The Constitutional Court’s Rules of Procedure*

 

On the basis of the authorisation contained in Section 70 para. (1) of the Act CLI of 2011 on the Constitutional Court, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 17 para. (1) item j), Section 22 para. (4), Section 49 para. (7), Section 50 para. (1), Section 55 para (1), Section 56 paras (1) and (4), Section 57 para. (6) and Section 59, acting within the/its competence contained in Section 50 para. (2) item c), the Plenary Session of the Constitutional Court hereby adopts the detailed rules of procedure of the Constitutional Court:

 

Chapter I.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

1. The Organs Of The Constitutional Court

 

Section 1 (1) According to the Fundamental Law, to the Act CLI of 2011 on the Constitutional Court (hereinafter: the ACC) and to the Constitutional Court’s Rules of Procedure, the Constitutional Court shall exercise its tasks and competences by way of

a) the Plenary Session of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter: “Plenary/full Session”),

b) the panels/councils/chambers of the Constitutional Court,

a) the President of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter: “President”),

d) the Vice-president of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter: “Vice-president”),

e) the Member of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter: “judge of the Constitutional Court”),

f) the single judge,

g) the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter: “Secretary General”),

h) the committees of the Constitutional Court and

i) the Office of the Constitutional Court.

 

(2) The detailed rules on the structure and the administrative operation of the Constitutional Court shall be specified in the Organisational and Operational Rules and the Administrative Regulations of the Constitutional Court.

 

2. The Plenary Session

 

Section 2 (1) The Plenary Session shall perform all the tasks and exercise all the competences that are referred to the tasks and the competences of the Plenary Session by the ACC and the Rules of Procedure.

(2) In addition to its tasks and competences specified in the ACC, the Plenary Session shall in particular

a) adopt a decision on initiating a procedure ex officio,

b) adopt a decision in the competences specified in Section 33 and Section 33/A of the ACC,

c) adopt a decision in the competence specified in Section 34 and 34/A of the ACC in the case of establishing a conflict with the Fundamental Law, and in a procedure – under Section 24 of the ACC – aimed at the review of a normative decision adopted on the basis of Article 5 para. (7) of the Fundamental Law, in the case of establishing a conflict with the Fundamental Law,

d) adopt a decision in accordance with Section 37 para. (2) of the ACC, in the case of the annulment of a decision on the uniform application of the law,

e) adopt a decision in the competence specified in Section 46 para. (3) of the ACC,

f) adopt a decision in the competence specified in Section 46 para. (1) of the ACC in the case of establishing a legislative omissionto adopt an Act or establishing a deficiency of the essential content of an Act,

g) adopt a decision in the competence specified in Section 61 para. (2) of the ACC on suspending the entry into force of an Act of Parliament,

h) release a Resolution of the Plenary Session on the basis of Section 70 para. (2) of the ACC or adopt a decision of the Plenary Session on organisational, personnel management and operational issues affecting the operation of the Constitutional Court,

i) adopt a decision, upon the motion of the President, on the Organisational and Operational Rules of the Constitutional Court and on further internal regulations affecting other aspects of the operation and procedure of the Constitutional Court as a body,

j) determine the composition of the Constitutional Court’s panels and the presiding judges of the panels,

k) determine the composition of the permanent committees of the Constitutional Court,

l) take a position on the fundamental questions affecting the judges of the Constitutional Court in person and regarding their working conditions,

m) take a position on fundamental budgetary issues.

Section 3 (1) The president shall, with the assistance of the Secretary General, convene the Plenary Session and establish its agenda.

(2) An extraordinary session may be convened – establishing its agenda simultaneously – by the Plenary Session, or – in an exceptional case or in case of urgency – by the president in his or her own competence or on the initiative of seven judges of the Constitutional Court.

Section 4 (1) If necessary for the adoption of a decision falling within the competence of the Plenary Session, the petitioner or his/her representative and the expert  may be heard, and other persons invited ad hoc by the President may participate at the Plenary Session.

(2) The Secretary General shall participate in the Plenary Session.

(3) The Secretary General shall prepare a memorandum on  the Plenary Session within four working days to be approved by the President and signed by the President and Secretary General.

 

3. The Panels And The Procedure By A Single Judge

 

Section 5 (1) The Constitutional Court shall adopt its decisions in panels with the exception of the cases referred by the ACC or by the Rules of Procedure to the competence of the Plenary Session or of a single judge.

(2) At the Constitutional Court there are three permanent panels each composed of five members.; a panel of three members can be formed by the decision of the Plenary Session for the implementation of Section 10 or for any other important reason.

(3) Each judge of the Constitutional Court is a member of one of the permanent panels of five members.

(4) The composition of the panels of the Constitutional Court shall be determined by the Plenary Session, on the proposal of the President, for a period of three years.

Section 6 (1) The presiding judge of the panel shall be elected – in the year of establishing the panel and determining its composition simultaneously – by the Plenary Session, on the proposal of the President, from the members of the panel for a period of one year. Prior to the expiry of the period of one year, the Plenary Session shall elect a new presiding judge of the panel on the proposal of the President.

(2) The presiding judge of the panel can be reelected to be a presiding judge after a period of three years upon the expiry of his/her mandate.

Section 7 (1) The Plenary Session shall adopt the decisions specified in Section 5 para. (4) and Section 6 para. (1) by open ballot.

(2) In case /in case of unsuccessful voting, upon a new proposal of the President, a new round of voting shall be held. In the course of submitting the new proposal, the President shall take into account the position taken by the Plenary Session.

(3) The Plenary Session shall publish in its official journal and on the official website of the Constitutional Court its decision on establishing panels, on the members of the panels and the presiding judge of the panel.

(4) For a reason of particular importance related to the performance of duties, the President or more than half of the judges of the Constitutional Court may initiate the modification of the composition of panels or changing the person of the presiding judge before the expiry of the period specified in this Rules of Procedure.

Section 8 (1) The operation/ of the panel shall be organised and lead by the presiding judge.

(2) The sessions of the panel shall be convened and its agenda shall be determined by the presiding judge by way of the Secretary General.

(3) A session of the panel may only be convened exceptionally by the presiding judge to a date differing from the frequency of sessions specified in this Rules of Procedure, upon prior notification to the President.

(4) Convening the session under paragraph (3) shall not apply if there are deadlines expired with regard to the cases assigned to the members of the panel.

(5) More than half of the panel’s members may propose the presiding judge to convene a session under paragraph (3).

(6) The proceeding panel, the Plenary Session, or – in case of urgency – the presiding judge shall decide upon convening an extraordinary session.

(7) The session of the panel shall be chaired by the presiding judge. In the course of the procedures under Section 233 of the Act XXXVI of 2013 on the election procedure and Section 79 para. (3) of the Act CCXXXVIII of 2013 on the initiation of referenda, on European citizens’ initiative and on referendum procedure (hereinafter jointly: “procedures under AE and AR”) the session shall be chaired – in the absence of the presiding judge of the panel – by the judge rapporteur.

Section 9 (1) The members of the panel shall take part in the panel’s sessions with the right to consult and the right to vote.

(2) The panel shall have the right to deliberate  if the majority of its members are present. Absent members have the right to send a written opinion to other members of the panel.

(3) The panel shall have a quorum if its session is attended by all members. In the course of procedures under AE and AR the panel shall have a quorum if attended by the majority of members. The panel’s decision shall be passed by open ballot without abstention.

(4) If a member of a panel is permanently prefented from acting, the President shall decide on the substitution of the member on the proposal of the presiding judge, or, in the case of the prevention from acting of the presiding judge, on the proposal of the majority of the panel’s members. Until having a decision on the substitution of the presiding judge, the sessions of the panel shall be convened by the President.

(5) The petitioner and the expert may be heard and other persons invited ad hoc by the presiding judge of the panel may participate at the panel’s session.

(6) A Secretary General may participate at the panel’s session.

(7) A staff member of the presiding judge shall prepare a memorandum on the panel’s session within three working days upon rising or concluding the session, to be signed by the presiding judge or, if the presiding judge is prevented from acting, a member of the panel.

(8) The memorandum shall be sent to the Secretary General for the purpose of distributing it to the judges and the staff members of the Constitutional Court.

Section 10 (1) The Plenary Session shall decide upon setting up a temporary panel on the basis of the President’s proposal.

(2) At least seven judges of the Constitutional Court may initiate – by indicating the reason of setting up a temporary panel – at the president the establishment of a temporary panel and, based on this initiative, the President shall submit a proposal to the Plenary Session.

(3) The provisions pertaining to permanent panels shall be applied mutatis mutandis  to the composition of temporary panels, as well as to the determination of the presiding judge of the panel, the quorum, the decision making, the order of sessions and the agenda of temporary panels.

(4) Temporary panels can be established by the decision of the Plenary Session by indicating the aim of the panel, with regard to proceeding in cases or groups of cases specified individually or thematically, for a fixed period of time not exceeding one year. The panel shall  dissolve  upon the expiry of the fixed period of time.

