MENU
homemagyarulclient gatecontacts

competence


The Competences of the Court

1) Ex ante Review of Conformity with the Fundamental Law (Preliminary Norm Control)

2) Ex Post Review of Conformity with the Fundamental Law (Posterior Norm Control)

3) Judicial Initiative for Norm Control in Concrete Cases

4) Constitutional Complaint

5) Examination of Conflicts with International Treaties

6) Examination of Parliamentary Resolutions Related to Ordering Referendum

7) Opinion on the Dissolution of a Local Representative Body Operating Contrary to the Fundamental Law

8) Opinion on the Withdrawal of the Acknowledgment of a Church Operating Contrary to the Fundamental Law

9) Removal of the President of the Republic from Office

10) Resolving Conflicts of Competence

11) Examination of Local Government Decrees, Normative Decisions and Orders, and Decisions on the Uniform Application of the Law

12) Interpretation of the Fundamental Law

13) The Elimination of Legislative Omission

1) Ex ante Review of Conformity with the Fundamental Law (Preliminary Norm Control)

Based on a petition containing an explicit request submitted by an authorised person (the Parliament or the President of the Republic), the Constitutional Court examines for conformity with the Fundamental Law the provisions of adopted but not yet promulgated Acts referred to in the petition. This competence of the Court extends to the preliminary review of the conformity of certain provisions of international treaties with the Fundamental Law.

Before the acknowledgement of the binding force of an international treaty by the President of the Republic, or in case the international treaty is promulgated by a Government decree, before the acknowledgement of the binding force of that treaty, the Government may request the Constitutional Court to carry out a preliminary review of the conformity of the international treaty or of its provisions with the Fundamental Law.

Considering the adopted statute contrary to the Fundamental Law, the President of the Republic refers it to the Court instead of signing it (constitutional veto). In such a case, the Court decides in extraordinary proceedings.

The ACC assures the possibility of constitutional supervision of international agreements prior to their ratification. Such a petition can be submitted by the President of the Republic, the Government and one-quarter of the Members of Parliament. In this competence the Court reviewed the regulations of the international agreement on the surrender procedure between the member states of the EU and Iceland and Norway (Decision 32/2008).

2) Ex Post Review of Conformity with the Fundamental Law (Posterior Norm Control)

The rules regarding the posterior review have been significantly changed by the rules of the Fundamental Law. Meanwhile until 31 December 2011 anyone, without legal interest could submit a petition asking the constitutional review of a legal norm, according to the new rules, beginning from 1st Jaunuary 2012 such a proceeding can be initiated only by the Government, by one-quarter of the Members of Parliament,  by the Commissioner of Fundamental Rights (ombudsman), by the president of the Curia and by the General Prosecutor. If, upon the petition, the challenged law is found to be contrary to the Fundamental Law, the Court annuls it. Generally, in such a case, the annulled law remains in force until the publishing of the Court’s decision and the annulment does not concern the existing legal relationships. In exceptional cases, the Court may order the retroactive or the pro futuro annulment of the unconstitutional law, for the sake of legal certainty.

3) Judicial Initiative for Norm Control in Concrete Cases

In case of posterior norm control the Constitutional Court performs an abstract norm control, and the object of the examination is the norm. The decision usually does not affect the concrete case which was the base of the petition. The situation is different if a judge, in the course of the adjudication of a concrete case in progress, is bound to apply a legal regulation that he or she perceives to be contrary to the Fundamental Law, or which has already been declared to be contrary to the Fundamental Law by the Constitutional Court. In this case the judge shall suspend the judicial proceedings and submit a petition to the Constitutional Court for declaring that the legal regulation or a provision thereof is contrary to the Fundamental Law, and/or for the exclusion of the application of the legal regulation contrary to the Fundamental Law. In this case the Constitutional Court may establish that the legal regulation or a provision thereof is contrary to the Fundamental Law and may exclude the application thereof in the concrete case or even with a general scope.

4) Constitutional Complaint

Constitutional complaints may be submitted at Constitutional court mainly when a right guaranteed by the Fundamental Law of the petitioner is violated by a judicial decision. Exceptionally, the constitutional complaint procedure may be initiated also when due to the application of a legal provision contrary to the Fundamental Law, or when such legal provision becomes effective, rights are violated directly, without a judicial decision. The constitutional complaint therefore is not a claim for judicial review, the Constitutional court is not a forum for legal remedy in the concrete case.

