The constitutionality of some legal rules in the field of consumer protection from the perspective of economic freedom/free enterprise. Case law study

Andreea-Teodora-Stanescu-mare.

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Lecturer, PhD. Andreea-Teodora Stanescu
Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest

I. The constitutional establishment of economic freedom

Economic freedom is regulated as a fundamental right by Article 45 of the Constitution[1]. According to its provisions, „free access of persons to an economic activity, free enterprise, and their exercise under the law shall be guaranteed” [2].

As shown in the doctrine, economic freedom should have been regulated since 1991, as the prerequisites of its existence were already created[3]. However, this fundamental right was established only in the year 2003 by the Law for the revision of the Constitution of Romania[4].
The name of this fundamental right, established by Article 45 of the Constitution, is the result of the election of the Swiss terminology. Thus, the Constitution of Switzerland provides for a right with an identical name in its Article 27[5]. However, it must be noted that other states have chosen different names for the right similar to economic freedom. Among these, the Spanish terminology is distinguished by its power of synthesis and expression. Thereby, according to the Spanish Constitution, “free enterprise”[6] is established in Article 38 (Spain)[7]. Free enterprise[8] was retained also by the French law. Although not directly provided for by the fundamental French law, this right has acquired constitutional value through the case law of the Constitutional Council[9].

II. Constitutional provisions directly connected to the economic freedom

The way in which economic freedom was legislated led to the creation of an intrinsic link between Article 45 (which established it) and Article 135 “Economy”, Article 53 “Restriction on the exercise of certain rights or freedoms”, respectively.

In what Article 135 “Economy” is concerned, it represents the establishment of an obligation correlated to economic freedom, obligation that pertains to the Romanian State. Thus, according to the text of the above mentioned article: “(1) Romania’s economy is a free market economy, based on free enterprise and competition. (2) The State must secure: a) a free trade, protection of fair competition, provision of a favourable framework in order to stimulate and capitalize every factor of production”.

Article 53 “Restriction on the exercise of certain rights or freedoms”, as its marginal name suggests, stipulates the possibility to restrict the exercise of certain rights or freedoms, as well as the conditions in which this restriction may be performed[10]. To sum up, in order to be constitutional, the restriction on the exercise of certain rights or freedoms[11] must abide by the following requirements:
i. may be performed by law[12];
ii. may be provided for only if necessary, as the case may be, for:
– the defense of national security;
– the defense of public order, health, or morals;
– the defense of the citizens’ rights and freedoms;
– conducting a criminal investigation;
– preventing the consequences of a natural calamity, disaster, or an extremely severe catastrophe[13].
iii. may be ordered only if it is necessary in a democratic society[14];
iv. shall be proportional to the situation having caused it[15];
v. shall be applied without discrimination;
vi. shall not infringe the existence of such right or freedom[16].

Also, economic freedom has been analyzed in relation to other constitutional rights such as: right of private property[17], right to labor, right to education, right to association, right to strike and right to a decent living[18].

III. Legal provisions in the field of consumer protection subject to constitutional review from the perspective of economic freedom

Starting with the year 2003, when economic freedom has been regulated as a fundamental right by the Constitution, many applications have been referred to the Constitutional Court in order to rule on the constitutionality of some legal provisions, from the perspective of art 45[19]. Around 15 decisions[20] of the aforementioned court were issued with regard to regulatory acts on consumer protection. All of them were overruled, but their considerations allow the configuration of the content of economic freedom[21], as it is protected by the fundamental law.