Section 11 Two judges of the Constitutional Court designated for three months by the President shall act in the single judge procedure specified in Section 55 para. (5) of the ACC. The judge of the Constitutional Court designated to act as a single judge can only be designated again as a single judge after the expiry of eighteen months, with the exception of the judge requesting his or her designation at an earlier date.

 

4. General Rules of Pperation as a body and the Organisation of Operation

 

Section 12 (1) The Constitutional Court shall recess  not more than twice a year (in the summer and in the winter) for a total maximum of fifty-six days per year. The Plenary Session shall determine and publish the recess  periods in each year before 30 June and 30 November.

(2) In the ordinary session periods the Plenary Session and the panels (hereinafter jointly: “bodies”) shall hold sessions at least once in a fortnight or more frequently, as required.

(3) Sessions shall be convened – with the assistanceof the Secretary Gneral – by defining their date and time, as well as their agenda. The draft, memo or problem outline (hereinafter jointly: “draft”) prepared with regard to the cases shall be made availabe sent by the Secretary General to the judges of the Constitutional Court.

(4) An extraordinary session can be convened in a period without ordinary sessions or, in addition to ordinary sessions. The reason of convening an extraordinary session, as well as its proposed date, time and agenda shall be indicated.

5) If the session of the body convened has not reached the quorum, the President or the presiding judge of the panel shall make an attempt to restitute the quorum, and in the case of failing to achieve this he or she shall postpone the decision making.

(6) The agenda of the sessions shall be published on the official website of the Constitutional Court.

Section 13 (1) A memorandum shall be prepared about the sessions of the bodies, enumerating/ the members of the body attending the session, indicating the agenda of the session, the main (substantial) elements of the discussion, the president’s (presiding judge’s) summary – if any – about the points on the agenda, as well as the decisions passed in the session, the distribution of the votes and the names of the judges of the Constitutional Court who announced to have a dissenting or concurring opinion.

(2) Any member of the body may submit – within eight working days from making the memorandum available– a reasoned written proposal to initiate the rectification or amendment of the memorandum. The proposed modifications shall be adopted on the next session of the panel and in the case of a Plenary Session the Secretary General shall implement the modification with the consent of the President.

(3) The memorandum shall not be public for ten years.

Section 14 (1) Voice recording shall be made about/on  the discussion of the cases on the agenda of the Plenary Session of the Constitutional Court.

(2) If initiated by three judges of the Constitutional Court,  voice recording shall be made on the session of the panel and on other meetings – in particular if the discussion is about personal issues, affects the operation of the Constitutional Court or concerns a question of particular importance. Statements made by any judge of the Constitutional Court shall be voice recorded if requested by the judge.

(3) Voice recordings shall be retained by the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court by indicating the date, time and the subject of the session. Voice recordings shall not be public until the expiry of the retention period.

Section 15 (1) The Secretary General shall maintain an electronic registry system (case register) about the cases in process including the names of the judge rapporteurs and the data on receiving the case.

(2) On the basis of the case register the panels shall prepare work plans for 6 months containing the planned date of discussing the petitions received and the constitutional complaints admitted, as well as the names of the judge rapporteurs. The judges of the Constitutional Court shall make a proposal on the work plan individually.

(3) The work plan and its amendments shall be presented to the President and it shall be made available to all judges of the Constitutional Court.

 

5. The President

 

Section 16 (1) The President shall – in addition to the duties specified in Section 17 of the ACC – on the basis of the authorisation granted in Section 17 para. (1) item l) – perform the tasks specified in this Rules of Procedure.

(2) In the context  of the duties related to representing the Constitutional Court [Section 17 para. (1) of ACC] the President shall in particular

a) ensure to safeguard the reputation of the Constitutional Court,

b) represent the Constitutional Court personally or by giving authorisation to a delegate in contacts with the Parliament, the Curia, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, other organs of the State and with social and other organisations, as well as in international relations,

c) represent the Constitutional Court in the  public personally or by giving  authorisation to a delegate.

(3) The judge of the Constitutional Court shall notify the President prior to any public appearance – in particular at professional, scientific and social events or programmes – in a topic related to the operation of the Constitutional Court and to the tasks and competences thereof, as well as before any publication in the above topics. In addition, the judge of the Constitutional Court shall notify the President if any staff member of the Constitutional Court appears in the general public in a topic related to the operation of the Constitutional Court and to the tasks and competences thereof, as well as any significant publication by the staff member in the above topics.

(4) In the context of the duties related to harmonising the activities of the Constitutional Court and to its sessions and operation [Section 17 para. (1) items a)-c) and e)-f) of the ACC] the President, in particular,

a) shall convene, open, chair and adjourn the sessions; announce the results of the voting and maintai n the order of the sessions,

b) may participate in the session of any committee with a right to consult,

c) shall coordinate the operation of the panels in cooperation with the Secretary General and the presiding judge of the panel,

d) may convene a work meeting,

e) shall exercise the right to make a proposal on determining and modifying the composition and the heads of the panels and committees, as well as their scope of tasks,

f) shall designate judge rapporteurs to deal with the petitions received by the Constitutional Court (assigning),

g) may change the designation of the judge  rapporteur if the judge rapporteur is permanently prevented from acting, for assuring the equal distribution of cases or processing the backlog of cases, because of bias or exclusion, or at the request of the judge rapporteur (transsigning),

h) may decide at the time of assigning the case or at any time during the procedure to submit a case that falls within the competence of a panel to the Plenary Session,

i) shall issue the Administrative Regulations on the proposal of the Secretary General, and issue further internal regulations, not affecting the operation and the procedures of the Constitutional Court as a body, connected to the operation of the institution and to exercising employer’s rights on the proposal ofthe Secretary General or the Financial Manager.

(5) In the scope of tasks related to the administration of the cases falling in the Constitutional Court’s scope of competence within reasonable time [Section 17 para. 81] item d)], the President shall

a) determine the deadline day for hearing cases at the time of assigning cases or at any time before hearing the case, and he or she may order the processing of the case out of turn or in an expedite procedure,

b) have the right to extend the deadline for preparing a draft,

c) have the right to determine the date or the deadline for putting the discussed draft on the agenda repeatedly,

d) monitor compliance with the deadlines in cooperation with the Secretary General and the presiding judges of the panels.

(6) The President shall designate the rapporteur out of turn to judge upon in a preliminary norm control under Section 23 of the ACC and in judicial initiative under Section 25 of the ACC.

 

6. The Vice-President

 

Section 17 (1) The Vice-President shall be elected by the Plenary Session by secret ballot on the proposal of the President.

(2) In case of unsuccessful voting, upon a new proposal of the President, a new round of voting shall be held.

 

7. The Judge Of The Constitutional Court

 

Section 18 (1) The judge of the Constitutional Court shall report to the president any cause of incompatibility  specified in Section 10 of the ACC. The cause  of incompatibility may also be reported by the President or by any other judge of the Constitutional Court.

(2) With regard to a person newly elected as a judge of the Constitutional Court – on the basis of Section 10 para. (2) ofthe ACC – an incompatibility procedure shall be commenced in ten days, and it shall be commenced without delay against a judge of the Constitutional Court, if the judge of the Constitutional Court denies the existence of incompatibility or fails to report to the president the fact that incompatibility has been eliminated.

(3) On the basis of the report, the President shall notify the affected judge of the Constitutional Court in writing and he or she shall convene the Plenary Session within eight days in the procedure of incompatibility specified in para. (2).

(4) If the Plenary Session establishes the existence of incompatibility, its decision shall at the same time call upon the affected judge of the Constitutional Court to eliminate the cause  of incompatibility in ten days. At the same time, the legal sanction specified in Section 12 of the ACC shall be applicable.

(5) The President shall convene the Plenary Session repeatedly without delay upon the expiry of ten days from the date of the Constitutional Court’s session establishing incompatibility.

(6) The Plenary Session shall decide by the majority of votes on establishing the elimination of the cause of incompatibility or, in the absence of such elimination, it shall pass a reasoned decision establishing the termination of membership in the Constitutional Court on the basis of Section 15 para. (2) item c) of the ACC.

Section 19 (1) Terminating membership in the Constitutional Court by way of exclusion – on the basis of Section 15 para. (2) item e) of the ACC – may be initiated by the President or by five judges of the Constitutional Court. The proposal shall be submitted in writing by indicating the cause of exclusion and the circumstances supporting it.

(2) The President shall notify in writing the affected judge of the Constitutional Court and he or she shall convene the Plenary Session within eight days upon the motion by sending out written proposal.

(3) The Plenary Session shall hear the affected judge of the Constitutional Court, and, if necessary, it shall designate a commission of inquiry consisting of five judges of the Constitutional Court to clarify the facts of the case. The judge who proposed the exclusion shall not be a member of the commission of inquiry.

