Conference for attorneys-at-law at the Constitutional Court18 October 2018
For the first time in the history of the institution, upon the invitation of the President of the Constitutional Court, as much as one hundred and fifty attorneys-at-law attended attended the conference in the Constitutional Court’s announcement room, organised jointly with the Hungarian Bar Association.
Tamás Sulyok emphasized in his opening speech: the event has been organised with the intention to create a tradition and it is aimed to set up an institutionalized connection between the Constitutional Court and the Hungarian Bar Association. The profession of attorneys-at-law has a function of protecting the fundamental rights – stressed as early as in the year 1994 in a decision of the Constitutional Court – and it has been significantly extended by now. The statistics clearly show that the vast majority of successful constitutional complaints are based on petitions submitted with the contribution of a legal representative, attorney-at-law, although this is not obligatory according to the applicable regulations.
The president also pointed out that the Constitutional Court and attorneys-at-law have a common goal: to support, through better and more precise lawyers’ work, the justice-seeking citizens in exercising their constitutional rights for legal remedies.
In his greeting speech, the President of the Hungarian Bar Association, János Bánáti welcomed the Constitutional Court’s initiative. A significant part of the activity of attorneys-at-law is connected to fundamental constitutional rights and in the vast majority of the cases the enforcement of these rights is very difficult without the help of an attorney-at-law. As demonstrated by the success of the present conference, the members of the profession of attorneys-at-law show extraordinary attention to the activity of the Constitutional Court and the handling of complaints. It is the interest of the citizens to receive institutionalized, appropriate and high level professional support in acquiring knowledge of the content of positive law – added János Bánáti.
Judge of the Constitutional Court, Ágnes Czine underlined in her presentation that the constitutional complaint is a special legal remedy and as legal certainty is linked to the finality of the decisions, the “breaking up” of this finality is only reasonable in particularly justified cases. Last year 88% of the incoming cases of the Constitutional Court were constitutional complaints and in the first half of the current year this proportion has been increased to 90%. András Schiffer attorney-at-law pointed out that before the changes introduced by the Fundamental Law the characteristic function of the Constitutional Court had been the posterior norm control, then the constitutional complaint has become the most characteristic function. He holds that for the moment the biggest challenge for the attorneys-at-law is to communicate effectively to the clients that an injury of rights is not necessarily qualifies as a violation of the Fundamental Law.
Further speakers of the afternoon session of the conference included – among others – Judges of the Constitutional Court Ildikó Hörcherné Marosi, Imre Juhász and Péter Szalay as well as Péter Nagy, Tibor Bogdán and Balázs Gellér representing the profession of attorneys-at-law.