From the analysis of the case law of the Constitutional Court, it follows that these regulatory acts on consumer protection were subjected to constitutional review:
1. Government Ordinance (further abbreviated as G.O.) no. 21/1992 on consumer protection[22]:
– Article 7 (c), third indent of the final sentence, Article 93, Article 13 (1), Article 18, Article 19, Article 50(1)(e) and Article 59;
– G.O. no. 21/1992 as a whole;
2. G.O. no. 130/2000 on consumer protection in respect to the conclusion and performance of distance agreements[23]:
– Article 7(1);
3. Law no 193/2000 on unfair terms in contracts concluded between professionals and consumers [24]:
– Article 13(1);
4. Law no. 449/2003 on product sales and corresponding guarantees[25]:
– Article 11(4) second sentence;
5. Law no. 363/2007 on combating unfair trade practices in relation to consumers and harmonization of regulations with EU legislation on consumer protection[26]:
– Article 12 and Article 13;
6. Government Emergency Ordinance (further abbreviated as G.E.O.) no. 50/2010 on credit agreements for consumers[27]:
– Article 2(1), Article 13(2), Article 14(1)(t) and 14(2), Article 35(1) and (2), Article 36, Article 38, Article 46(2), Article 88(1)-(3), Article 89, Article 91, Article 92 and Article 95.

The aforementioned decisions, issued as a result of the constitutional review of the legal provisions in the field of consumer protection, provide several examples of limitations of the economic freedom. In short, the following restrictions on economic freedom were held constitutional:
a)    the lawmaker’s intervention in setting the conditions for the execution of contracts with successive performance by imposing the removal of some costs that arise out of ongoing loan contracts[28];
b)    imposition by law of a single reference rate for all financial products destined to the natural persons of a trading company[29];
c)    establishment, to the benefit of consumers, of the right to unilaterally denounce a distance contract, without penalties[30];
d)    establishment of a prohibition to insert specific penalty clauses in real estate brokerage agreements or in other ancillary contracts concluded between a consumer and a real estate agency[31];
e)    establishment of a derogatory system from the general regime of contraventions, within the meaning of the absence of the suspensive character of a court challenge of an order issued by the head of the National Authority for Consumer Protection or of a decision rendered by the managers of the legal entities subordinated to the National Authority for Consumer Protection[32];
f)    to legislate as contravention the breach of contract clauses by the services providers (and not by the other contracting party) [33];
g)    imposition by law of a period within which the company must repair the deficiencies of goods or services, period calculated from the date on which the buyer has notified the seller on the lack of conformity of the product[34];
h)    to legislate the consumers’ rights to be fully, correctly and accurately informed on the main characteristics of the products and services provided by the trading companies, which is attained through the elements of identification and characterization provided by law[35].

IV. Content and exercise of economic freedom – landmarks arising out of Constitutional Court’s decisions issued as a result of the constitutional review of some provisions in the field of consumer protection

The Constitutional Court never envisaged, in none of its decisions[36], to itemize the prerogatives instated by economic freedom. However, in its case law, the Constitutional Court laid down a few landmarks of the content and exercise of this fundamental right.

First of all, within the framework of the constitutional review of some legal provisions on consumer protection, the Constitutional Court emphasized the existence of a principle of economic freedom, which is “economic freedom is not absolute”, meaning that it can become subject to limitations. This principle falls upon both the content of economic freedom (its prerogatives) and its exercise as a fundamental right. The lack of the absolute nature was set forth directly by the decisions of the Constitutional Court as deriving, by way of interpretation, from Article 45 of the Constitution.

With respect to the content of economic freedom, according to the Constitutional Court’s case law, the fundamental law stipulates the guarantee of “free access” to an economic activity, but, at the same time, states that this access is guaranteed “under the law”. Consequently, the possibility to limit it by law represents the expression of the absence of the absolute nature of economic freedom[37].

In applying this principle, the Constitutional Court ruled that economic freedom must be read in conjunction with State obligations, which are regulated at a constitutional level. Thereby, economic freedom is seen as being intrinsically linked to State obligations, provided for by Article 135 “Economy”. These are implicit limitations of the content of economic freedom.
By way of example, may be retained to reflect this approach of the content of economic freedom, decisions such as:
a) Decision no. 1532/2011 (referring to Decision no. 418/2010[38]);
b) Decision no. 1093/2011 (referring to Decision no. 89/2006[39]).

