Constitutional Court of Hungary

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The Constitutional Court of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország Alkotmánybírósága) is a special court of Hungary, making judicial review of the acts of the Parliament of Hungary. The official seat of the Constitutional Court is Budapest. Until 2012 the seat was Esztergom.

The Constitutional Court is composed of 15 judges since September 1, 2011 (previously, the Court was composed of 11 judges). The members then elect the President of the Court from among its members in a secret ballot. One or two Vice-Presidents, appointed by the President of the Court, stand in for the President in the event of his absence for any reason. The constitutional court passes on the constitutionality of laws, and there is no right of appeal on these decisions. The Constitutional Court serves as the main body for the protection of the Constitution, its tasks being the review of the constitutionality of statutes, and the protection of constitutional order and fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The Constitutional Court performs its tasks independently. With its own budget and its judges being elected by Parliament it does not constitute a part of the ordinary judicial system.

Establishment

On October 19, 1989 the Hungarian Parliament passed a resolution on the establishment of the Constitutional Court. Its organisation and authority, however, had been determined earlier in the framework of the trilateral political roundtable negotiations preparing the democratic transformation of the political system. The basic provisions on the Constitutional Court were laid down in October 1989 by Parliament by way of amending the Constitution (Article 32/A). The court was set up in order to promote the establishment of a state governed by the rule of law as well as the protection of constitutional order and fundamental rights. Act XXXII of 1989 on the Constitutional Court was passed by Parliament on 19 October 1989, and the Constitutional Court started its work on 1 January 1990.