19 November 2021
The summer judicial vacation of the Constitutional Court fell in the third quarter of the year (19 July to 27 August). During this period, the panels do not sit, decision-making is suspended and the staff of the Constitutional Court typically take their annual leave. As a result, as in previous years, there were fewer panel meetings during this period. After the summer break, in line with the epidemic situation and the almost total vaccination of members and staff of the Constitutional Court, the panels started their sessions in person in mid-September.
The tables with aggregated, detailed case-load and statistical data for the period 1 July to 30 September 2021 and for the first three quarters of 2021 can be found here >> (pdf). Specific case-load data on the handling of constitutional complaints filed between 2012 and 2021 are available here >> (pdf)
The key figures are presented below.
Between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021, the number of new cases referred to rapporteur justices of the Constitutional Court was 133. Most of the cases are still constitutional complaints. Key data on newly opened cases assigned to rapporteur justices of the Constitutional Court (together with the data for the previous quarter) are as follows:
|Total number of new cases referred to rapporteur justices||176||133|
|Number of constitutional complaints||162||127|
|Number of judicial initiatives||12||4|
|Number of posterior norm controls||1||2|
|Number of preliminary norm controls||1||0|
Cases in which the persons concerned submitted to the Constitutional Court separate motions for constitutional complaints, typically based on a model motion, with the same wording, concerning the entitlements resulting from the immunity card, the conditions for issuing the card based on natural immunity, related to antibodies, and the mandatory vaccination of health workers were still pending. In view of the thematic textual identity of the motions and their particularly large number, these motions are not included in the statistics and will be dealt with by the Constitutional Court under section 30 (5) of the Rules of Procedure. On this basis, only the complaints received first among the different types of petitions will be referred to the rapporteur justice. Given that the Constitutional Court examines the constitutionality of provisions of the law in these cases, the decisions taken by the panels will apply to all concerned.
Other special categories of cases are 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)
The relative proportions of different types of new cases in the third quarter of 2021 were as follows:
In terms of completed cases, the bodies (plenary session and the panels) completed 110 cases between 1 July and 30 September 2021, 10 of which were decided on the merits. By 30 September, the Constitutional Court had completed a total of 442 cases, 73 of which had been decided on the merits.
In the third quarter, judicial or administrative decisions were annulled in 9 cases, while in 2 cases the bodies annulled provisions of the law.
The table below shows the main data for the 3rd quarter for completed cases, together with the data for the previous quarter:
|Total number of cases completed by the bodies||173||110|
|Total number of cases concluded with a decision on the merits||31||10|
|Annulment of a court / administrative decision||9||2|
|Full/partial annulment of a law, provision of the law||2||–|
|Setting a constitutional requirement||3||2|
|Establishing an omission||4||–|
|Rejecting the admission of a constitutional complaint||126||80|
|Number of cases completed in the preparatory procedure before the Secretary-General and by ruling of a single judge||267||207|
The evolution of the quarterly data on completed cases is shown in the graph below:
The graph below shows the evolution of the number of Constitutional Court decisions annulling judicial decisions, also on a quarterly basis, for the past two years.
The graph below shows the evolution of the number of Constitutional Court decisions annulling provisions of the law, also on a quarterly basis, for the past two years. Between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021, no decisions officially published (in the Hungarian Gazette or in the gazette of the Constitutional Court’s Decisions) annulled any provision of the law.
The current list of judicial decisions and provisions of the law annulled by the Constitutional Court in 2021 is available here >> (in Hungarian)
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)
As regards the number of completed cases, it is worth noting that the average time taken by the bodies to complete a constitutional complaint in the first three quarters of 2021 was 300 days from the date of the submission of 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 data on the time taken to complete a case.
Finally, with regard to the completed cases, an overview of the proportion of constitutional complaint cases closed with a decision on the merits in 2021 to date, according to the fields of law concerned
The development of case-load at the end of the third quarter. On 30 September 2021, there were 390 cases assigned to rapporteur justices, a slight increase compared to the end of the previous quarter (367). Evidently, these figures do not include the cases in which the preparatory procedure with the Secretary-General was still ongoing. Accordingly, the number and the distribution of cases pending before the rapporteur justices, compared with the end of the previous quarter, were as follows.
|Total number of pending cases||367||390|
|Number of constitutional complaints||333||361|
|Number of judicial initiatives||15||10|
|Number of posterior norm control procedures||11||12|
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.