The Constitutional Court can examine whether the joint exercise of competences with the European Union infringes human dignity, other fundamental rights, the sovereignty of Hungary, or Hungary’s self-identity based on its historical constitution. This decision develops the Court’s fundamental rights-reservation review and ultra vires review (composed of a sovereignty review and review based on constitutional identity).
In the underlying court case, a press organ published on its website a recording of a police officer who had secured an act of execution by the court, without asking for the consent of the affected person or making the person unrecognizable by masking or by other means. According to the affected police officer, the disclosing of the recording caused him non-material damages and, therefore, requested compensation. The court of first instance held that the proceeding police officer was not a public figure, therefore, it found that the recording of his image without his consent and its disclosure had been unlawful. In the judgement No. 56.Pf.632.194/2015/3, the Budapest-Capital Regional Court approved the judgement of the court of first instance. In the constitutional complaint, the petitioner held that the court decisions violate the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press, and the petitioner also referred to the Decision No. 28/2014. (IX. 29.) AB of the Constitutional Court adopted earlier in the same subject matter. The Constitutional Court found that the challenged court decision violated the freedom of the press. The Constitutional Court made a reference to its earlier decision where it had stated that as long as a communication is not a misuse of exercising the freedom of the press, a reference to the violation of personality rights rarely justifies the restriction of exercising the freedom of the press. A recorded image of person who is in the spotlight of the public may, in general, be disclosed without his or her consent, provided that it does not qualify as a misuse of exercising the freedom of the press (such as arbitrary publication) and with the exception of the cases when the protection of human dignity is more important (for example, the image showing the suffering of a wounded police officer among the recordings of an event, which is otherwise of public interest). Therefore, the Constitutional Court annulled the challenged court decision. Justices dr. Egon Dienes-Oehm and dr. Béla Pokol attached dissenting opinions to the decision.
The Constitutional Court may examine the merits of a parliamentary resolution ordering a referendum if, between the authentication of the question and the ordering of the referendum, circumstances had changed in a way that might significantly affect the decision. It cannot examine the content of the referendum question itself.
The constitutional right to freedom of assembly is not violated by a police ban on staging demonstrations in front of the Prime Minister’s house and the Supreme Court headquarters, but the existence of contradictory laws on the subject is unconstitutional.
The Hungarian National Bank exercises public functions and exclusively manages public funds. Therefore, it is accountable to the public in the spirit of transparency and the virtue of public life. The Hungarian National Bank may set up companies or foundations only in harmony with its tasks and primary objectives.
Changes made to legislation on postal services affecting the scope of public disclosure at the state-owned Hungarian Post are compliant with the Constitution.