Sunday, November 19, 2006

The opportuneness control: sounds weird... Or not?!..

The Law on the Local Public Administration of March 18, 2003 has a concept of opportuneness control. It's a kind of administrative control carried out over the decisions of the local public authorities by the state central authorities. If you ask me to give you a precise meaning of it I won't be able to do this. I couldn't do this even after I'd read the Law several times.

The art. 77 of the Law provides that in order to assure the realization by the local authorities of their attributes delegated by the State their acts may be modified or revoked within 15 days from the date of adoption on the basis of opportuneness. As I see this statement, the national (the state) authorities may intervene into the activity of the local public administration in any case when they consider the actions of the latter ones inappropriate. And the Law doesn't provide any criteria to determine whether a decision is opportune or not. This actually means that a high official seating in Chisinau may intervene whenever he considers it to be necessary (or whenever he wants to).

I understand that Moldova is a unitary state (in the meaning of not a federal one). That means a higher level of power over the local authorities by the central ones. But it is my strong conviction that a clear and strict separation of attributes between the central and local authorities is the only effective way of governing a country. I think only the people of a respective region who vote for their local government must have the right to decide (by voting or other democratic means of expressing their will) whether their elected representatives act opportunely or not...

What I also want again to draw attention to is the vagueness and ambiguity of the opportuneness control as it is provided by the Law on Local Public Administration. There are no certain and clear criteria for intervention provided by the Law. No definite legal ground. But at the same time a local authority is entitled to appeal against the decision of the central authority to the court. So the question that I simply can't answer is how the court is going to decide upon such a claim. We are not a common law country. Our courts have no rights to create law. They must refer to certain legal provisions when taking a decision (smth. like "...according to art. XXX of the Law YYY...", I think you catch the point). So how the court can pronounce a judgment when there are no certain legal provisions to determine whether a local authority's decision is opportune or not? There is no sense in entitling the local authorities with the right that they can't use.

Can anybody explain me this?...


At Tuesday, November 21, 2006 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Lucia said...

Alexei, it is a very good point, and it was raised by others, too. This law, as well as several other pieces of legislation regulating local self-governance, is known to have many shortcomings. A new draft of this law was developed at the insistence and with the support of the Council of Europe (you can access it on the Parliament's site). It would be interesting to see how the new law will approach this issue.

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 3:42:00 PM, Blogger Lucia said...

I just realized that I placed this comment in the wrong place. It was meant for your previous post :)

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:56:00 PM, Blogger Alexei Ghertescu said...

You're talking about local self-governance. So, your comment seems to be at the right place.

At Monday, April 25, 2011 6:45:00 AM, Anonymous digital signatures said...

opportuneness control is a new word for me.I never knew the meaning and was not aware of the Law regarding this.But your blog gave me a better insight of this.Although its not all to me but it atleast gave me a understanding of the law


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