(4) The commission of inquiry shall complete the inquiry within fifteen days and it shall prepare, within eight days upon the completion of the inquiry, a written report for the Plenary Session together with a proposal on exclusion or non-exclusion.

(5) The commission of inquiry may request data and it may hear any person. The findings made by the commission of inquiry and the pieces of evidence shall be presented to the affected judge of the Constitutional Court and he or she shall have the right to make observations on it and to propose taking further evidence. Minutes shall be taken about the statements and proposals made by the affected judge of the Constitutional Court.

(6) Upon eight days of completing the report the President shall convene – by sending the report and the proposal of exclusion – the Plenary Session.

(7) The Plenary Session – after having heard the affected judge of the Constitutional Court or after having allowed a repeated hearing without result, and having the report discussed – shall adopt a decision on the exclusion by secret ballot.

(8) If the proposal of exclusion is related to the case specified in Section 16 para. (5) of the ACC, and the Constitutional Court establishes the existence of the cause of exclusion, it shall exclude the affected judge of the Constitutional Court from the members of the Constitutional Court.

(9) Membership in the Constitutional Court shall cease on the day of adopting the decision of the Constitutional Court declaring the exclusion.

Section 20 (1) Terminating the membership in the Constitutional Court by way of dismissal on the basis of Section 15 para. (2) item d) of the ACC can be initiated in writing by the President or not less than five judges of the Constitutional Court by indicating the cause of dismissal.

(2) The Plenary Session shall be convened by the President – by sending out the written proposal – in eight days upon the day of putting forward the proposal.

(3) The Plenary Session – after having heard the affected judge of the Constitutional Court or after having allowed a repeated hearing without result, and having the proposal discussed – shall adopt a decision about dismissal by secret ballot.

(4) Membership in the Constitutional Court shall cease on the day of adopting the decision of the Constitutional Court declaring the dismissal.

Section 21 (1) The President shall, without delay, forward to the Commission of Financial and Personnel Affairs for examination any motion aimed at the suspension of the immunity submitted on the basis of Section 14 of the ACC, at the same time shall notify the affected judge of the Constitutional Court in writing, and shall announce it  at the next Plenary Session.

(2) The commission shall complete its inquiry within fifteen days and it shall prepare, within eight days upon the completion of the inquiry, a written report for the Plenary Session together with a proposal on the suspension or the maintaining of immunity.

(3) Upon eight days of completing the report, the President shall convene the Plenary Session.

(4) The affected judge of the Constitutional Court may present his or her position before the commission and at the Plenary Session.

(5) The Plenary Session – after having heard the affected judge of the Constitutional Court or after having allowed a repeated hearing without result, and having the report discussed – shall adopt a decision about the suspension of immunity by secret ballot.

 

8. The Secretary General

 

Section 22 (1) The President shall propose to the Plenary Session a person for the position of the Secretary General and he or she shall be elected by the Plenary Session by open ballot.

(2) In case of unsuccessful voting, upon a new proposal of the President, a new round of voting shall be held.

 

9. The Committees

 

Section 23 (1) The committees are the organs of the Plenary Session and of the President for the purpose of forming opinions, making proposals and – with the authorization of the Plenary Session or the President – preparing decisions or controlling the implementation thereof.

(2) Committees can be formed either as standing or temporary committees.

(3) A temporary committee can be established for the purpose of a task specified in the decision of the Plenary Session for a fixed period not exceeding one year.

(4) The committee can discuss any question related to the scope of its operation upon the request of the Plenary Session or the president, and it can make an inquiry in the subject specified in the request, make a recommendation or form an opinion.

(5) The committee can put forward to the President or the Plenary Session a proposal for a request under para. (3).

(6) The standing committees of the Constitutional Court are the Committee of Procedural Affairs, the Committee of Financial and Personnel Affairs and the Committee of Scientific and International Affairs.

(7) The Plenary Session may decide on establishing further standing or temporary committees.

(8) A committee shall have a minimum of three members; its president and its members shall be designated from the judges of the Constitutional Court by the Plenary Session on the proposal of the President for a period of three years in the case of standing committees and for the period specified in the designation in the case of temporary committees.

 

10. Public Servants and Employees Employed at the Constitutional Court

 

Section 24 (1) The public servants employed at the Constitutional Court perform the following tasks in accordance with the Organisational and Operational Rules:

a) preparing decisions for the judge of the Constitutional Court in line with the judges’ staff structure and other tasks specified by the judge of the Constitutional Court, as well as

b) the duties at other organisational units as specified in the Organisational and Operational Rules

(2) The public servants and employees employed at the Constitutional Court shall not undertake public political appearances, hold any office in an organisation performing political activities, take part in law-making duties and shall not undertake any other activity or show any conduct that would jeopardise the reputation and the impartiality of the Constitutional Court.

(3) The public servants and employees employed at the Constitutional Court are bound by the obligation of confidentiality with regard to the preparation of the decisions and the contents of the draft decisions concerning the cases in process, and they shall not give any information to the media regarding such cases.

 

Chapter Ii

The Constitutional Court’s Procedure

11. Preparation Process by the Secretary General

 

Section 25 (1) The Secretary General shall prepare the Constitutional Court’s procedure on the basis of Section 55 of the ACC.

(2) The Secretary General shall examine, upon receipt, the petitions received by the Constitutional Court (addressed to the Constitutional Court, the President, the Secretary General, the judges of the Constitutional Court) with regard to its compliance with the conditions specified in the ACC and other statutory requirements, thus enabling the commencement of the Constitutional Court’s procedure.

(3) After examining the petition – as specified in Section 55 para. (2) of the ACC – the Secretary General shall send a reply to the petitioner informing him or her about

a) the lack of a legal possibility to commence a procedure by the Constitutional Court due to the provision excluding it under Section 55 para. (4) of the ACC,

b) sending the petition to another competent organ or authority if the Constitutional Court’s lack of competence and the competent authority can be verified beyond doubt,

c) verifying it beyond doubt that the constitutional issue qualifies as res iudicata on the basis of the ACC and there is no legal possibility to judge upon the repeatedly submitted petition without the fundamental changes of the circumstances,

d) the petition does not comply with the formal or substantial requirements set by the law.

(4) If it is foreseen that the deficiency specified in Section (3) item d) can be corrected, the Secretary General shall, together with the notification, – in line with Section 55 para. (3) of the ACC – call upon the petitioner to complete the documents and shall provide information about the legal consequences and shall set a deadline of thirty days.

(5) In case of empowering a legal representative, a formal power of attorney shall be annexed to the petition; the lack of a power of attorney or submitting it in a way different from the provisions of the Rules of Procedure shall be considered as a circumstance giving reason for the completion of documents.

(6) Should the petitioner fail to complete the documents within the deadline specified despite of receiving the notification mentioned in paras (3)-(4) and the call for the completion of documents, the Constitutional Court shall terminate the procedure; in case of a deficiency specified in para. (5), the Constitutional Court shall proceed with the procedure as if there had been no power of attorney for a legal representative, by notifying the petitioner about it and the Constitutional Court shall send future notifications and communications to the petitioner based on the petitioner’s personal actions.

(7) If a constitutional complaint was filed directly with the Constitutional Court despite of the provisions of Section 53 para. (2) of the ACC, and the court of first instance that acted in the case can be identified form the content of the petition, the Secretary General shall send the petition to the court, with the exception of the procedures under AE and AR.

Section 26 (1) The Secretary General – with the exception of the procedures under AE and AR – shall inform the petitioner about registering a petition suitable for judging upon it and about commencing the procedure..

(2) In a procedure commenced based on a constitutional complaint, the Secretary General shall request information from the court of first instance that forwarded the constitutional complaint if there is any procedure for review, legal remedy on the ground of legality or retrial in process at the Curia, and if there is a decision adopted on suspending the execution of the judgement of final force.

(3) For the purpose of expediting the preparation process, inquiring, as well as requesting and giving information, or requesting the simple completion of documents in the framework of the completion of documents under Section 25 paras (4)–(5) can also be implemented by short notice (using telecommunications or electronic tools), if the identity of the inquired party, as well as his or her telecommunications or electronic accessibility are beyond doubt, and the inquired party is entitled to take note of the communication. The fact of performing a request as well as its date and the receiving of the request by the requested party shall be indicated in the file of the case.

(4) The Secretary General shall put forward a proposal for the decision of the single judge specified in Section 55 para. (5) of the ACC and he or she shall prepare the decision.

(5) If the petition is formally and substantially suitable for the procedure, the Secretary General shall present it to the President for the purpose of assigning it to the judge rapporteur.

(6) In the case of a judicial initiative under Section 25 of ACC or in case of a procedure without delay, the Secretary General shall perform his or her duties without delay.

(7) The detailed rules on registering petitions,  other documents submitted and on handling documents shall be regulated in the Administrative Regulations of the Constitutional Court.

