Introduction

A person who commits a crime must be held responsible for his or her actions if the crime is committed with a certain form of guilt, in an unjustified and illicit manner. Thus, criminal liability (i.e. being held responsible for an illegal behaviour that causes harm or damage to someone or something) is a legal consequence of committing criminal actions under certain conditions. But how can one identify these conditions, especially considering the fact that one’s responsibility does not eliminate liability nor reduces it? 

The aim of this article is to give an answer to this question from the perspective of criminal responsibility and the situation called actio libera in causa. 

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1. Introduction

The Polish constitutional crisis, also referred to as the rule of law and democracy crisis (Ash, 2016; Berendt, 2016; Schulz, 2016; Veser, 2015), centres primarily on the paralysis of the Constitutional Tribunal. The Constitutional Tribunal, a sole guardian of the Constitution, has found itself in a stalemate since autumn 2015 when the Law and Justice Party (PiS) came into power. The conservative Party has crippled the Tribunal by the non-acceptance of the three Tribunal’s judges elected by the previous Sejm (Lower Chamber of the Polish Parliament) and by the amendments to the Constitutional Tribunal Act, which effectively disabled its functioning. Such actions have provoked vociferous domestic and international reactions. For instance, it has triggered the following reactions: widespread protests around Poland, the creation of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy, criticism espoused by academics and NGOs, the ’debate about Poland’ in the European Parliament, the initiation of the unprecedented EU Commission procedure under 2014 Rule of Law Framework, and the unfavourable for the Polish government Venice Commission Opinion.

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My aim is to analyse the meaning of private life focusing on the clauses which, in the terms of the Romanian Criminal Code, make some intrusions into private life aspects not to be qualified as crimes. Within my analysis, in order to create an eloquent comparison, I will draw your attention to some meaningful solutions given by the Romanian Courts of Law and by the European Court of Human Rights.Nowadays, it can be easily noticed that people have a big appetite for information. Having this in mind, it is clear that there is a high risk of intrusions into private life. The doctrine has found that there is no dull or negligible information for the human curiosity (Pavel & Turianu, 1996, pp. 10-11). I like to start by mentioning that this crime is provided for in the Article 226 of Romanian Criminal Code, and it has no correspondent in the previous Code.

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According to Article 2 of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, ‘States […] shall respect and ensure the rights […] to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status’. 

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