Another important rule of the Act on Constitutional Court is that the Constitutional Court admits the complaint only if a conflict with the Fundamental Law significantly affects the judicial decision, or the case raises constitutional law issues of fundamental importance.

According to the new rules, there are three types of proceedings based on constitutional complaint.

   a) The first type of the constitutional complaint proceedings is the one that was available also based on the precedent Act on Constitutional Court (1989). In this procedure a person or organisation affected by a concrete case, if their fundamental rights have been injured by the application of an unconstitutional law and there are not any other instrument of legal remedies, may submit a constitutional complaint according to Section 26. (1) of the ACC.

The subject of the review is the legal regulation, whose application led to the unconstitutionality. The legal consequences of the proceedings of the Court can be the anulment or exclusion of the application of the legal regulation contrary to the Fundamental Law.

   b) The second type of the constitutional complaints is based on para (2) of Section 26. of the ACC. According to this, exceptionally the Constitutional Court proceedings may also be initiated if due to the application of a legal provision contrary to the Fundamental Law, or when such legal provision becomes effective, rights were violated directly, without a judicial decision, and there is no procedure for legal remedy designed to repair the violation of rights, or the petitioner has already exhausted the possibilities for remedy. This means that in case of the second type of complaint proceedings there is not any judicial decision, but the violation of rights guaranteed in the Fundamental Law occurs directly. The subject of the examination is the legal norm itself.

   c) With the third type of the constitutional complaints the petitioner challanges a judicial decision. With the entering into force of the new Act on the Constitutional Court the constitutional complaints may be submitted not only against the legal regulations, but also against concrete judicial decisions. The person or organisation affected in concrete cases may turn to the Constitutional Court against the judicial decision that was contrary to the Fundamental Law if the decision made regarding the merits of the case or other decision terminating the judicial proceedings violates their rights laid down in the Fundamental Law, and the possibilities for legal remedy have already been exhausted by the petitioner or no possibility for legal remedy is available for him or her. The subject of the examination is the judicial decision and not legal regulations (similarly to the ”Urteilsverfassungsbeschwerde” in the German constitutional system). When the Court establishes that the judicial decision is contrary to the Fundamental Law, the Court anuls the decision.

5) Examination of Conflicts with International Treaties

Upon the petition of one-quarter of the Members of Parliament, of the Government, of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, of the President of the Curia, of the General Prosecutor or even ex officio in the course of any of its proceedings the Constitutional Court shall examine if legal regulations are consone with the provisions of an international treaty. Judges shall suspend judicial proceedings and initiate Constitutional Court proceedings if, in the course of the adjudication of a concrete case, they are bound to apply a legal regulation that they perceive to be contrary to an international treaty.

This competence creates further possibility to establish the coherence of Hungarian law and international legal orders, especially because the competence can also be performed ex officio.

6) Examination of Parliamentary Resolutions Related to Ordering Referendum

Parliamentary resolutions ordering a referendum or dismissing the ordering of a referendum to be obligatorily ordered may be reviewed by the Constitutional Court with regard to conformity with the Fundamental Law and legality, on the petition of anyone. The petition shall arrive within fifteen days of the publication of Parliament’s resolution. In this procedure the Constitutional Court carries out an examination regarding only the merits of the resolution if, between the authentication of the signature-collecting sheets and the ordering of the referendum, the circumstances changed to a significant degree in a manner that may significantly affect the decision, and if said changes could not be taken into account by the National Election Committee or the Curia when making a decision on the authentication of the question or the decision on the review thereof. The Constitutional Court does not examine the merits of such petitions in which the petitioner refers to constitutional concerns regarding the content of the question or the authentication.

7) Examination of the decision of the Parliament concerning the acknowledgment of organisation performing religious activity

Based on the petition of the concerned organisation performing religious activity, the Constitutional Court shall review the decision of the Parliament concerning the refusal of the acknowledgment as a church of an organisation performing religious activity. The Constitutional Court shall examine the legality of the procedure for the acknowledgment as a church.The Constitutional Court shall uphold Parliament’s decision or annull it and shall call upon the Parliament to make a new decision.

8) Opinion on the Dissolution of a Local Representative Body Operating Contrary to the Fundamental Law

On the Government’s motion, the Constitutional Court shall express an opinion in principle on whether the operation of representative bodies of local governments and nationality self-governments is contrary to the Fundamental Law.