 

12. Legal Representation

 

Section 27 (1) If the petitioner empowers a legal representative, an attorney-at-law (law office, lawyer of the European Communities), a representative of a human rights non-governmental organisation who passed the bar exam, and legal counsels of legal entities and of other economic organisations shall be entitled to act as legal representatives at the Constitutional Court.

(2) The right of representation shall be verified by a power of attorney incorporated in a private deed of full probative force in accordance with the Act on Civil Procedure (hereinafter: ACP) or a public deed, and – in the case of a legal counsel – by verifying the status of employment or the mandate with the petitioning organisation or by way of the counsel’s certificate.

(3) The power of attorney shall cover the representation in the procedure at the Constitutional Court. The scope of designating or empowering a defence lawyer or representative to act in the original procedure shall not extend to acting in the procedure at the Constitutional Court.

(4) The legal representative shall sign the petition.

(5) Should the legal representative’s right of representation cease for any reason during the Constitutional Court’s procedure, the Constitutional Court shall call upon the petitioner to delegate a new representative or make a statement about acting personally. Should the petitioner fail to reply to the above call, the Constitutional Court shall presume that the petitioner would act in person.

 

13. Deadline and Application for Extension

 

Section 28 (1) Petitions shall be filed within the deadline specified by the law for filing and other procedural acts to be made within a deadline shall be performed within the deadline specified, by submitting it personally to the organ specified by the ACC as the organ entitled to receive the petition or by mailing it as a registered mail. The consequences of non-compliance with the deadline shall not be applicable if the petition has been submitted on the last day of the deadline in office hours or it has been mailed as a registered mail. Petitions submitted by using a telecommunications device shall not be entertained.

(2) The deadline specified according to Section 30 para. (1) of the ACC shall commence on the day following delivery or the day following the entry into force of the rule of law. If the last day of the deadline is a holiday, the deadline shall expire on the next working day.

(3) An application for extension can only be submitted in the case of a failure to comply with the deadline of sixty days for filing a constitutional complaint.

(4) In the case of a delay of filing the application for extension and when the petitioner fails to perform the omitted action at the same time of filing the application, the application shall be rejected without examining the merits of it.

(5) The application for extension shall contain the cause of the delay and the circumstances that support the probability that the delay was not imputable to the petitioner.

(6) The Constitutional Court shall rule about the application for extension in a single judge procedure upon the proposal of the Secretary General. The application for extension shall be judged upon in an equitable manner.

(7) Should the single judge accept the application for extension, the action performed after the expiry of the deadline shall be considered as if it has been made by the petitioner within the deadline.

 

14. Single-Judge Procedure

 

Section 29 (1) The single judge shall reject the petition without examining it on the merits if the petitioner refuses to accept the notification specified in Section 25 paras (3) and (6) and the conditions contained in Section 55 of ACC are met, or if the petition continues to be incompatible with the formal or substantial requirements set by the law despite of the completion of the documents specified in Section 25 para. (4).

(2) The single judge shall pass a decision on rejecting the petition if the court of first instance that acted in the case according to Section 25 para. (7) cannot be verified beyond doubt from the contents of the petition.

 

15. Admission of a Constitutional Complaint

 

Section 30 (1) The judge rapporteur shall examine without delay the admissibility of a constitutional complaint. The complaint shall be admitted if no grounds for rejecting it could be established.

(2) The Constitutional Court may reject the constitutional complaint if

a) the conditions set out in Section 29 of ACC are not complied with,

b) the Constitutional Court has already judged – according to Section 31 of ACC – upon the constitutional problem raised,

c) the affectedness of the petitioner cannot be verified or the petition was filed by a ineligible person,

d) the petition was late and there is no recourse to an application for extension, the petitioner failed to file an application of extension or the Constitutional Court rejected it,

e) the petitioner failed to use all available legal remedies,

f) judging upon the petition is beyond the Constitutional Court’s competence,

g) there is a completion of documents or another statement missing, making it impossible to judge upon the case,

h) the petition does not comply with the statutory conditions for another reason.

(3) The procedure of admission under Section 56 of the ACC shall be implemented on the basis of the constitutional complaint also in the case of the petitioner initiating a review in addition to submitting the complaint.

(4) The affectedness and the criteria of admission shall be examined individually with regard to all petitioners.

(5) In the case of petitions of identical subject filed by more than one affected petitioner on the basis of the violation and the same constitutional relation of the same right enshrined in the Fundamental Law, the Constitutional Court may examine the merits of the case after admitting the first petition. The consequences of the decision on the merits shall be applicable as appropriate – depending on the merits of the decision – to the other petitions of the same subject not yet admitted.

Section 31 (1) The judge rapporteur shall prepare a memorandum on the proposal aimed at admitting the complaint. If the judge rapporteur proposes to reject the admission of the complaint, he or she shall prepare a draft decision.

(2) The memorandum or the decision shall be made available to the members of the Constitutional Court in accordance with Section 42.

(3) The Plenary Session shall decide on admitting the complaint on the basis of Section 49 para. (6) of ACC if

a) it has been initiated in accordance with Section 49 para. (6) item ba) by the majority of the panel’s members, or

b) an initiative to submit is to the Plenary Session in accordance with Section 49 para. (6) items bb) and bc) was received not later than on the last working day preceding the panel’s session.

(4) The ruling on rejecting the complaint shall be justified by providing a brief indication of the cause and the reason of the rejection.

(5) The ruling shall be communicated to the petitioner and the court of first instance. The judge rapporteur shall notify the petitioner and the court of first instance on admitting the complaint, and other interested parties may be notified as well.

(6) Instead of the decision on admitting the complaint the judge rapporteur may submit to the body a draft containing the decision on the merits of the complaint.

 

16. The Review Process of the Curia and the Constitutional Complaint

Section 32 (1) The obligation of exhausting all the legal remedies specified in Section 26 para. (1) item b), Section 27 item b) and Section 56 para. (2) of ACC shall not be applicable to the review of the Curia as an extraordinary legal remedy. The constitutional complaint according to Section 26 para. (1) and Section 27 of ACC can also be submitted when the law allows the submitting of a request or petition for review.

(2) With account to paragraph (1), in the application of Section 27 of ACC, the decision adopted by the Curia in a review procedure shall be considered as a decision passed in the merits of the case or a decision ending the court procedure and as a decision that could be challenged with a constitutional complaint, or as a decision that could be challenged with a constitutional complaint on the basis of Section 26 para. (1) of ACC, if the Curia’s decision

a) maintains the force of the challenged decision, or

b) annuls the decision of final force in full or partially, and adopts a new decision complying with the law instead of the decision of final force or the decision of first instance, or

c) modifies the decision of final force and adopts a new decision complying with the law, or

d) annuls the challenged decision and terminates the procedure,

provided that the petitioner has not challenged the decision of final force at the Constitutional Court.

(3) No constitutional complaint submitted on the basis of Section 26 para. (1) and Section 27 of ACC shall be entertained

a) against the Curia’s decision rejecting a request or petition of review if the Curia’s rejection was due to the lack of the completion of documents or a supplement, or a default by the petitioner to obey the deadline open for the review,

b) against the Curia’s decision annulling the judgement and ordering a new procedure [procedure in progress].

 

17. The Examination of the Petition

 

Section 33 (1) The rapporteur shall examine the petition after having it received, and

a) shall call upon the petitioner – in a ruling – to complete the documents, by setting a short deadline and by specifying the deficiencies, if the rapporteur establishes that the petition requires completing or correcting, at the same time warning the petitioner that should the petition be repeatedly filed incompletely or in delay, the Constitutional Court shall reject it or judge upon it according to its incomplete content,

b) shall put forward a motion to transfer the petition if he or she concludes on the basis of the completion of the documents that the Constitutional Court has no competence to judge upon the petition.

(2) Should the petitioner complement the deficiency of the petition within the specified deadline, it shall be considered as if it has been originally filed correctly.

(3) Should the deadline pass without a result, the Constitutional Court shall decide the case on the basis of the data available. If the deficiency of the data makes it impossible to adopt a decision, the Constitutional Court shall reject the petition in a ruling.

Section 34 (1) Joining by the rapporteur related cases or cases of the same content, and at the same time notifying the petitioner shall be made in a ruling – on the basis of presentation by the Secretary General. The case or cases of the higher serial number shall be jointed to the case of a lower serial number.

(2) In the course of joining the cases the criteria of admittance – in particular affectedness – shall always be examined individually with regard to all petitioners.

(3) When the cases are assigned to different judges of the Constitutional Court, the joining shall be implemented after assignment by the President on the basis of a consultation between the judges of the Constitutional Court.

(4) The rapporteur may order, on the basis of ACC, the separate judging of certain questions of the case.

Section 35 In the constitutional complaint procedure, the motion can be supplemented until setting the day of discussing by the body the draft of the decision on the merits; if the supplement is filed at a later date, it is to be judged upon as a new case.

