Tamás Sulyok: International constitutional dialogue is of primary importance21 September 2018
High level representatives of as much as 50 embassies accredited to Hungary gathered upon the invitation of the President of the Constitutional Court at the reception held in the hall of the Constitutional Court in Budapest. Last year a similar even had been held for the first time to start a tradition. The Constitutional Court is firmly committed to provide the international public with authentic first-hand information on the role fulfilled by the institution in the Hungarian democracy, its strong powers of fundamental rights protection, its competence and about its members elected on the basis of political consensus. The aim of the Constitutional Court is to establish an international dialogue in the field of judicial cooperation. Tamás Sulyok underlined: Today Europe has to face several complex and sensitive challenges, therefore it is indispensable to have a mutual exchange of experience, opinion and information. Unfortunately, the Sargentini report has been an example to the contrary. Namely, the authors of the report formulated negative statements affecting the integrity, the autonomy and the reputation of the Constitutional Court of Hungary without engaging in any form of prior consultation with the Constitutional Court.
At the event held on the 20th of September in Donáti Street, the President informed the representatives of the embassies, among others, on the introduction of real constitutional complaint by the Fundamental Law, allowing the persons seeking justice to turn directly to the Constitutional Court for legal remedy if their fundamental rights have been violated. The figures verify the success of the new institution: the number of constitutional complaints submitted to the Constitutional Court has been on a constant rise during the past six years and 75% of the complaints have been so called real constitutional complaints challenging judicial decisions. 60% of the annulled judicial decisions were set aside because the court decision violated the petitioners’ rights granted in the Fundamental Law to fair trial, freedom of expression or to effective legal remedy. As a part of court dialogue, it is a priority of the Constitutional Court to deal with judicial initiatives and it makes efforts to adjudicate them within a short time-frame.
The president emphasized: as in our constantly changing global, political, economic and social environment constitutional courts have to handle complex and sensitive issues both on national and international level, it is indispensable to have a regular exchange of opinions and experiences. The Constitutional Court of Hungary was among the first ones to establish in a decision in 2016 that judicial dialogue within the European Union is of primary importance.
Tamás Sulyok then presented some decisive recent decisions of the Constitutional Court that provided effective fundamental rights protection among others in the fields of the freedom of the press, the freedom of public debates, the legal status of churches and the equality between women and men.
The President finally thanked the ambassadors for their cooperation and expressed hopes for developing even closer cooperation in the future.