Administrative courts – joint opposition motion to the Constitutional Court
Hungary’s opposition parties have finalized their joint motion for the constitutional review of the scandalously adopted laws on administrative courts. The joint application, which is supported by the signatures of several independent MPs as well, will soon be submitted to the supreme body responsible for safeguarding the constitution.
We requested the Constitutional Court to establish that certain provisions of the laws on the administrative courts, their entry into force and their provisional regulation are unconstitutional and asked the supreme body to annul them posteriorly. Although the legal act on the establishment of administrative courts will only enter into force on January 1, 2020, its adoption was not a result of a wide professional discussion. The new law would violate the principle of separating powers since it would enable the Minister of Justice to exercise the rights that provide the legal basis for the operation of the administrative courts. Thus the independence and impartiality of these courts are jeopardized since the appointment and replacement of these judges would be the Minister’s prerogative.
Furthermore, the head of the Ministry of Justice can also influence the operation of the courts by controlling their financial budgets. In addition, the Minister can issue tenders; conduct the hearing of applicants; decide on who can take leadership, justice and other positions; he can appoint registrars; decide on relocations and positions; grant titles; adopt the rules of organization and operation as well as determine staff complements.
With regard to these laws, it is especially important for citizens to be able to turn to an independent court even when they want to enforce their rights against a governmental-administrative organization. Judiciary independence means no less than the chance for citizens to “win” against the state; in other words, the opportunity to challenge the “arbitrariness” of the power. These principles are violated if the appointment and operation rules of administrative courts are controlled by the relevant minister and they would therefore depend upon him. Such a situation would particularly be intolerable from the aspect of constitutionality as it would enable a political leader of the executive power to influence the independent courts.
We also proposed the Constitutional Court to establish the public law invalidity of the two legislations – considering the circumstances of their adoption in Parliament. Such circumstances include that the presiding chairman did not perform his function correctly as he was not sitting on the chairman’s platform and nor was he assisted by the parliamentary registrars at the time. The other constitutionality concerns are that the voting machines were not functioning properly so the MPs’ presence could not be established with full certainty; furthermore, certain MPs could vote even though their ID Cards were not inserted into the voting machine so, technically speaking, other persons may have been able to cast a vote in their names or in the names of the absent MPs.
Based on the above, the two legislations clearly constitute an infringement of the law both in terms of their adoption and their content, therefore their implementation would be unconstitutional.
Dr. Csaba Gyüre - Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary
Dr. Tamás Harangozó - Hungarian Socialist Party
Dr. Ágnes Vadai - Democratic Coalition
Dr. László Lóránt Keresztes - Politics Can Be Different
Tímea Szabó - Dialogue for Hungary
György Buzinkay - Momentum
Dr. Bernadett Szél - Independent MP
Dr. Ákos Hadházy - Independent MP
Anett Bősz - Independent MP
Issued by: Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary