Freedom of speech. Considerations on constitutional court's decision no. 649/2018

AuthorCristina Titirisca
PositionPhD, parliamentary advisor at the Legislative Department of the Chamber of Deputies, currently advisor at the Office of the President of the Constitutional Court, member of RSEL/SRDE
DECISION NO. 649/2018
Cristina TITIRIŞC
Pursua nt to article 30 paragr aph (1) of the Constitution, freedom of expression is inviolable, but
according to ar ticle 30 para graphs (6) and (7) of the same Constitution, it cannot prejudice the dignity,
honour, private life of the person and nor the right to one's own image, being forbidden by the law the
defamation of the country and the na tion, the exhortation to war of aggr ession, national, ra cial, class
or r eligious hatred, incitement to discr imination, ter ritorial sepa ratism or public violence, as well a s
obscene, contra ry to good morals. The limits of freedom of expression fully accor d with the notion of
freedom, which is not a nd cannot be understood as a n absolute right. The legal and philosophical
concepts promoted by democratic societies admit that a person's freedom ends where the other person's
freedom begins.
Keywords: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, limits, Constitutional Court, decision.
1. Introduction
In the autumn of 2018, some changes
to the Chamber of Deputies' Regulations,
which essentially concerned the following
issues, were subjected to the Constitutional
Court's analysis:
a) the imposition of a ban on MPs
concerning the adoption of defamator y,
racist or xenophobic behaviour and
languages and the holding of placards or
banners in parliamentary debates;
b) the imposition of a sanction for
deviations from the Regulation, worded
PhD, parliamentary advisor at the Legislative Department of the Chamber of Deputies, currently advisor at the
Office of the President of the Constitutional Court, member of RSEL / SRDE (e-mail:
1 Judgment of the Constitutional Court no.649/2018, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no.
1045 of 10 December 2018.
2 InătСТsărОРarН,ăsОО,ăаТНОlв,ăMuraru,ăIoanăanНăTnsОsМu,ăElОnaăSТmТnaă(МoorН.),ă2008,ăp. 89 et seq.
3 According to article 30 of the Romanian Constitution, with the marginal name Freedom of expression: “ă(1)
Freedom of expression of thoughts, opinions, or beliefs, and freedom of any creation, whether by spoken words, in
writing, in pictures, by sounds or any other means of communication in public, is inviolable. (2) Any kind of
censorship is prohibited. (3) Freedom of the press also involves free f ounding of publications. (4) No publication
may be suppressed. (5) The law may require that the mass media disclose their financing sources. (6) Freedom of
as follows: without prejudice to the
right to vote in the plenary sitting and
subject to a strict compliance with the
rules of conduct, temporary suspension
of the MP's participation in all or part of
the activities of the Parliament for a
The decision of the Constitutional
Court in question1, whose consideratio ns
will be given below, has brought to the
attention of law specialists, as well as the
general public, the complex c ontent2 of the
freedom of expression, enshrined at
constitutional le vel by t he provisions of
article 30 of the Basic Law3, which is why

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