According to Decision no. 418/2010, whose considerations are valid also in relation to Decision 1532/2011, „the legal provisions under scrutiny, which ban the abusive use of a dominant position held by one or more economic agents on the Romanian market or on a substantial share of it, by the means of anticompetitive practices which consist of directly or indirectly enforcing selling or buying prices, unfair fees or other inequitable contract clauses and of the refuse to engage in trade relations with specific suppliers or clients, give expression to the State obligation, instituted by Article 135(2)(a) of the Constitution, to secure a free trade, protection of fair competition, provision of a favorable framework in order to stimulate and capitalize every factor of production. In order to create a favorable framework for capitalizing every factor of production, the State must endorse a fair competition policy due to the fact that it plays an essential role in facilitating free movement of goods, in stimulating the initiative of trading actors, having also the function to secure a free market economy. The criticized provision represents, as previously noted, an expression of this policy and a guarantee that must secure the existence of a real economic freedom under the conditions provided by Article 45 of the Constitution, which entail the guarantee of the free access of economic agents on the market and the protection of the beneficiaries of the respective services and goods. In what the provisions of Article 53 of the Constitution are concerned, also invoked in support of the exception, it is found that they do not apply to this case, being applicable only in the hypothesis in which there is a restriction on the exercise of the citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms, restriction that has not been observed”.

According to Decision no. 89/2006, whose considerations are valid also in relation to Decision 1093/2011, „with regard to the allegation on the violation of constitutional provisions of Article 53 corroborated with Articles 40 and 45, the Court finds that in a market economy, governed by competition rules, free access to the economic activity and free initiative, as Article 135(2)(a) of the fundamental law stipulates, “the State must secure: a) a free trade, protection of fair competition, provision of a favorable framework in order to stimulate and capitalize every factor of production”. Moreover, free trade can be secured only by setting a climate of economic discipline which the economic agents must abide by and, as a consequence, the lawmaker has the authority to determine the appropriate sanctions for the inobservance of the established rules. Therefore, by setting the sanction of voiding the acts born out of an anticompetitive practice, prohibited by Law no. 21/1996, the values protected by the Constitution are not harmed in any way, but, conversely, the conduct contrary to the rules adopted in the economic and financial activity is being discouraged and the necessary environment to their deployment is being ensured. In addition, the Court believes that setting by law of certain restrictions does not represent a violation of Article 53 of the Constitution, but on the contrary, offers solid expression to the State’s obligation to secure the protection of fair competition, pursuant to the provisions of Article 135(2)(a) of the Constitution.”

We can conclude from the two decisions given as examples that the legal provisions subjected to constitutional review, which set forth rules in the area of consumer protection, were assimilated to the rules on competition. As a result of this assimilation, these legal provisions on consumer protection have been looked upon as a facet of the State’s obligation to ensure freedom of trade, regulated by Article 135 of the Constitution. For this reason, the legal provisions in question have not been qualified as a restriction on the exercise of economic freedom.

With respect to the exercise of economic freedom, it is governed, same as the content of economic freedom, by the principle of the absence of the absolute nature. Thus, the Constitution stipulates the guarantee “under the law” also of the exercise of free access to an economic activity, meaning free initiative.

By way of example, may be retained to reflect this approach of the exercise of economic freedom, decisions such as:
a) Decision no. 303/2006;
b) Decision no. 1591/2011.

According to Decision no. 303/2006, „G.O. no. 21/1992 has no prejudicial effects on economic freedom, due to the fact that, pursuant to the Constitution, economic freedom requires to be exercised „under the law”. As a matter of fact, the author of the exception is a trading company that benefits in this manner, under the law, of the right to perform acts of commerce.”

According to Decision no. 1591/2011, „the provisions of Article 7(1) of G.O. no. 130/2000 on the consumer’s right to unilaterally denounce a distance contract do not set boundaries to the free access of economic agents to an economic activity or free initiative, but, are in accordance with the invoked constitutional rule, by virtue of which the exercise of an economic activity or the manifestation of free initiative must be made “under the law”.

