a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 07-01-1994 / e) 1/1994 / f) / g) Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 2/1994 / h) .
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
General Principles - Legality. (Legality, interest )
Institutions - Judicial bodies - Organisation - Prosecutors / State counsel - Status.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to dignity.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial - Independence.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Act no. 3 of 1952 on Civil Procedure, as well as Act no. 5 of 1972, contained a regulation under which a public prosecutor could institute proceedings if the person entitled to do so (obligee) was not able to defend his rights or in order to defend important government or social interests. The public prosecutor could also intervene at any stage of the process in the interest of legality. The public prosecutor had rights identical with those of the parties.
The basic role of a public prosecutor in the Hungarian legal system is the prosecution of conduct which violates or endangers the constitutional order and the security and sovereignty of the country. The Constitution also entitles the Prosecutor's Office to take measures for the protection of legality. The intervention of a public prosecutor in civil proceedings is not unknown in Hungarian legal history, though limited to a few cases. It was socialist civil procedural law that entrusted public prosecutors with the function of a «general safeguard of legality».
The Constitutional Court found that the general and unlimited right of the public prosecutor to institute civil proceedings violates the autonomy and the right of the parties to self-determination. It belongs to the individual's autonomy to decide whether to initiate civil proceedings or not. Thus the general right of the public prosecutor to intervene in civil proceedings violates the principle of the rule of law, the right to human dignity, and, indirectly, the constitutional provisions regarding judicial procedure. Therefore, the Court declared the respective regulations to be unconstitutional.