9) Opinion on the Withdrawal of the Acknowledgment of a Church Operating Contrary to the Fundamental Law

The acknowledgment of the Churches whose operation is contrary to the Fundamental Law can be withdrawn by Parliament. Previously, on the Government’s petition, the Constitutional Court shall express an opinion on whether the operation of an acknowledged Church based on the Act on the Freedom of Religion and Conscience and on Legal Status of Churches, Confessions and Religious Communities, is contrary to the Fundamental Law.

10) Removal of the President of the Republic from Office

In accordance with Article 13 of the Fundamental Law, the Constitutional Court acts in proceedings aimed at the removal of the President of the Republic from office based on motions reasoned in details by parliamentary resolution referring to the wilful violation of the Fundamental Law or any Act in connection with the exercise of the President’s official functions or to an intentionally committed criminal offence. The Constitutional Court shall examine the legality of the motion and initiation of the impeachment proceedings. When exercising this competence, the Constitutional Court shall make a decision with the agreement of two thirds of the plenary session members present.

11) The Elimination of Conflicts of Competence

The Court may also resolve conflicts of competence among state organs, or among state organs and local governments.

It is not the competence of the Constitutional Court to resolve conflicts of competence between administrative authorities and Courts. The decision on conflict of competences between local governments is the task of the Curia.

12) Examination of Local Government Decrees, Normative Decisions and Orders, and Decisions on the Uniform Application of the Law

During the proceedings of posterior norm control and constitutional complaint, the Constitutional Court shall only examine the conformity of local government decrees with the Fundamental Law if the purpose of the examination is the determination of conformity with the Fundamental Law exclusively, without consideration of whether the decree is contrary to other legal provisions. In the course of posterior norm control, in the course of norm control in concrete cases on judicial initiative, on the basis of constitutional complaints and in the course of examinations of conformity with international treaties, the Constitutional Court shall review conformity with the Fundamental Law or international treaties of normative decisions and orders and of decisions on the uniform application of the law.

13) Interpretation of Provisions of the Constitution

On the petition of Parliament or its standing committee, the President of the Republic or the Government, the Constitutional Court provides an interpretation of the provisions of the Fundamental Law regarding a certain constitutional issue, provided that the interpretation can be directly deduced from the Fundamental Law.

As the Court previously stated, the interpretation, however, is not limited to this competence (Decision 36/1992), as during posterior review in each case the disclosure of the meaning of the related constitutional provision shall be necessary. The competence of interpretation of the Fundamental Law set forth in the ACC adds to this that it provides also for the abstract interpretation of the Fundamental Law. Even though the ACC indicates as task of the Court to interpret ”the provisions of the Fundamental Law”, the practice of the Court reveals the meaning of “certain provisions” not in themselves, but with regard to constitutional system in its entirety.

The Court interprets its competence restrictively from the aspect that it does not wish to overtake the competence of other organs (especially ordinary courts) concerning interpreting statutory law. Therefore it adjudges petitions related to abstract interpretation of the Fundamental Law only if the constitutional problem directly derives, without the inclusion of another law, from the Fundamental Law.

14) The Elimination of Legislative Omission

If the Constitutional Court, in its proceedings conducted in the exercise of its competences, declares an omission on the part of the law-maker that results in violating the Fundamental Law, it calls upon the organ that committed the omission to perform its task and sets a time-limit for that. The legislative omission that results in violating the Fundamental Law means that the law-maker fails to perform a task deriving from an international treaty, or a legal regulation was not adopted in spite of the fact that the law-maker’s task derives from explicit authorisation by a legal regulation, or the essential content of the legal regulation that can be derived from the Fundamental Law is incomplete.

The Conditions of Initiation of Constitutional Court Proceedings

1. The right to initiate

The Constitutional Court proceeds based on the petition of entities authorised to submit such in accordance with the Fundamental Law and with the ACC.

In the course of constitutional complaint proceedings, legal representation is not mandatory. If the petitioner is represented by lawyers (attorneys/law firms), the right to represent has to be certified. Lawyers /attorneys/ (law firms) or representatives of rights defender social organisations who have passed the bar examination may act as legal representatives. The legal advisor of a legal person or of other economic organisations enjoys an lawyer’s legal status. Constitutional complaints may be submitted only by those who are concerned in the case before courts or authorities.