Secondly, the case law of the Constitutional Court allows the identification of some of the prerogatives of economic freedom. Thus, from the decisions rendered within the constitutional review of some legal provisions on consumer protection we can extract two prerogatives bestowed upon the holders of economic freedom, namely:
a) economic freedom presumes the guarantee of free access of economic agents on the market; and
b) economic freedom presumes the guarantee of the possibility to perform acts of commerce.

V. Conclusions

The case law of the Constitutional Court, deriving out of the constitutional review of some legal provisions on consumer protection, review made pursuant to Article 45 of the fundamental law, “Economic freedom”, enables us to draw three conclusions. One of them relates to consumer protection, and two of them refer to economic freedom.

A first conclusion, arising explicitly out of the case law of the Constitutional Court, would relate to the fact that the analyzed constitutional text allows both the restriction of the content of economic freedom, as well as of its exercise. Therefore, the final thesis of Article 45 of the Constitution, on the guarantee “under the law”, does not refer exclusively to the exercise of economic freedom, but also to the free access of persons to an economic activity.

A second conclusion, arising implicitly out of the case law of the Constitutional Court, would relate to the fact that restriction of economic freedom covers two forms. A first form is the infra-constitutional restriction, which is governed by Article 53 of the fundamental law, “Restriction on the exercise of certain rights or freedoms”. The text of law has a general applicability; its requirements are brought into question whenever the issue of the restriction on the exercise of certain rights and freedom arises. A second form is the constitutional restriction, which arises by way of interpretation out of the text of the fundamental law. In its case law, the Constitutional Court has identified the possibility to restrict the content of certain rights and freedoms by the medium of the very text of the Constitution. This restriction is an implicit restriction which follows from the need to apply in a colligated manner the provisions of the Constitution. Therefore, the application of a constitutional provision may be a restriction of the scope of application of another provision of the fundamental law.

A third conclusion, arising out of the case law of the Constitutional Court, would refer to the fact that the protection of the rights and lawful interests of the consumers is an obligation incumbent on the State [within the ambit of Article 135(2)(a) of the Constitution][40], thus being an implicit constitutional restriction on economic freedom[41].

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[1] The Constitution of Romania, published in the Romanian Official Gazette (further abbreviated as R.O.G.) no. 233 of 21 November 1991 and republished in R.O.G. no. 767 of 31 October 2003. For a commentary on article 45 of the Constitution of Romania, see: I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu (coord.), Constituţia României. Comentariu pe articole, (The Constitution of Romania. Commentary on Articles), C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2008, pp. 460-466.
[2] I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, Drept constituţional şi instituţii politice (Constitutional Law and Political Institutions), Vol. I, 14th Edition, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 178: economic freedom is regulated by the Constitution as a first generation freedom. M. Constantinescu, A. Iorgovan, I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, Constituţia României revizuită – comentarii şi explicaţii (The Revised Constitution of Romania – commentary and explanations), All Beck, Bucharest, 2004, pp. 96-97: economic freedom emerged at the same time with the second generation of rights, however, without having the legal substance of a right of its generation. For the features of the generations of rights, see: I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, Constitutional Law and Political Institutions, Vol. I, 14th Edition, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 143-148; Şt. Deaconu, Drept constituţional (Constitutional Law), C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 205-207.
[3] Gh. Iancu, Drept constituţional şi instituţii politice (Constitutional Law and Political Institutions), Lumina Lex, Bucharest, 2005, p. 171: „Economic freedom should have been regulated since 1991, when the current Constitution was adopted, as the prerequisites of this fundamental right came into being. In other words, the existance of the State obligations regarding the Romanian economy should have resulted, correlatively, in the regulation of the corresponding fundamental right.”
[4] Law no. 429 of 2003 for the revision of the Constitution of Romania (R.O.G. no. 758/29.10.2003).
[5] http://www.admin.ch/ch/e/rs/101/a27.html (accessed at 5 January 2013) – „Article 27. Economic freedom: (1) Economic freedom is guaranteed. (2) Economic freedom includes in particular the freedom to choose an occupation as well as the freedom to pursue a private economic activity”.
[6] http://www.congreso.es/consti/constitucion/indice/titulos/articulos.jsp?ini=38&tipo=2 (accessed at 5 January 2013): „Article 38: Se reconoce la libertad de empresa en el marco de la economía de mercado. Los poderes públicos garantizan y protegen su ejercicio y la defensa de la productividad, de acuerdo con las exigencias de la economía general y, en su caso, de la planificación” (Free enterprise is recognized within the framework of a market economy. The public authorities guarantee and protect its exercise and the safeguarding of productivity in accordance with the demands of the general economy and, as the case may be, of economic planning.)
[7] C. Călinoiu, V. Duculescu, Drept constituţional comparat. Tratat (Comparative Constitutional Law. Dissertation), Lumina Lex, Bucharest, 2007, pp. 123, 150, 186, 199, 354: The Constitution of the Russian Federation (of 12 December 1993) – Article 34 (1): Everyone shall have the right to a free use of his abilities and property for entrepreneurial and economic activities not prohibited by law; The Constitution of Ukraine (of 28 June 1996) establishes in Chapter II „Rights and freedoms”, the right to entrepreneurial activity; The Constitution of Argentina (20 August 1994) establishes in Article 14, the right to work and perform any lawful industry; The Constitution of Belgium (12 July 1991) establishes the right of the citizens to conduct business activities as well as the fact that the business activities of the foreign citizens are protected by law; The Constitution of Italy establishes free initiative, mentioning that private initiative in the economy is free. See: Gh. Iancu, Gh. Glăvan, Noile drepturi fundamentale. Accesul la cultură şi libertatea economică (The New Fundamental Rights. Access to Culture and Economic Freedom), published in „Analele Universităţii din Bucharest” (The Yearbook of the University of Bucharest), Seria Drept (The Law Series), no. 1/2004, All Beck, Bucharest, 2004, p. 35: in our law system, economic freedom is a novelty. Provisions for economic freedom are also found in: Switzerland (Article 27 – economic freedom), Italy (Article 41 – economic initiative), Spain (Article 38 – free enterprise), Russia (Article 34-1 – the free use of abilities and property); Şt. Deaconu, Constitutional Law, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 274: Provisions for economic freedom are also found in the Constitution of Switzerland (Article 27), Constitution of Spain (Article 38), Constitution of Italy (Article 41), Constitution of Germany (Article 6), as well as in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of The European Union (Article 16).
[8] For more on this subject, see: V. Delvolve, La liberté d’entreprendre, Thèse Paris II, 2002.