Section 36 (1) The Constitutional Court shall decide on the merits of the petitions on the basis of Section 57 para. (1) of ACC, based on the documents available, in the course of which it may use opinions specified by the law, the results of a hearing or any tool of evidence, specified in ACC, necessary for judging upon the case.

(2) The Constitutional Court shall publish – in accordance with Section 57 para. (1a) – for the purpose of the consultative procedure under Section 57 paras (1b)-(1c), the petition or the essence of the constitutional request contained in the petition [Section 52 para. (1a) items b)-c) and para. (1b) items c)-e)] related to an Act of Parliament, Government decree or another rule of law affecting a broad range of persons, or the Constitutional Court may publish it in the procedure under Section 27 of ACC. Personal data should be deleted in the course of the publication – on the basis of the affected person’s order, or in the absence of it – if they are not considered public data because of public interest.

(3) The rapporteur shall decide about implementing consultations in the case with the organs according to Section 57 para. (2).If considered necessary by the rapporteur, he or she can send a ruling of request to the head of the organ or organisation to be consulted, in particular to the author of the rule of law examined, the initiator of an Act of Parliament (the minister in charge with regard to the subject of the rule of law examined), or – on a discretionary basis – also to the minister responsible for justice.

(4) The rapporteur shall send the request mentioned in para. (3) to the requested organ’s head who is expected to send the reply. The constitutional problem shall be presented by the rapporteur in the request or the copy of the petition can be sent as an attachment of the ruling – provided that the personal data of the petitioner and of other persons mentioned in the petition have been deleted, or having the petitioner’s consent to sending it – and the rapporteur shall present the legal question the request is aimed at.

(5) In the case of a request specified in para. (3), the deadline for reply can – exceptionally – be shorter than thirty days with regard to the urgency of judging upon the petition.

(6) The author of the rule of law or the initiator of an Act of Parliament can send its opinion on the basis of Section 57 para. (1c) of ACC also without having received a request specified in para. (3).

(7) On the basis of Section 57 para. (2), the President or – in the case of hearing the case in a panel – the presiding judge may, on his or her own initiative or on the proposal of the rapporteur, order the obtaining of the statement of the petitioner, the adverse party and their representatives, or of a third person or organ (organisation) – in particular the organisation specified in para. (3) – necessary for judging upon the request, or order the personal hearing of the above parties.

(8) On the basis of Section 57 para. (1c) of ACC, at the same time of sending its opinion, the author of the rule of law or the initiator of an Act of Parliament can request a personal hearing at the Constitutional Court in the procedures under the competences regulated in Sections 25-27.

(9) If necessary for deciding the case, the rapporteur may request the court of first instance to send the documents of the case [Section 57 para. (3) of ACC].After closing the procedure, the requested court documents shall be sent back, together with the Constitutional Court’s decision, to the court that acted in the basic case.

(10) The rapporteur or the body may decide on allowing any State organ, organisation of the society, foundation or church to present to the Constitutional Court its legal opinion about the case, provided that they requested it from the Constitutional Court.

Section 37 (1) If the Constitutional Court ordered a personal hearing on the basis of Section 36 para. (7) of this Rules of Procedure, the representative of the petitioner and of the adverse party shall be notified and warned by setting a deadline that he or she may initiate in writing the holding of a public hearing.

(2) If there is no statement initiating within the specified deadline the holding of a public hearing, no public hearing is considered to be requested.

(3) The President or – after making an advance notification to the President – the presiding judge shall decide in five working days about the initiative specified in para. (1). The Constitutional Court shall reject the initiative to hold a public hearing if no advancement of the case could be expected from it.

(4) The author of the rule of law or the initiator of an Act of Parliament can request a personal hearing at the same time of sending its opinion under Section 57 para. (1b) of ACC in the procedures under the competences regulated in Section 24 and Section 32, in accordance with Section 57 para. (1c) of ACC.

(5) The personal hearing and the public hearing can be held following the first hearing of the draft made in the case.

Section 38 (1) The date of the public hearing shall be fixed in a way that allows the invited persons to know about it at least by five working days before it. This period can be shortened in a justified case.

(2) In the case of a public hearing ordered on the basis of Section 37 para. (3) of this Rules of Procedure, the President or the presiding judge, and in the case of a public hearing ordered on the basis of Section 57 para. (1c) of ACC, the president (hereinafter: “chairperson of the session”) shall invite those whose hearing is required or allowed by the provisions of ACC and the Rules of Procedure, and considered necessary by the chairperson of the session.

(3) The date of the public hearing and the names of the participating persons shall be published on the website of the Constitutional Court and the participation of other persons shall be made possible on the basis of registration in advance. The President of the Constitutional Court may specify the number of the audience for the purpose of guaranteeing the orderly course of the hearing, for maintaining the dignity and the safety of the hearing or because of the limited place available.

(4) The personal hearing and the public hearing shall be opened by the chairman of the session and the rapporteur shall present the essence of the case. Then the rapporteur and subsequently the other judges of the Constitutional Court may put questions to the persons heard.

(5) The persons heard shall have a timeframe specified in advance to give detailed answers to the questions.

(6) The public session shall be opened, chaired and adjourned by the chairperson of the session. The chairperson of the session shall specify the order of the actions to be completed at the session and he or she shall provide for maintaining the order of the open session. The chairperson of the session can postpone the open hearing with a reasoned decision.

(7) Minutes and voice recording shall be made of the personal hearing and the public hearing.

(8) According to Section 49 para. (3), a fine can be imposed on the person whose wilful act delays or hinders the order of an open hearing or the completion of it.

Section 39 (1) According to Section 27 of ACC, in the case of a complaint submitted in the context of a decision adopted in a criminal or misdemeanour case, those who are subject of a provision contained in the challenged decision may present an opinion during the oral hearing, or whose hearing is considered necessary by the President or the presiding judge. In particular the prosecutor or another organisation that initiated the (basic) procedure can be called upon to make a statement.

(2) Should the hearing of a person covered by the witness protection programme be necessary, the call to attend the hearing shall be sent by way of the Witness Protection Service. The Constitutional Court may set aside the oral hearing with account to the position taken by the Witness Protection Service.

(3) The oral hearing of a witness under special protection in the basic procedure shall be set aside and his or her data shall not be available for the members of the Constitutional Court.

Section 40 (1) If deciding in the special questions or preliminary questions connected to the actual violation of a right granted in the Fundamental Law or to exercising the Constitutional Court’s scope of tasks and competence requires a special professional knowledge, the Constitutional Court may – exceptionally – call for an expert regarding these questions.

(2) The expert shall be called on the proposal of the rapporteur by way of a written request by the President, specifying the deadline for preparing the expert’s opinion as well as the concrete questions to be answered by the expert.

(3) Should the expert’s opinion be not completed within the specified deadline, the Constitutional Court shall set a new deadline or call upon another expert by setting a new deadline, or it may dispense with obtaining and expert’s opinion.

(4) The members of the panel in charge, or in the case of a hearing in Plenary Session any judge of the Constitutional Court may propose the personal hearing of the expert, to be decided upon by the presiding judge or the President.

18. The Decision-Making Competence of the Rapporteur and the Procedural Rules of the Sessions of the Body

 

Section 41 (1) Prior to the procedure by the body, the rapporteur may take all measures and make all decisions referred by the law to the Constitutional Court’s scope of competence with the exception of passing a decision on the merits of the case, ordering interim measures, suspending the procedure, transferring or rejecting the case, terminating the procedure and ordering the holding of a personal or public hearing.

(2) The rapporteur may request information from the court of first instance that submitted the constitutional complaint or from the Curia about the questions related to the Constitutional Court’s procedure in a review process, legal remedy process for legality or retrial implemented parallel with the Constitutional Court’s procedure, or about implementing a procedure for the uniform application of the law.

(3) After starting the procedure by the body, the rapporteur can only take the measures expressly referred to his or her competence by the law or by the body.

(4) The rapporteur may return the case assigned to him or her, in particular when, in the course of a voting at the Plenary Session, he or she remains in minority regarding the holdings or the reasoning of the draft prepared, and he or she does not undertake to prepare a draft in line with the majority position.

(5) If the rapporteur holds the case to be well prepared, he or she shall submit to the body – by way of the Secretary General – the draft for further judging upon the merits.

(6) The rapporteur shall indicate any intention to deter from the established judicial practice of the Constitutional Court and justify its necessity.

Section 42 (1) All draft decisions prepared by the rapporteur for the session of the body as well as the documents of the submission shall be made available – by way of internal publication through the Secretary General – to all judges of the Constitutional Court for making comments on it.

(2) Should the dedline for the Constitutional Court’s procedure extend ninety days, the first draft shall be commented upon in fifteen working days from the day of internal publication, and when the deadline for the procedure is ninety days or less, there will be eight working days available for making comments.

(3) In the cases specified in Section 51, Section 54 and Section 55 paras (2)-(3), and in case of urgency, the presiding judge or the President may specify a deadline shorter than the one defined in para. (2) and para. (6), either on the proposal of the rapporteur or in his or her own competence.

