For the first time in the history of the institution, as much as 40 ambassadors accredited to Hungary participated at the reception offered by the president of the Constitutional Court and held in Budapest in the hall of the Constitutional Court. The purpose of organising this event was to convey authentic information to the international public on the role of the Constitutional Court in the Hungarian democracy, the significant powers it has in the field of protecting fundamental rights, its competences, and its members elected on the basis of a political consensus. Tamás Sulyok emphasized to the participating diplomats the importance of widening international relations and close dialogues in the field of judicial cooperation.

The president informed the ambassadors, among others, about the changes resulting from the introduction of the Fundamental Law in 2012. Although the Fundamental Law had restricted – partially and temporarily – the Constitutional Court’s competences regarding certain issues of budgetary nature, as a whole, the role of the Constitutional Court as the guardian of the rule of law has been clearly improved. It is indeed an important difference compared to the period before 1 January 2012 that now the Constitutional Court exercises constitutional control over all the three branches of power, including the judicial power – with rights very similar to the ones exercised by the German Constitutional Court.

As underlined by Tamás Sulyok: the Constitutional Court is a protective shield safeguarding the rule of law and the people’s constitutional rights. With the introduction of real constitutional complaint, the Fundamental Law allowed those who seek legal remedy to turn directly to the Constitutional Court in case of the violation of their fundamental rights. The figures justify the success of the new institution: since five years the number of constitutional complaints submitted to the Court has been increasing steadily. The volume of complains has doubled between the years 2013 and 2016. Last year the number of constitutional complaints submitted was 901, of which 689 were real constitutional complaints.

The president noted that between 2012 and the first half of 2017 as much as 9500 affected individuals or organisations turned to the Constitutional Court. In this period there were 452 judicial motions, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights initiated 59 procedures while the one-quarter of the Members of Parliament filed petitions on 19 occasions. Since 2012 the average processing time of the cases has been around six months and in the case of constitutional complaints it has been 200 days.

The president thanked the ambassadors for their cooperation and expressed his hope to develop even closer relations in the future.

 

The text of the presentation of the president of the Constitutional Court can be downloaded here.

The slides of the presentation can be downloaded here.

 

Budapest, 20 September 2017.