a)  Hungary / b)  Constitutional Court / c) / d)  20-05-1994 / e)  28/1994 / f) / g)  Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 55/1994 / h) .
Keywords of the systematic thesaurus:
Constitutional Justice - Effects - Temporal effect - Retrospective effect (ex tunc).
Fundamental Rights - Collective rights - Right to the environment.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Territory, protected.
Some provisions of the amended Acts I and II of 1992 on agricultural cooperatives, which established the rules for distribution of land currently held by cooperatives among their members, were challenged before the Constitutional Court. The original law excluded "national park lands, areas protected by international agreement, and other protected natural territories" from distribution, unless such lands were already under certain forms of cultivation. The Parliament proposed amendments to the existing law in order to expand the number of cultivations under which distribution would be allowed, and sought to establish that protected areas could be privately owned. The Court declared that the amendments, since they would deprive of protection parts of the environment that had already been legislatively declared to be protected, violated the constitutional rights to a healthy environment and to the highest possible level of physical and spiritual health. In the opinion of the Court these rights have a special status; therefore the State is required to give legal and institutional guarantees to environmental protection. The level of such protection must be high according to objective standards - said the Court - and once a certain level of protection has been accorded by the State, it cannot be withdrawn.
Supplementary information:
Two judges wrote a dissenting opinion.