(4) The judge of the Constitutional Court may make written comments on the draft, presenting his or her reasoned position differing from the one contained in the argumentation of the draft.

(5) Comments on the merits received from the judges of the Constitutional Court during the period of making comments shall be made available to all judges of the Constitutional Court by way of the Secretary General.

(6) In the case of accepting the comments, the rapporteur shall put the amended draft (decision or ruling) to a repeated round of making comments for eight working days.

Section 43 (1) The final agenda of the body’s session shall be made available – with due regard to compliance with the period of making comments specified in Section 42 – for the judges of the Constitutional Courtin due time, not later than on the third working day preceding the day of the session, with the exception of an out of turn procedure under Section 55 para. (3). The agenda should preferably also contain a draft agenda for the next session.

(2) On the basis of Section 49 para. (6) item a) of ACC the rapporteur may submit a case on the agenda of the panel to the Plenary Session, if in the case examined by the panel there is a ground – according to the panel’s decision – for the annulment of the Act of Parliament.

(3) Based on Section 49 para. (6) item b) of ACC, the case shall be judged by the Plenary Session upon the written and reasoned proposal of the majority of the members of the given panel, the President, or five judges of the Constitutional Court who are not members of the given panel.

Section 44 (1) Should the present Rules of Procedure contain no provision to the contrary, the body shall decide after having the case on its agenda discussed.

(2) On the rapporteur’s proposal made together with making availablethe draft, the body shall adopt in a simplified procedure a decision on rejecting or refusing the petition, if the adjudication of the case is simple and no violation of the Fundamental Law can be established. In the simplified procedure the body shall decide without an oral hearing, with voting without discussion on the designated day of the session.

(3) If there is no written comment initiating a hearing received in fifteen working days upon the proposal specified in para. (2), the body shall vote on the draft without discussion.

 

19. Suspending and Staying of the Procedure

 

Section 45 The Constitutional Court may suspend its procedure with a ruling on the basis of Section 60 of ACC. The suspending ruling shall be published on the Constitutional Court’s official website and in its official journey.

Section 46 (1) The Constitutional Court may exceptionally stay its procedure related to a constitutional complaint if the well founded adjudication of the petition requires a decision passed in a court procedure directly related to the case concerned.

(2) If there is a review procedure in process at the Curia at the same time with the constitutional complaint admitted, the Constitutional Court shall

a) implement the procedure in the case of a constitutional complaint according to Section 26 para. (1) of ACC, or it may exceptionally stay the procedure,

a) stay the procedure in the case of a constitutional complaint according to Section 27 of ACC,

if, in the discretion of the rapporteur, the decision expected in the review procedure may influence the merits of the Constitutional Court’s decision.

(3) The procedure shall be stayed by the extension of the procedural deadlines, without adopting a separate ruling on it.

(4) The rapporteur shall monitor the Curia’s procedure and he or she shall request information from the Curia on the basis of Section 57 para. (2) of ACC in order to allow the Constitutional Court to obtain information about the review decision.

(5) If, in the review process run parallel with the Constitutional Court’s procedure the Curia shall

a) annul the challenged decision and orders the court of first or second instance that acted in the case to start a new procedure and adopt a new decision, the Constitutional Court shall terminate, on the basis of Section 59, the procedure commenced on the basis of the constitutional complaint,

b) keep the challenged decision in force, the Constitutional Court shall implement its procedure and it may judge upon both the decision of final force and the decision maintaining it in force.

(6) If, in the review process run parallel with the Constitutional Court’s procedure the Curia shall

a) annul the decision of final force in full or partially, and adopt a new decision complying with the law instead of the decision of final force or the decision of first instance, or

b) modify the decision of final force and adopt a new decision complying with the law, or

c) annul the challenged decision and terminate the procedure,

the Constitutional Court shall obtain the petitioner’s statement about maintaining or not his or her constitutional complaint by extending it to the Curia’s decision.

(7) If, in the review process run parallel with the Constitutional Court’s procedure the Curia shall reject the motion or request for review, the Constitutional Court shall implement its procedure.

(8) If the Curia’s decision only partially affected the reviewed judgement of final force (partial modification, partial annulment, partial ordering of new procedure), the Constitutional Court shall act with the application of para. (5) and para. (6), as appropriate, with regard to the parts justifying the Constitutional Court’s procedure.

 

20. Interim Measures

 

Section 47 (1) Suspending the taking of force of a rule of law on the basis of Section 61 para. (2) can be initiated upon request or ex officio by the President or by the rapporteur. The President may convene an extraordinary Plenary Session for deciding on the interim measure.

(2) Upon the initiative of the President or the rapporteur, the Plenary Session shall decide on extending the measure not later than eight days before the suspending decision would lose force.

Section 48 (1) If the implementation of the judicial decision challenged in the constitutional complaint has not been suspended by the court on the basis of Section 53 para. (4) of ACC, the Constitutional Court shall – upon request or acting ex officio – call upon the court to suspend the implementation of the challenged decision in the case specified in Section 61 para. (1).

(2) The Constitutional Court shall decide in a ruling on calling for the suspension of implementing the decision.

(3) The call for the suspension of implementing the decision shall be decided upon by the body of the Constitutional Court entitled to adopt a decision on the merits of the case concerned, except when convening the decision-making body of the Constitutional Court would not be possible without jeopardising the aim of the interim measure. In such cases the interim measure shall be decided upon by a body of five judges of the Constitutional Court designated by the President.

(4) The order on calling for an interim measure for the suspension of implementing the decision shall contain reasoning.

 

21. Imposing a Procedural Fine

 

Section 49 (1) In the case under Section 54 paras (2)-(3) of ACC the Constitutional Court may impose a procedural fine on the petitioner and it may order the petitioner to pay the additional costs incurred.

(2) A procedural fine can only be imposed on the petitioner in a constitutional complaint procedure.

(3) Other persons participating in the procedure (legal representative, expert etc.) can only be fined if his or her wilful act – in particular, false or late communication of data, or a failure to appear at the court – delays or hinders the completion of the Constitutional Court’s procedure.

(4) The procedural fine can be imposed, depending on when the conduct to be fined has been performed, primarily in the ruling on rejecting the admittance of a constitutional complaint or in the decision closing the procedure.

(5) By way of derogation from para. (4), the procedural fine can also be imposed in a separate ruling if it is justified by the facilitation of the procedure.

(6) Within the limits of the amount of the procedural fine specified in ACC, the actual amount to be imposed in the given case shall be decided by the panel or the Plenary Session on the basis of the rapporteur’s proposal.

(7) The ruling on imposing the procedural fine shall specify a deadline of at least thirty days for paying the fine.

(8) The Constitutional Court’s decision can be modified – on the basis of the reasoned request made by the person ordered to pay the fine and the costs, or ex officio – in accordance with ACC and the Rules of Procedure in a case deserving special appreciation.

(9) The causes justifying a special appreciation may be related to the personal circumstances of the fined person – in particular his or her old age, severe illness, unfavourable financial, income or family position – or to the circumstances of the conduct that caused the imposing of the fine, such as the pardonable motivation of the conduct or the person’s subsequent action aimed at facilitating the Constitutional Court’s procedure.

 

22. Exclusion

 

Section 50 (1) The affected judge of the Constitutional Court shall not take part in the decision making of the Plenary Session related to the termination of the membership in the Constitutional Court or to the suspension of immunity.

(2) Exclusion from judging upon a case on the basis of Section 62 of ACC shall be initiated by the judge of the Constitutional Court affected by the exclusion [Section 62 para. (3) of ACC], and it can be initiated by another judge of the Constitutional Court or by the petitioner [Section 62 para. (5) of ACC].

(3) On the basis of Section 62 para. (2) of ACC, the following shall be considered in particular as a personal and direct connectedness justifying a bias related to the subject of the case:

a) a direct interest related to the result of the adjudication affecting the judge of the Constitutional Court or his/her near relation, primarily with regard to his or her legal, financial or social position;

b) personal participation by way of performing works in the merits of the preparation, elaboration or submission of the legislation subject to the Constitutional Court’s procedure, therefore the exclusion pertains in particular to those who, before becoming the member of the Constitutional Court, acted as

ba) a member of the Parliament or a chairperson of a committee that submitted a motion proposing an Act of Parliament or the amendment of it, or as the submitting minister in the case of submission by the Government,

bb) a member of the Parliament or a chairperson of a committee that submitted a modification proposal or connected modification proposal to an independent motion under discussion by the Parliament, if his or her proposal has been accepted, and the given provision of the law is the subject of the Constitutional Court’s procedure,

bc) in the case of issuing a Government decree or minister’s decree, the minister responsible for the subject of the Government decree or minister’s decree, and in the case of issuing a decree by the head of an independent regulatory organ, the person who acted as thehead of the independent regulatory organ at the time of issuing the decree.

