SUMMARY OF THE CASE-LOAD AND STATISTICAL DATA FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 202225 April 2022
The Constitutional Court publishes detailed tables of its case-statistics at the end of each quarter and at the end of the year. Below we summarise the key data for the first quarter of 2022 and provide an overview of the data on case-load and the decisions.
In view of the waning of the coronavirus epidemic and the abolition of most of the epidemic measures, the bodies resume meetings with personal attendance from March 2022.
Tables containing general case-load data and detailed statistics for the first quarter of the year can be found here >>, including detailed data on the handling of constitutional complaints that can be found here >> The key figures are presented below.
Between 1 January 2022 and 3 March, the number of new cases referred to rapporteur justices of the Constitutional Court was 162 with most of them being constitutional complaints. Key data on newly opened cases by fields of competence assigned to rapporteur justices of the Constitutional Court (together with the first quarter data of the previous year) are as follows:
|Total number of new cases referred to rapporteur justices||162||148|
|Number of posterior norm controls||1||2|
By the end of March 2022, the Constitutional Court had essentially completed the cases in which the persons concerned had separately turned to the Constitutional Court on the basis of section 26 (2) of the Act on the Constitutional Court in relation to the entitlements to the immunity card, the conditions for issuing the antibodies-related certificate based on natural immunity, and the mandatory vaccination of state employees, health care workers and prosecution employees. The website provides detailed and up-to-date information on these matters (in Hungarian)>> Given the identity of their texts and the large number of motions by each of these subjects, these motions are not included in the statistics.
In these cases, the Constitutional Court acted on the basis of section 30 (5) of the Rules of Procedure. This means that, among the various types of petitions, only the first petitioners who submitted a complaint were informed that the petition had been registered by the Constitutional Court and that the case had been referred to the rapporteur Justice of the Constitutional Court. Since in these cases the Constitutional Court examined the constitutionality of statutory provisions on the basis of section 26 (2) of the Act on the Constitutional Court, the decisions in each case apply to all concerned.
Another special category of cases is those brought on the basis of petitions against legislation or judicial decisions relating to the epidemics emergency. An up-to-date list of these is available here (in Hungarian)>>
Several constitutional complaints have been lodged by the parties concerned in the appeal procedures related to the parliamentary elections of 3 April 2022. In these cases, the Constitutional Court has to decide on admission within 3 working days pursuant to section 233 of Act XXXVI of 2013 on Electoral Procedure (Electoral Procedure Act), and has a further 3 working days to decide on the merits. Similar provisions apply to constitutional complaints about a national referendum. Detailed procedural rules can be found here (in Hungarian) >> As of 31 March 2022, 8 constitutional complaints have been filed in electoral cases, but as some of the appeals will be filed in April, this number is not yet final. However, already now it is worth comparing this year’s number of complaints with previous election periods using the graph below. Nevertheless, data on the actual elections and referendums will be finalised by the end of the next quarter.
In terms of completions, the bodies (plenary and panels) closed 189 cases between 1 January and 31 March 2022, of which 35 cases were decided on the merits. In 12 cases, judicial or administrative decisions were annulled, while 1 decision annulled a provision of the law.
The table below shows the main data for the first quarter for completed cases, together with the data for the first quarter of the previous year:
|Total number of cases completed by the bodies||189||159|
|Total number of cases concluded with a decision on the merits||35||32|
|Annulment of a court / administrative decision||2||5|
|Full/partial annulment of a law, provision of the law||1||3|
|Rejecting the admission of a constitutional complaint||131||120|
|Number of cases completed in the preparatory procedure before the Secretary-General and by ruling of a single judge||290||225|
The evolution of the quarterly data on completed cases is shown in the graph below for a time-horizon of two years:
If the Constitutional Court finds that a judicial decision or the challenged law or statutory provision is contrary to the Fundamental Law, it annuls the decision or the law. The two graphs below show the evolution of the number of Constitutional Court decisions containing annulment, also on a quarterly basis, for the past two years.
The first graph contains data on decisions annulling judicial decisions.
The second graph shows, together with the evolution of the number of Constitutional Court decisions annulling a statutory provision, the number of decisions laying down constitutional requirements or omissions, also broken down by quarter, for the last two years. The Constitutional Court has established constitutional requirements in 2021 and in several decisions in the recent years as well. A table summarising the constitutional requirements established by the Constitutional Court is available here (in Hungarian) >>. If the Constitutional Court, in its proceedings conducted in the exercise of its competences, establishes an omission on the part of the law-maker that results in violating the Fundamental Law, it shall call upon the organ that committed the omission to perform its task and set a time-limit for that. Failure to fulfil a legislative task is deemed to be a failure to fulfil law-maker’s duty deriving from an international treaty, failure to enact legislation despite an express legislative mandate, or a lack of essential content of legislation derivable from the Fundamental Law. Current outstanding legislative omissions can be accessed on the website here (in Hungarian) >>.
The average administration time of the constitutional complaint cases completed by the bodies last year was 307 days from the date of filing the petition. It is important to note, however, that the time limits laid down in the Rules of Procedure are not counted from the date of the submission of the petition, but from the date of assigning it on the rapporteur. The graph below shows annual data on the average time taken to complete a case with data dating back to 2013.
Finally, with regard to the completed cases, an overview of the proportion of constitutional complaint cases closed with a decision on the merits in the first three months of 2022, according to the fields of law concerned
The development of case-load at the end of the first quarter is as follows. On 31 March 2022, there were 353 cases assigned to rapporteur Justices, a slight decrease compared to the data (379) at the end of the previous quarter (31 December 2021).
The number and the detailed breakdown of cases pending before rapporteur Justices on 31 March 2022 was as follows. The table also includes data for the end of the previous quarter for comparison. Evidently, the figures do not include the cases in which the preparatory procedure with the Secretary-General was still ongoing.
|Total number of pending cases||353||379|
|Number of constitutional complaints||324||353|
|Number of judicial initiatives||13||7|
|Number of posterior norm control procedures||10||11|
The graph below shows the development of new cases assigned to the rapporteur Justices of the Constitutional Court, with the data on completions and the actual caseload (number of pending cases) for the past two years, broken down by quarter.
Tables with general case-load data and detailed statistics as at 31 March 2022 are available here >>
There are also separate tables on the administration of constitutional complaints. Starting from 2013, they contain detailed data on constitutional complaints (number of rejected and admitted complaints, number of decisions on the merits, pending cases, etc.), broken down by year. These tables can be accessed here >>