The Constitutional Court publishes detailed tables of its case-statistics at the end of each quarter. Below we provide a summary of the baseline data for 2021 and an overview of the data on case-load and the decisions as well as their changes between 2013 and 2021, with graphs.

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring of 2020, which is still ongoing, has had a major impact on the operation and case flow of the Constitutional Court in 2021. During the first half of the year, the Constitutional Court’s panels held their meetings and took their decisions online. After the summer recess, and in line with the epidemic situation and the almost total vaccination of members and staff of the Constitutional Court, the panels started to meet in person in mid-September, but due to the new wave of the epidemic, in the last quarter of the year, online sessions were held again.

The graph below shows the evolution of case-load data for recent years, together with the number of new cases opened and the number of cases closed

 

Tables with case-load statistics for 2021 can be found here (pdf) >>

Below we summarise the key data.

In 2021, the number of new cases referred to rapporteur justices of the Constitutional Court was 617. The table and graph below show the distribution of these newly opened cases by fields of competence. The table also includes 2020 data for comparison. This shows that in 2021, significantly more new cases were brought before the Constitutional Court.

 

Year 2021 Year 2020
Total number of new cases referred to rapporteur justices 617 519
Number of constitutional complaints 577 487
Number of judicial initiatives 28 25
Number of posterior norm controls 5 6
Other 7 1

 

The relative proportions of the different types of cases are as follows:

 

The coronavirus epidemic and the constitutional complaints against state measures and legislation closely related to it are also having a strong impact on the case flow – the increase in the number of new cases is largely due to these cases.

A large number of petitions were received on the issue of vaccination against coronavirus, including the entitlements to an immunity certificate, the conditions for issuing an antibody certificate based on natural immunity, the compulsory vaccination of health workers, state and municipal employees and workers. In these cases, motions for constitutional complaints were typically submitted to the Constitutional Court on the basis of a model motion with the same wording. On its website, the Constitutional Court continuously provides detailed and up-to-date information on these matters >> Since that the wording of these constitutional complaints is identical or very similar in each of the subjects, and that they have been filed by a particularly large number of petitioners, these cases are not included separately in the statistics and will be dealt with by the Constitutional Court under section 30 (5) of the Rules of Procedure.

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>>

The number of completed cases also continued to rise in 2021. The bodies (plenary and panels) closed 612 cases, of which 102 cases were decided on the merits. The main figures on the number of cases completed are as follows:

Year 2021 Year 2020
Total number of cases completed by the bodies 612 552
Total number of cases concluded with a decision on the merits 102 100
Annulment of a court / administrative decision 23 25
Full/partial annulment of a law, provision of the law 6 6
Setting a constitutional requirement 10 10
Establishing an omission 6 3
Rejecting the admission of a constitutional complaint 462 452
Number of cases completed in the preparatory procedure before the Secretary-General and by ruling of a single judge 931 867

 

The graph below shows the evolution of the number of completed cases from 2013 onwards:

 

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 2021 was 307 days from the date of the submission of the petition; this is less than it was in 2020 (327 days). 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 the average administration time over the past years.

 

In 2021, in 23 cases of constitutional complaints, the Constitutional Court issued a decision annulling the judicial decisions challenged in the petition. A list of the annulled judgements and the Constitutional Court decisions annulling them published in 2021 can be found here >>

 

The following graphs also refer to constitutional complaints.

The first shows how many of the constitutional complaints filed in a given year resulted in a decision on the merits, and how many were closed without a decision on the merits (e.g. with a rejection, termination or closure issued in the admission procedure). For the 2021 figures, it should be taken into account that the preparatory procedure with the Secretary General is still ongoing for motions filed in the last weeks of last year, therefore these cases are not yet included in the data. In any case, the graph shows that on average about ten percent of constitutional complaints are decided on the merits.

 

The following graph shows the data for the last 9 years of constitutional complaint procedures initiated under section 27 of the Constitutional Court Act. This is the type of constitutional complaint in which the Constitutional Court examines the constitutionality of a judicial decision, and does not carry out norm control. The years indicate the year in which the motion was filed. However, when analysing the data for motions filed in 2020 and 2021, it should be taken into account that a relatively large number of these are still pending, so the graph for these last two years will change in the future.

 

Finally, with regard to the completed constitutional complaint cases, an overview of their distribution in 2021 according to the field of the challenged judicial decision.

 

Detailed data on constitutional complaints, broken down by year, are available here (pdf) >>

 

In 2021, the Constitutional Court annulled laws in 6 cases. A list of the annulled provisions of the law and the list of the Constitutional Court decisions annulling them published in 2021 can be found here >>

 

The Constitutional Court has established in several decisions constitutional requirements as well as conflicts with the Fundamental Law caused by omissions. Current outstanding legislative omissions can be accessed on the website here>>. The table summarising the constitutional requirements established by the Constitutional Court is available here >>

 

The graph below shows data for the last 9 years on the annulment of provisions of the law, conflicts with the Fundamental Law caused by omissions and the setting of constitutional requirements.