a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 04-09-1996 / e) 36/1996 / f) / g) Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 75/1996 / h) .
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
Constitutional Justice - Effects - Influence on State organs.
Sources - Categories - Written rules - International instruments - Geneva Conventions of 1949.
Sources - Categories - Unwritten rules - General principles of law.
Sources - Hierarchy - Hierarchy as between national and non-national sources - Treaties and legislative acts.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Non-retrospective effect of law - Criminal law.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
War crime, definition / Geneva Convention (1949).
It is contrary to the Constitution for legislation not to take into consideration the previous decision made by the Constitutional Court further to a petition concerning the preliminary review of the provisions of the unpromulgated Law.
The petitioners requested constitutional review of Law XC of 1993 on the procedure in the matter of certain criminal offences committed during the 1956 October Revolution and Freedom Struggle. In the petitioners’opinion the Law violated the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War and it was contrary to the universally recognised rules and principles of international law.
In 1993 the President of the Republic had challenged this Law before its promulgation. As a result of the preliminary review, the Constitutional Court had annulled Article 1 of the Law in question since the crime defined in this provision did not constitute a war crime according to international law. Article 1 of the unpromulgated Law provided that in relation to limitation periods for the punishment of criminal offences, Article 33.2 of the Criminal Code was to be applied to such offences committed during the 1956 October Revolution and Freedom Struggle.
The Constitutional Court held unconstitutional the retroactive application of Article 33.2 of the Criminal Code since it could have only been applied if, at the time of the commission of the criminal offence, Hungarian law then in force had declared the non- applicability of statutory limitations.
Referring to other provisions of the Law, the Constitutional Court declared that these were constitutional within those constraints which the Constitutional Court defined in Decision 53 of 1993 (X. 13.), Bulletin 1993/3 [HUN-1993-3-015].
Since Parliament did not take into account the constitutional requirements defined by the Constitutional Court in its Decision 53 of 1993 (X. 13.), the Constitutional Court declared Law XC of 1993 unconstitutional and annulled it.