Press release regarding the annulment of judgements on the refusal of publication of the report on economic audit of Hungarian State Opera

19 July 2013

On the basis of the Act on protection of personal data and public access to data of public interest, a request for data was submitted to the Ministry of Human Resources. The petition consists of a request for publication of the report on the audit of Hungarian State Opera.  The concerned Ministry refused to perform the request, justifying his refusal with the preparatory character of the document and because the decision on the Hungarian State Opera had not been made yet. The applicant took the case to the court but it was dismissed.

The Constitutional Court has reviewed the concerned judgements regarding the right to access and disseminate data of public interest and has taken into consideration that the Fundamental Law ensures their protection more emphatically as the former Constitution did since in Article 39 data relating to public funds and national assets are considered as data of public interest.

According to the Constitutional Court, the proceeding court shall examine not only the legal title of the refusal of data service but also the content of the reasoning. The Constitutional Court has declared in its decision that the right to access and disseminate data of public interest is violated when the access is refused by the reason that the requested public data  was basis of a later decision and the examination of its content has not been taken into consideration.

The Constitutional Court has declared that during the proceeding courts passed the judgement they did not fulfil these constitutional requirements, thus these judgements have been annulled by the Constitutional Court. However, the Constitutional Court did not state an opinion regarding the final result of the case as the proceeding court shall draw the conclusion from this decision in the concrete case.

Dr. István Balsai, Dr. Egon Dienes-Oehm, Dr. Imre Juhász, Dr. Barnabás Lenkovics, Dr. Béla Pokol, Dr. László Salamon, Dr. Mária Szívós judges attached dissenting opinion to the decision.