2. Submission of the petition

Written petitions for initiating proceedings shall be filed directly with the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court immediately informs the President of the Republic and the National Election Committee about the receipt of a petition on the examination of a Parliament’s resolution related to ordering a referendum.

Nevertheless, petitions for constitutional complaint – except for when rights are violated directly, without a judicial decision – have be filed with the court of the first instance and addressed to the Constitutional Court. The court of first instance forwards the constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court. The court may suspend the execution of the decision contested in the constitutional complaint until the Constitutional Court’s proceedings are concluded.

Exceptionally, the constitutional complaint may be submitted directly to the Constitutional Court if due to the application of a legal provision contrary to the Fundamental Law, or when such legal provision becomes effective, rights were violated directly, without a judicial decision, and there is no procedure for legal remedy designed to repair the violation of rights, or the petitioner has already exhausted the possibilities for remedy.

3. Substantive criteria of the petition

The petition must contain an explicit request. A petition is explicit if it clearly indicates the provision of an Act that establishes the competence of the Constitutional Court to adjudicate the petition, and establishes that the entity has the right to submit petitions; the reasons for initiating the proceedings and – in case of a constitutional complaint – the substance of the violation of the right guaranteed by the Fundamental Law; the provision of a legal regulation or the judicial decision to be examined by the Constitutional Court; the provisions of the Fundamental Law or of an international treaty that are violated.

The petition shall contain also a reasoning that specifies why the contested legal regulation, the provision thereof, the judicial decision or the resolution of the Parliament is contrary to the specified provision of the Fundamental Law or the international treaty, and as well as an explicit request for the annulment of the legal regulation, the provision thereof or the judicial decision, and for the content of the Constitutional Court’s decision.

The examination conducted by the Constitutional Court shall be exclusively limited to the specified constitutional request. This provision does not affect the competence of the Constitutional Court with regard to declarations that may be performed ex officio.

The petitioner may repeatedly submit a petition with the same content only if the underlying grounds of the previous petition had changed significantly.

With the exception of constitutional complaints, petitions submitted to the Constitutional Court shall not be withdrawn.

4. Formal criteria of the petition

The petition has to be submitted in written form and filed with the Constitutional Court, or in case of constitutional complaint, with the Court of first instance.

It is not possible to proceed upon petitions submitted by e-mail.

The petition has to include the name and address or seat of the petitioner, and – if the petitioner is a public law official – his or her office.

In constitutional complaint proceedings, the petitioner shall make a declaration on the processing of his or her personal data.

The petition must be signed.

The petitioner is obliged to certify the existence of the preconditions of the proceedings.

5. Charges and Fines

The proceedings of the Constitutional Court are free of charge.

The petitioner has to bear his or her own costs incurred in the course of the Constitutional Court proceedings.

The panel of the Constitutional Court or the single judge may impose a procedural fine on the petitioner and may order him or her to pay the extra costs if the petitioner exercises the right to petition in an abusive manner; similar measures may be taken against those petitioners or other persons participating in the proceedings whose wilful conduct delays or hinders the termination of the Constitutional Court proceedings. The amount of procedural fine may be between HUF 20,000 and HUF 500,000; the person on whom the fine is imposed is obliged to pay the fine until the date specified in the order of the Constitutional Court. When determining the amount of the procedural fine, the gravity and the consequences of the act that resulted in the imposition of the fine are taken into consideration.

 

SEARCH (in Hungarian)

Decision

number year

Case

number year

detailed search

 

NEWS
2016.06.27 From 25 July 2016 till 28 August 2016 the Constitutional Court has judicial vacations

In accordance with Section 12 of the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court determines its judicial vacations period from 25 July 2016 until 28 August 2016.

2016.06.24 Press release regarding the refugee quota referendum

The Constitutional Court in two decisions rejected the petitions that challenged the Parliamentary resolutions ordering a referendum on refugee quotas.

SEARCH (in Hungarian)

Decision

number year

Case

number year

detailed search

 

NEWS
2016.06.27 From 25 July 2016 till 28 August 2016 the Constitutional Court has judicial vacations

In accordance with Section 12 of the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court determines its judicial vacations period from 25 July 2016 until 28 August 2016.

2016.06.24 Press release regarding the refugee quota referendum

The Constitutional Court in two decisions rejected the petitions that challenged the Parliamentary resolutions ordering a referendum on refugee quotas.