Parliament rejects conclusion of Constitutional Court

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During its plenary session on January 7, Parliament discussed Conclusion No. 12 of the Constitutional Court of 2020, and refused to accept the conclusion.

On December 25, the Constitutional Court discussed the dispute whether the Law on Procedures for Enforcing the Amendments to the Criminal Code, which was approved by Parliament on January 10, 2020, violates the relevan provisions of the Constitution of Mongolia.

The Constitutional Court concluded that the above law as a whole violates Article 1.2 of the Constitution stating, “Justice, freedom, equality and the rule of law are the basic principles of the state”; Article 10.2 of the same law stipulating, “Mongolia shall faithfully fulfill its obligations under international agreements”; Article 14.1 stating, “Everyone legally residing in Mongolia is equal before the law and the courts”; Article 19.1 stipulating, “The state is responsible to its citizens for providing legal and other guarantees to ensure human rights and freedoms”; and Article 70.1 of the Constitution reflecting, “The law must be in full compliance with the Constitution”.

The court concluded that the Law on Procedures for Enforcing the Amendments to the Criminal Code from December 25, 2020 should be suspended in accordance with Article 32.4 of the Law on Dispute Resolution Procedures in the Constitutional Court.

In particular, the Constitutional Court ruled that from July 1, 2017 to January 10, 2020, crimes specified in Chapter 22 of the Criminal Code, which were dismissed by a prosecutor's decree on the grounds of expiration of the statute of limitations, shall not be re-investigated.

The conclusion was rejected by the Mongolian People’s Party caucus in Parliament and members of the Standing Committee on Justice.

The law sets out a new methodology for calculating the statute of limitations in the Criminal Code. The statute of limitation shall be counted from date of crime until prosecution. There is a provision that the statute of limitations shall not be counted after prosecution.

Lawmaker S.Odontuya said, “I have seen many cases of repression. There is a lot of political influence in these cases. Political influence can lead to repression, such as human rights abuses. Today, Mongolia has acquitted 31,000 of its citizens, but if the law is not amended now, this will happen again in the future. There is no need to blame the Constitutional Court. Failure to act responsibly is a serious violation of human rights. Personally, I will never support corruption. It was a big mistake for the previous Parliament to pass a provision that encouraged this. In accordance with the amendments to the Criminal Code in 2017, many corruption cases with statute of limitations were dismissed. Then, in 2020, another provision was added that worsened human rights.”

“The introduction of a statute of limitations would create corruption and allow many people to evade punishment. We need to correct our mistakes. It is embarrassing Parliament. This is a violation of norms. We have to act responsibly,” lawmaker T.Ayursaikhan noted.

Expressing his refusal of the conclusion, Parliamentarian J.Sukhbaatar said, “An attempt was made to fix it in 2020. It is important to have a principle of crime. There is a mistake made by the previous Parliament. The way to avoid repeating this mistake is to amend the Criminal Code.”

Lawmaker B.Purevdorj said, “From July 1, 2017 to January 10, 2020, more than 800 crimes were dropped and more than 1,500 offenders were commuted. In addition, from January 10, 2020 to date, more than 400 crimes and more than 700 related criminals are awaiting the conclusion of the Constitutional Court. As a result of these crimes, the state and citizens have suffered at least 3.8 trillion MNT in damage. The law was passed in 2016 to acquit corrupt officials.”

Misheel Lkhasuren