(4) If the cause of exclusion was not reported by the judge of the Constitutional Court and he or she does not consent with the exclusion, another panel designated by the President or the Plenary Session shall decide about the exclusion.

(5) If the excluded judge of the Constitutional Court was the rapporteur of the case, the President shall designate another rapporteur. If the exclusion would jeopardise the quorum of the panel, the President shall decide about substituting the excluded judge in the panel for the case concerned.

(6) If the judge of the Constitutional Court consents with his or her exclusion, the President shall immediately take the measures contained in para. (5).

(7) From the date of reporting to the day of exclusion the judge of the Constitutional Court may act in the case, but he or she shall not adopt a decision judging upon the case.

 

23. Deadline for the Procedure of the Constitutional Court

 

Section 51 (1) If the Constitutional Court is to decide on the petition within thirty days on the basis of the Fundamental Law or an Act of Parliament, the Secretary General shall examine the petition and prepare the procedure without delay as soon as receiving the petition; the rapporteur shall be assigned by the President in two working days. If the President is incapacitated, the Vice-President shall be acting.

(2) In five working days upon his or her assignment, the rapporteur shall prepare a draft on the petition for the Plenary Session, and the President shall specify – on the basis of Section 42 para. (3) – a deadline of not more than five working days for commenting the draft; then the President shall put the case out of turn on the agenda of the Plenary Session.

(3) In the case of a repeated petition according to Article 6 para. (8) of the Fundamental Law, the Constitutional Court shall decide within ten days. The petition shall be examined and the procedure prepared by the Secretary General without delay upon its receipt. The President shall assign the rapporteur on the next working day following receipt. If the President is incapacitated, the vice-President shall be acting. The rapporteur shall prepare a draft decision within three working days.

Section 52 The judicial initiative under Section 25 of ACC shall be examined and the procedure prepared by the Secretary General without delay. The rapporteur shall submit in forty-five days the first draft to the body entitled to judge upon the case.

Section 53 (1) In the case of a constitutional complaint regulated in Sections 26–27 of ACC, the Constitutional Court shall decide in one-hundred and twenty days about the admissibility of the petition upon the Secretary General’s notification on starting the procedure according to Section 26 para. (1). Procedure by a single judge or by a panel – including all procedural acts – shall be implemented in a way to allow the decision on admission to be passed within the specified deadline.

(2) The rapporteur shall submit in one-hundred and eighty days upon admission the first draft to the body entitled to judge upon the case.

(3) The deadlines specified in this Section may be extended by the President upon the rapporteur’s proposal. The extension of the deadline shall be notified to the petitioner by the rapporteur.

Section 54 /Annulled by the Decision 1001/2014.(III. 20.) AB Tü. of the Constitutional Court/

Section 55 (1) The President may order the adjudication of the given case in expedite or in out of order procedure upon the motion by the Secretary General, the rapporteur or the presiding judge, or acting in his or her own competence.

(2) In an expedite procedure certain procedural actions shall be completed within deadlines that are half of the terms specified in the present Rules of Procedure.

(3) In an out of turn procedure the procedural actions shall be implemented without delay.If an Act of Parliament specifies a deadline of less than thirty days for the Constitutional Court’s procedure, an out of turn procedure shall be ordered.

(4) The period of the legal holiday shall not be taken into account when counting the deadlines specified in this Rules of Procedure.

 

24. Publicity of Data

 

Section 56 (1) The petition and the opinion sent to the Constitutional Court in the course of the procedure by the organs and persons performing public duties, as well as the expert’s opinion shall be considered public in the procedures under Sections 23–24, Sections 32–33 and Section 38 of ACC, and it can be made available to the public with the consent of the petitioner in the procedures under Section 25–27 of ACC.

(2) Should the affected person not consent to making publicly available the personal data found in documents qualified as public, they are to be deleted in a way not damaging the facts of the case established. If the affected person fails to give consent to handling the data despite of being called upon to do so, it shall be presumed that he or she does not consent to making his or her data publicly available. In all other respect the provisions on the publicity of court decisions regulated in the Act on the Organisation and the Administration of Courts shall be applied as appropriate to the anonymization of the petitions.

(3) In the procedure initiated by the commissioner of fundamental rights and in the procedures under Section 25, Sections 32–33 and Section 36 of ACC, the petitioner and his or her legal representative, while in the procedure under Sections 26–27 of ACC the petitioner and the adverse party, through their legal representative, may observe certain documents of the procedure and to make copies or extracts of them.

(4) Inquiries can be made in person, in writing and by using a telecommunications device. The person entitled can only ask for information regarding the documents that can be accessed and the data therein. The administration office shall not provide information if it would face difficulties in identifying the inquiring person.

(5) The presiding judge shall inform the affected person about the possibility to have access to the documents. The fact of actual observation has to be indicated on the document. With regard to access to documents the provisions of the ACP shall be applied as appropriate on the basis of Section 57 para. (9) of ACC.

(6) In the completed procedures, all natural persons, legal entities and organs substantiating the probability of their related lawful interest or their interest connected to their activities  shall be entitled to have access to specific documents of the procedure. The request for access to the documents shall be rejected by the Constitutional Court if it is required by the protection of the affected person’s lawful interest.

(7) According to the Act on the Protection of Personal Data and the Disclosure of Information of Public Interest, internal working papers connected to preparing the decision in the case – in particular the analysis of the petition, the draft, the modification and editing proposals, the notes of the rapporteur, the memos attached to the case as well as other measures and orders by the presiding judge and the President connected to the administration of the case – shall not be available to the public.

(8) Documents containing classified data shall not be public neither for the petitioner, his or her legal representative nor for the adverse party; in case of a business secret, granting access shall be conditional upon the statement of the secret-keeper.

(9) Any request for data shall be replied upon in writing by the Secretary General.

 

Chapter III

The Decisions of the Constitutional Court

25. Decisions

 

Section 57 (1) The Constitutional Court shall judge upon the petition with a decision on the merits of the case and it shall decide in the questions necessarily emerged during the procedure.

(2) The Constitutional Court shall pass a decision on the temporary suspension of taking force of a rule of law.

(3) The provisions on decisions shall also be applicable to the rulings closing the procedure, with the exception of the ruling with a short reasoning.

26. The Content of the Decision

 

Section 58 (1) The Constitutional Court’s decision shall consist of an introduction, the holdings of the decision and the reasoning.

(2) The introduction shall contain the file number; the identification of the Constitutional Court’s scope of competence; the form of the Constitutional Court’s procedure with reference to the Plenary Session or a panel; the reference to any dissenting or concurring opinion and the names of the judges of the Constitutional Court who attach it; and the reference of holding any public hearing in the procedure.

(3) The holdings of the decision shall contain the Constitutional Court’s decision in the merits of the case, the provision on the publication in the Hungarian Official Gazette, the identifying data of the judicial decision, in the case of annulling a rule of law or an individual judicial decision, the provision on the annulment, in the case of annulling a rule of law, the provision on the scope of annulment and the date of losing force. In the case of the partial annulment of a rule of law, the holdings of the decision shall establish the text of the rule of law remaining in force.

(4) The reasoning of the decision shall contain the short presentation of the petition; the established facts of the case with reference to the evidences; reference to the Fundamental Law and to the rules of law as well as to the constitutional reasons and arguments the decision of the Constitutional Court is based upon.

(5) The closing part of the decision shall contain the place and date of adopting the decision, the names of the judges of the Constitutional Court who participated in the procedure (signing the decision), and the true copy of the decision shall contain a clause of authentication.

 

27. Dissenting Opinion and Concurring Opinion

 

Section 59 (1) The Plenary Session shall vote on adopting (paraphing) the decision, and at the same time the judges of the Constitutional Court may report their intention to formulate a dissenting opinion or a concurring opinion in line with Section 66 paras (2) and (3) of ACC.

(2) A dissenting opinion or a concurring opinion can be attached to the decisions adopted in the scopes of competence under Sections 23-27 of ACC and 32-38 of ACC. No dissenting opinion shall be entertained in connection with the decisions adopted in the questions related to the operation of the Constitutional Court or to organisational or personal questions.

(3) The arguments and reasons contained in the dissenting opinion or concurring opinion shall be raised in the dispute of the case in order to allow the members of the body to get acquainted with it in advance.

(4) The dissenting opinion shall contain the position of a judge of the Constitutional Court that is different from the one found in the holdings of the decision; the concurring opinion shall contain a reasoning by a judge of the Constitutional Court that is different from the one found in the reasoning of the decision, and its extent shall not be longer than that of the decision.

(5) The reported dissenting opinion or concurring opinion shall be put in writing by the judge of the Constitutional Court within four working days upon the date of paraphing the decision, and the deadline shall be two working days in the procedure under Section 51 and the period specified by the President in the procedure under Section 55 para. (3).

(6) The paraphed decision shall be signed when the judge of the Constitutional Court attaches the dissenting opinion or the concurring opinion to the decision.