[9] La liberté d’entreprendre, available online at http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/conseil-constitutionnel/root/bank_mm/pdf/Conseil/libent.pdf (accessed at 22 February 2013).
[10] Gh. Iancu, Constitutional Law and Political Institutions, Second Edition, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 246: Article 53 of the Constitution states the general reasons for which the exercise of the fundamental rights and freedoms that do not have an absolute character may be restricted. Besides these ones, the Constitution also stipulates special reasons, provided for in the text of certain fundamental rights. The special reasons apply only to the fundamental rights for which they were regulated. The general reasons apply to all fundamental rights, even to those covered by special reasons (in this last case, both special and general reasons apply).
[11] Şt. Deaconu, Constitutional Law, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 231: The Constitutional Court, in its case law (The Decision of the Romanian Constitutional Court – further abbreviated as DCC – no. 13/1999, no. 223/2001, no. 11/2004 and no. 214/2005), has found that only the fundamental rights are covered by this constitutional text, not the other subjective rights. M. Constantinescu, A. Iorgovan, I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, The Revised Constitution of Romania – commentary and explanations, All Beck, Bucharest, 2004, p. 108: the restriction can not alter the existence of the right, but it has to be limited to its conditions of specific implementation.
[12] Şt. Deaconu, Constitutional Law, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 231: At the present, the term “law” must be interpreted as referring to a law as a legal act of the Parliament (the corroboration of article 53 to article 115 of the Constitution). Prior to the amending of the Constitution, in doctrine, the term “law” has been interpreted as referring to the legal act of the Parliament. However, the case law (DCC no. 139/1994) has shown that the restriction on the exercise of certain rights or freedoms can be made possible also by the means of acts that have equal force to the law (i.e. government ordinance or government emergency ordinance).
[13] Şt. Deaconu, Constitutional Law, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 232: this enumeration has a limited character and demonstrates the nature of exception of the restriction on the exercise of certain rights and freedoms. In the same line of thought, see:  M. Constantinescu, A. Iorgovan, I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, The Revised Constitution of Romania – commentary and explanations, All Beck, Bucharest, 2004, p. 108.
[14] I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, Constitutional Law and Political Institutions, Vol. I, 14th Edition, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 164-165: the criterion of the necessity of the limitation, placed in the context of a democratic society, was adopted by the revised Constitution and renders valuable the pertinent international instruments. Also, as a result of the amending of the Constitution, the requirement of applying it without discrimination has been added. See also: Şt. Deaconu, Constitutional Law, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 232: this requirement imposes a temporary nature on the restriction.
[15] Şt. Deaconu, Constitutional Law, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011: proportionality has several dimensions – reasonableness, justness, legitimacy, fairness.
[16] I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, Constitutional Law and Political Institutions, Vol. I, 14th Edition, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 159-165: The nature of exception of the restriction on the exercise of certain rights is a general principal of the fundamental rights.
[17] I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, Constitutional Law and Political Institutions, Vol. I, 14th Edition, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, p. 178: Economic freedom has been seen either as a corollary of the right of private property, either as an imperative prerequisite of this right.
[18] Gh. Iancu, Constitutional Law and Political Institutions, Lumina Lex, Bucharest, 2005, p. 172; Şt. Deaconu, Constitutional Law, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 274.
[19] For a summary of the constitutional case law on the subject, see T. Toader, Constituţia României reflectată în jurisprudenţa constituţională (The Constitution of Romania reflected in the constitutional case law), Hamangiu, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 154-157
[20] On the legal regime of Constitutional Court, see: I. Muraru, E.S. Tănăsescu, Constitutional Law and Public Institutions, Vol. I, 13th Edition, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2009, pp. 272-275.
