The Court’s competence in litigations involving contracts signed by public authorities

The judges from High Court of Cassation and Justice appreciated (in the Decision no. 645 of February the 10th rendered on appeal by the Commercial Section of High Court of Cassation and Justice which had as object compensatory damages as a result of a concession contract) that, regarding the nature of the litigation, the Law of contentious matter no. 554/2004 assimilates to administrative acts some administrative contracts, expressly mentioned, namely contracts signed by the public authorities having subject the valorization of public property, the execution of public interest constructions, the offering of public services, public acquisitions. Also, in the 2nd article, paragraph 1, letter c) from the 554/2004 Law it is mentioned that through special laws there can be other categories of administrative contracts that are under the competence of administrative courts. These legal dispositions give the right to the court to conclude that, in the end, in today’s Romanian legislation, it all comes down to the law maker’s choice of including a certain contract in the domain of administrative contracts, which will be under the competence of administrative courts or, depending on the case, under the domain of private law contracts, which will be held under the competence of commercial courts. As a result, in this case where we are confronted with a concession contract, expressly mentioned in the 554/2004 Law as falling under the category of administrative contracts, to apply the rules of commercial law is not justified in such contracts, the court competent to handle this being the Administrative Court.

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