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2022. July 21.

Decision 3328/2022 (VII. 21.) AB

Decision number: IV/1397/2020.
Subject of the case:

Constitutional complaint against the judgement No. 5.K.700.188/2020/9 of the Pécs Regional Court (countersigning by an attorney-at-law)

The Constitutional Court declared that the challenged judgement of the Pécs Regional Court was in conflict with the Fundamental Law and annulled it. In the case underlying the proceedings, the petitioner made a declaration of acceptance by exercising his right of purchase option in respect of the land used under a contract for usufructuary lease. In connection with the sales contract, two other persons made declarations of acceptance under different legal titles. In the official procedure, the Government Office found that the petitioner’s declaration of acceptance would, on the basis of the title claimed by the petitioner, rank ahead of the purchase option right of the other two declarants, but did not take the petitioner’s declaration into account due to a formal error, as the KASZ (Bar Association) number the countersigning lawyer was included only in the deed but not in the lawyer’s countersignature itself. In view of this shortcoming, the authority did not approve the sales contract with the petitioner, but with the declarant who was ranked after him. In its action the petitioner had requested the amendment of the decision, but with the contested judgement the Pécs General Court dismissed the claim. In his constitutional complaint, the petitioner claimed that his right to a fair trial had been violated and that the authority and the court had interpreted the rules on countersigning by lawyers in a way that was contrary to the Fundamental Law and had also led to a violation of his right to property. In its decision, the Constitutional Court held that the contested judgement declared that a purely grammatical and logical interpretation of the relevant provision of the Act on the Activities of Lawyers was applicable, compared to which an alternative (more permissive) interpretation could be formulated, and that the court considered, during the interpretation it has chosen, the petitioner’s reference to the purpose of the provision on the indication of the KASZ irrelevant. On the basis of the above, the Constitutional Court concluded that the contested judgement did not comply with the requirement of the right to a reasoned decision, which is part of the right to a fair trial, on the issue relevant to the merits of the case. Therefore, the panel of the Constitutional Court annulled the challenged decision.