 

28. Adopting a Decision

 

Section 60 (1) The decision shall be deemed to be adopted when the judges of the Constitutional Court who participated in the voting sign the written draft-decision.

(2) The President (the Vice-President, if the President is incapacitated) of the body shall sign the decision on behalf of the judge of the Constitutional Court who participated in the adoption of the decision but who can’t sign it because of incapacitation.

(3) The judges of the Constitutional Court sign the decision in alphabetical order; the judge of the Constitutional Court who prepared the draft-decision shall sign it as “rapporteur”. In case of a decision adopted at the Plenary Session, the person of the President or the Vice-President shall be indicated; in the case of a decision adopted at a panel session, the presiding judge shall be indicated. A typographic error or a misprint discovered in the course of proofreading not affecting the content of the decision can be corrected after signing and before publishing the decision.

 

29. Notifying and Publishing the Decision

 

Section 61 (1) The Constitutional Court shall notify its decision by way of service to the petitioner, to those with regard to whom the decision contains a provision, and to any interested party whose notification is regarded necessary by the Constitutional Court, in particular to the adverse party when a judicial decision is annulled.

(2) In a procedure of constitutional complaint, the Constitutional Court shall send to the court of first instance that acted in the case its ruling on rejecting the complaint as well as its decision closing the procedure.

(3) The Constitutional Court may order the oral pronouncement at a public hearing of its decision adopted in the merits of the case. The date of the oral pronouncement shall be set by the President. The written decision shall be pronounced by the chairperson of the session, with a short version of the reasoning adopted by the body in advance, as the case may be.

(4) Dissenting and concurring opinions shall be pronounced and published together with the decision.

(5) The Constitutional Court shall publish its decisions according to the provisions of ACC, and also in the official journal of the ”Constitutional Court’s Decisions”.

(6) The Constitutional Court’s decisions shall be accessible on the website of the Office of the Constitutional Court in line with the provisions of ACC.

(7) Further questions of the publication shall be governed by the publication regulation of the Constitutional Court.

 

30. Correction and Amendment of the Decision

 

Section 62 (1) The Constitutional Court may, at any time, pass a ruling – upon request or ex officio – on rectifying any misprint of names, numbers or similar errors in the decision.

(2) The Constitutional Court may at any time amend its decision ex officio, if it failed to address any question that should have been addressed according to an Act of Parliament.

 

31. Rulings Adopted in the Course of the Procedure

 

Section 63 The Constitutional Court shall adopt a ruling before the ending of the procedure on exclusion from the adjudication of the case according to Section 50 para. (3), the completion of documents, the joining or separating of cases, the suspension of execution,  the suspension of the procedure and the imposing of a procedural fine.

 

32. Rulings Closing the Procedure

 

Section 64 (1) In the Constitutional Court’s procedure the rulings closing the procedure are: the ruling on rejection, the ruling on the termination of the procedure and the ruling on transferring the case.

(2) The Constitutional Court may also include in the decision on the merits of the case the termination of the procedure, the rejection of the petition and the transfer of the petition, provided that it judges upon other questions as well.

Section 65 (1) If the conditions under Section 64 of ACC are met or the Constitutional Court has no competence, it shall reject the petition in a ruling.

(2) The following cases shall not be considered as “res iudicata”:

a) the Constitutional Court performed the constitutional review of the given Act of Parliament and the implementing regulation is repeating the provisions of the Act examined; the review on the merits of the implementing regulation shall be performed the same way as the examination of the Act of Parliament concerned,

b) the petition is aimed at the constitutional review of a local government’s decree the content of which is the same as that of the decree of another local government already judged upon by the Constitutional Court.

(3) The Constitutional Court’s procedure shall be terminated because of causelessness, if the petition is aimed at the review of a rule of law or a provision that had been qualified earlier as unconstitutional and had been annulled by the Constitutional Court, and the review is requested on the basis of a provision of the Fundamental Law (constitutional connection) different from the one on the basis of which the given rule of law or provision had been annulled by the Constitutional Court.

Section 66 (1) The Constitutional Court shall pass a ruling on rejecting the admittance in the cases under Section 56 para. (2) of ACC.

(2) The ruling with a short reasoning shall consist of an introduction, the holdings of the ruling and the reasoning.

(3) The introduction shall contain the file number and the subject of the procedure; the holdings shall contain the fact of rejection; the reasoning shall contain the short presentation of the facts of the case and identify the cause and the short reasoning, with reference to the relevant provision of ACC, on the basis of which the petition has been rejected by the Constitutional Court.

(4) The ruling of a single judge on rejecting the petition without examining it on the merits, according to Section 55 para. (4) shall contain

a) the file number and the subject of the procedure,

b) the fact of rejection without examination on the merits,

c) the cause, specified in Section 55 para. (4) of ACC, the decision is based upon.

Section 67 (1) The Constitutional Court may terminate the procedure with a ruling on the basis of Section 59 of ACC if the case has become causeless beyond doubt.

(2) The petition shall become causeless in particular if

a) in the constitutional complaint procedure, a natural person petitioner deceases or a legal entity petitioner ceases, except if there is a ground for legal succession with regard to the right to be enforced in the procedure,

b) /Annulled by the Decision 1003/2013.(XII. 21.) AB Tü. of the Constitutional Court/

c) the petitioner withdrew the petition,

d) the court annulled the challenged judicial decision by way of an extraordinary legal remedy, or ordered the court in charge to start a new procedure,

e) the circumstance that justified the continuing of the procedure does not exist anymore, or the petition has become causeless for another reason.

Section 68 (1) The Constitutional Court shall adopt a ruling on transferring the petition if, after the examination of the merits of the petition, it has become obvious from the petition itself or its annexes that the case falls into the scope of competence of another court, authority or organ.

(2) The ruling on the transfer shall be served to the petitioner and to the adverse parties. The petition shall not be transferred to any court, authority or organ that has already established with final force the lack of its own competence or jurisdiction.

 

33. Other Decisions of the Constitutional Court

 

Section 69 (1) The Plenary Session shall adopt normative decisions and other decisions related to its organisation and operation as well as to personnel affairs, identified as „Decision …AB Tü.”.

(2) The Plenary Session shall issue, on the basis of Section 70 para. (2) of ACC, and in the interest of facilitating a uniform judicial practice, resolutions that have a character of a guideline, indicated „Guideline … AB Tü.”.

Section 70 (1) Issuing normative decisions, other decisions related to the organisation and operation as well as to personnel affairs, and resolutions that have a character of a guideline shall be initiated by the President or by five judges of the Constitutional Court. The Plenary Session shall decide upon the initiative. After having the initiative supported, the Plenary Session may also call upon the Secretary General to prepare the draft decision or resolutions that have a character of a guideline.

(2) The President shall put the draft decision or resolutions that have a character of aguidelineto the agenda.

(3) The draft decision or resolution that have a character of aguideline shall be adopted by way of the judges of the Constitutional Court signing it. No dissenting opinion or concurring opinion shall be attached to the decision or resolution that has a character of a guideline regulated in Section 69, and they shall be binding – irrespectively to their date and the composition of the body of the judges of the Constitutional Court – as long as amended or annulled in accordance with the order of procedure pertaining to their adoption.

(4) The judge of the Constitutional Court may abstain – on the basis of being personally affected or biased – from adopting the decision in the case of decisions passed at the Plenary Session.

 

CHAPTER IV

CLOSING PROVISIONS

 

Section 71 (1) This Rules of Procedure shall enter into force on 1 March 2013.

(2) At the time of this Rules of Procedure taking force, the Decision 1/2012. (I. 3.) Tü.on the Constitutional Court’s Rules of Procedure shall be annulled.

(3) The provisions of this Rules of Procedure shall also be applicable to the procedures in process at the time of taking into force.

(4) In the Constitutional Court’s procedures, the rules pertaining to the electronic administration of cases shall be regulated in the Administrative Regulations of the Constitutional Court. Clients shall be entitled to submit requests electronically, on-line, or by using a specific software in the manner and from the date specified in the Administrative Regulations.

(5) The following paragraph (3) shall be added to Section 6 of the Constitutional Court’s Decision 1002/2012. (III. 7.) AB Tü.on identifying and publishing the decisions of the Constitutional Court:

„(3) In the course of publishing and making accessible the decisions and rulings specified in Sections 1-2, the single paragraphs of the reasoning of the decisions and rulingsas well asof the dissenting opinions and concurring opinions shall be serial numbered.”

(6) The present decision of the Constitutional Court shall be published in the Hungarian Official Gazette on the basis of Section 26 para. (2) of the Act CXXX of 2010 on Legislation.

 

* Decision 1001/2013. (II. 27.) AB Tü. on the Constitutional Court’s Rules of Procedure (The text in force consolidated with the amendments contained in the Decisions of the Constitutional Court 1003/2013. (XII. 21.) AB Tü. and 1001/2014. (III. 20.) AB Tü.)