31 October 2017
The Conditions of Initiation of Constitutional Complaint Proceedings – Frequently asked questions
1. Who is entitled to initiate the proceeding?
Constitutional complaints may only be submitted by those who are concerned in the case before courts or authorities.
In the course of constitutional complaint proceedings, legal representation is not mandatory. If the petitioner is represented by lawyers (attorneys-at-law/law firms), the right to represent has to be certified. Lawyers/attorneys-at-law/law firms or representatives of rights defender social organisations who have passed the bar examination may act as legal representatives. The counsel of a legal person or of other economic organisations shall enjoy the legal status of an attorney-at-law. Constitutional complaints may be submitted only by those who are concerned in the case before courts or authorities.
2. Where to submit the petition?
Petitions for constitutional complaint – with the exception of rights violated directly, without a judicial decision – have to be filed with the court of first instance and they shall be addressed to the Constitutional Court. The court of first instance shall forward 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 law contrary to the Fundamental Law, or when such law 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. What should the petition contain?
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 law 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 also contain a reasoning that specifies why the contested law, 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 law, the provision thereof or the judicial decision, and for the content of the Constitutional Court’s decision.
The petitioner may repeatedly submit a petition with the same content only if the underlying grounds of the previous petition have changed significantly.
The petition for a constitutional complaint submitted to the Constitutional Court may be withdrawn.
4. What are the formal criteria of the petition?
The petition has to be submitted in written form and it must be signed. No procedure shall be started upon petitions submitted by e-mail.
The petition has to include the name and address or seat of the petitioner. In constitutional complaint proceedings, petitioners shall make a declaration on processing their personal data.
The petitioner shall certify the existence of the preconditions of the proceedings.
5. Are the proceedings free of charge?
The proceedings of the Constitutional Court are free of charge.
Petitioners have to bear their own costs incurred in the course of the Constitutional Court proceedings.