[21] Şt. Deaconu, Constitutional Law, C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 274-275: The Constitution does not provide a definition for economic freedom; instead it limits itself to stating that free access of persons to an economic activity, free initiative, and their exercise under the law are guaranteed. However, economic freedom entails the initiation and conduct of an activity. By content, this freedom presumes the analysis of a framework that exceeds the juridical sphere, being a judicial, economic, social and political concept. Gh. Iancu, Constitutional Law and Political Institutions, Second Edition, Ed. C.H. Beck, Bucharest, 2011, p. 289-290: Regarding the content of economic freedom, the doctrine has built it on two pillars, i.e.: a) the freedom to establish entities, meaning everyone’s right to have access to the desired professional activity (joined by the freedom of trade and industry) and b) the freedom to exercise, meaning the owner’s right to put to good use its property and to manage the business as he sees fit (joined by freedom of the contract, freedom of competition).
[22] DCC no. 1583/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of article 93(1)(g) subsections 2 and 3 and of article 50(1))e) of G.O. no. 21/1992 (R.O.G. no. 23/11.01.2012); DCC no. 1532/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of article 98 of G.O. no. 21/1992 (R.O.G. no. 850/30.11.2011); DCC no. 881/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of article 7(c) third indent of the final sentence of G.O. no. 21/1992 (R.O.G. no 600/25.08.2011); DCC no. 803/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of article 98 of G.O. no. 21/1992 (R.O.G. no. 476/12.07.2010); DCC no. 1153/2010 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of article 13(1) and Article 59 of G.O. no. 21/1992, and of Article 11(4) second sentence of Law no. 449/2003 (R.O.G. no. 753/11.11.2010); DCC no. 785/2010 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 3(1) and Article 16(1) of G.O. no. 2/2001 on the legal regime of contraventions, as well as of the provisions of Article 18 and Article 19 of G.O. no. 21/1992 (R.O.G. no. 437/30.07.2010); DCC no. 303/2006 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of G.O. no. 21/1992, as a whole, of the provisions of Article 18, Article 19 and Article 20 of the same ordinance, as well as those of Article 4 and Article 6 of Government Decision no. 1.039/2003 on labeling and energy efficiency requirements for household electric refrigeration appliances and their placing on the market (R.O.G. no. 393/08.05.2006).
[23] DCC no. 1591/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 7(1) of G.O. no. 130/2000 (R.O.G. no. 80/01.02.2012).
[24] DCC no. 703/2010 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 13(1) of Law no. 193/2000 (R.O.G. no. 422/24.07.2010).
[25] DCC no. 1153/2010 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 13(1) and Article 59 of G.O. no. 21/1992 and of Article 11(4) second sentence of Law no. 449/2003 (R.O.G. no. 753/11.11.2010).
[26] DCC no. 1093/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 12 and Article 13 of Law no. 363/2007 (R.O.G. no. 787/07.07.2011); DCC no. 736/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 12 and Article 13(1)(a) of Law no. 363/2007 (R.O.G. no. 512/20.07.2011).
[27] DCC no. 450/2012 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 2(1), Article 13(2), Article 14(1)(t) and 14(2), Article 36, Articles 88(1)(b) and (d) and 88(2) and 88(3), Article 91, Article 92 and Article 95 of G.E.O. no. 50/2010 (R.O.G. no. 507/24.07.2012); DCC no. 169/2012 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 2(1), Article 13(2), Article 14(1)(t), Article 14(2), Article 36, Article 88(1)(b) and (d), 88(2) and 88(3), Article 91, Article 92 and Article 95 of G.E.O. no. 50/2010 (R.O.G. no. 271/24.04.2012); DCC no. 1622/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 2(1), Article 13(2), Article 14(1)(t), Article 36, Article 88(1)(b) and (d) and 88(2) and 88(3), Article 91, Article 92 and Article 95 of G.E.O. no. 50/2010 (R.O.G. no. 156/08.03.2012); DCC no. 1541/2011 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 2(1), Article 13(2), Article 14(1)(t) and 14(2), Article 35(1) and (2), Article 36, Article 38, Article 46(2), Article 55(3), Article 88(1)-(3), Article 89, Article 91, Article 92 and Article 95 of G.E.O. no. 50/2010 (R.O.G. no. 151/07.03.2012).
[28] DCC no. 450/2012, DCC no. 169/2012, DCC no. 1622/2011, DCC no. 1541/2011.
[29] DCC no. 1583/2011.
[30] DCC no. 1591/2011.
[31] DCC no. 803/2011.
[32] DCC no. 1093/2011, DCC no. 736/02.06.2011, DCC no. 1153/2010.
[33] DCC no. 881/2011.
[34] DCC no. 1153/2010.
[35] DCC no. 785/2010.
[36] For a summary of the constitutional case law on the subject, see T. Toader, The Constitution of Romania reflected in the constitutional case law, Hamangiu, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 285-291.
[37] DCC no. 803/2011.
[38] DCC no. 418/2010 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 6(a) of Law on competition no. 21/1996 (R.O.G. no 343/25.05.2010).
[39] DCC no. 89/2006 on the dismissal of the exception of unconstitutionality of the provisions of Article 5(1)(a), Article 16, 26, 33, 34 and 36 of Law on competition no. 21/1996 (R.O.G. no 190/28.02.2006).
[40] Conclusion arising explicitly out of the case law of the Constitutional Court.
[41] Ibidem.

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