In the spirit of the European constitutional dialogue the Constitutional Court suspended its procedures in the cases related to the Act on national higher education and the “Act on NGOs”.

12 June 2018

In both cases the European Commission launched infringement procedures against Hungary at the Court of Justice of the European Union. In the decision No. 22/2016. (XII. 5.) AB the Constitutional Court established that “the opportunity of review reserved for the Constitutional Court should be applied by taking into account the obligation of cooperation, in view of the potential enforcement of European law”. In the present cases the Constitutional Court concluded that with regard to the fundamental rights’ context and the obligation of cooperation within the European Union, it is necessary to wait for the closing of the procedures pending at the European Court of Justice.

The Constitutional Court: the legislator has enhanced responsibility at the time of closing a decades-long process

10 May 2018

The Constitutional Court established that some provisions of the 2016 Act on amending certain Acts related to compensation had been unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court also established an omission by the National Assembly in the context of the amendment of the compensation rules applicable to arable land as in certain cases the legislator prevented the persons entitled to compensation from properly exercising their option to purchase.

The Constitutional Court clarified the system of criteria for establishing the quality of acting as a public figure

10 May 2018

The Constitutional Court made a decision in a public debate of media personalities. As underlined in the Court’s decision: due to the changes in social relations, in particular the proliferation of telecommunication, the scope of public figures is expanding, thus persons who were not considered as public figures earlier can now become active influencers of debates in public affairs. The freedom of expression primarily protects the expressions of opinion connected to criticising public authority, but the scope of public affairs is wider than political communications in the narrow sense. Establishing the quality of acting as a public figure is always a question of individual assessment. The determining criterion is typically not the status of the affected person but whether he has become an influencer of public life in an open debate in public affairs due to his own decision.

The MP candidate’s immunity is not a fundamental right, it is not against the Fundamental Law to regulate the suspension of this right

6 April 2018

The petitioner was registered as an independent candidate at the parliamentary elections and accordingly he was entitled to immunity. However, on the basis of a pending criminal proceeding against him due to committing the criminal offence of budget fraud committed in a criminal organisation on commercial scale, causing a particularly considerable financial loss and for committing other crimes, the National Election Committee has suspended the petitioner’s immunity.  As established in the Constitutional Court’s recent decision: the National Election Committee’s decision on suspending the immunity shall not qualify as a decision against which legal remedy has to be offered.

The Constitutional Court rejected the constitutional complaint challenging the referendum on the opening hours of the “party district”

19 February 2018

Persons or organisations may submit a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court against a judicial decision if they themselves are affected by the case and the decision violates their rights laid down in the Fundamental Law. The Constitutional Court’s decision pointed out: the regulation to restrict the opening hours in the party district, as challenged by the petitioner, has not yet been adopted, threfore the violation of the rights could not have taken place. Although the Constitutional Court rejected the constitutional complaint related to the referendum question, the petitioner shall be free to file – after exhausting the appropriate possibilities for legal remedy – a direct constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court if, in the future, the local government adopts a decree considered by the petitioner to be contrary to the Fundamental Law.

 

Violating human dignity during a public debate is not acceptable

22 January 2018

As emphasized by the Constitutional Court in its recent decision: the freedom of expression enjoys extraordinary protection in the scope of debating public affairs, as it is a requirement under the formation of democratic public opinion that all citizens of the society should be able to express their thoughts freely. Accordingly, the expression of opinions about public affairs can only be restricted in a limited scope when it violates the unrestrictable essence of human dignity that determines the human status, i.e. if it is aimed at humiliating the human core of the other person. The freedom of expression shall not be applicable to such communications.

Deciding about acknowledging a church is not only within the National Assembly’s scope of competence, it is a duty of the National Assembly

22 January 2018

The National Assembly has 60 days to make a decision on acknowledging a church, but at present there are no legal sanctions whatsoever connected to the failure to do so, resulting in the absence of a legal remedy for the affected religious organisation, if no decision is adopted. On the other hand, the Constitutional Court specified as a requirement under the Fundamental Law that the rules of fair procedure should also be enforced during the procedure aimed at obtaining the status of “established church”. Therefore the Court established in its latest decision the existence of an omission resulting in the violation of the Fundamental Law and it called upon the National Assembly to adopt legislation.