pronounced with the same may be replaced with a less severe punishment only, and not with alternative measures as the case with pardon is, the legal consequence may only be repealed and it is not stipulated that it may enable abolition or reduction of the sentences ban on performing a profession, activity or duty, prohibition to drive a motor vehicle for offenders who are drivers by profession, and expulsion of a foreigner from the country as the case with pardon is.

Since the adoption of the Constitution, the legislator has used this right several times, whereby it established on its own for which criminal offences this right would be used, and considering that there is no constitutional limit on it.

Furthermore, with Article 5 of the contested Law on Changing and Supplementing the Law on Parole, after Article 5 a new Article 5-a is added in which paragraph 1 provides that the president of the Republic of Macedonia shall, with a decision, set up a Commission on Pardons with which he determines the composition and the number of members of the Commission which adopts rules on the manner of its work. Again, it is a new legal solution that is not provided for by the Law on Pardon of 1993.

While there is an indisputable need for the existence of a professional body that would aid the President in the exercise of his constitutional jurisdiction, what this legislation makes problematic from a constitutional standpoint is that the legislator has no constitutional power to regulate matters relating to the internal organisation and work of the President of the Republic as one of the bodies of state power.

For comparison, the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, in respect of the other holder of the executive power – the Government of the Republic of Macedonia -, explicitly provides that the organisation and methods of work of the Government shall be regulated by law (Article 89 paragraph 6).

According to this constitutional mandate, the legislator adopted the Law on the Government of the Republic of Macedonia (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” nos.59/2000, 12/2003, 55/2005, 37/2006, 115/2007, 19/2008, 82/2008, 10/2010, 51/2011, 15/2013, 139/2014 and 196/2015), which in Article 1 stipulates that this Law regulates the organisation, manner of work and competence of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

The constitutional position of the President of the Republic as part of the executive power may not be a ground for using an analogy according to which if the Constitution has provided a solution for one of the bodies that is part of the executive power, the same solution to be able to be applied to the other as well.

Namely, the legitimacy of the President of the Republic derives from the citizens who elect him in direct elections, unlike the Government which is elected by the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia. Because of this, the drafter of the Constitution has not foreseen the same solution for this body, as for the Government, nor can it be used by analogy.

From what has been noted it arises that the impugned Law on Changing and Supplementing the Law on Pardons contains provisions violating the fundamental value of the constitutional order – the division of state powers into legislative, executive and judicial, limit the jurisdiction of the President of the Republic of Macedonia for granting pardon, violate the constitutional right of equality of citizens and without any constitutional grounds regulate issues pertaining to the organisation and work of the President of the Republic as a body, as a result of which the Court found that the challenged Law on Changing and Supplementing the Law on Pardons is not in accordance with Article 8 paragraph 1 lines 3 and 4, Article 9 and Article 84 line 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

6. On the basis of what has been noted, the Court decided as in item 1 of the present Decision.

7. The Court took the present decision with a majority vote in the following composition: Mrs Elena Gosheva, President of the Court, and the judges: Dr Natasha Gaber-Damjanovska, Mr Ismail Darlishta, Mr Nikola Ivanovski, Mr Jovan Josifovski, Mrs Vangelina Markudova, Mr Sali Murati, Dr Gzime Starova and Mr Vladimir Stojanoski. (U.br.19/2016)

Separate opinion

 

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