a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c)  / d) 14-03-2001 / e) 7/2001 / f)  / g) Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 2001/30 / h) .

Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:


General Principles - Separation of powers.


General Principles - Rule of law.


General Principles - Certainty of the law.

Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers - Powers of enquiry.


Institutions - Ombudsman - Powers.


Institutions - Ombudsman - Relations with the legislature.


Institutions - Ombudsman - Relations with judicial bodies.

Keywords of the alphabetical index:

Authority, notion / Law, unclear, ambiguous wording.


It is contrary to the certainty of law that those provisions of the Act on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights that determine the scope of the Parliamentary Commissioner's competence are not sufficiently unambiguous. Therefore the relation of the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner with the legislature, judicial organs and the organs deciding legal disputes with binding force outside of court are not clear.


Under Article 32/B.1 of the Constitution, it is the task of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights to have abuses of constitutional rights of which they become aware investigated or to investigate them personally, and to initiate general or specific measures in order to redress them. The office of the Parliamentary Commissioner can conduct investigations and can make recommendations if the decision, the procedure or the omission of some public authority or public service provider violates or jeopardises constitutional rights. Article 29 of the Act on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights determines that for the purposes of this Act, an authority is inter alia (a) an organ fulfilling a task of state power, (f) an organ of justice - except for the courts, (h) an organ deciding legal disputes with binding force outside of the court. According to the Court, the phrase "organ fulfilling a task of state power" is a phrase of the previous regime, which cannot be applied any more. It is not clear which state organs it refers to, therefore it violates the principle of legal certainty. It is convenient to assume that it is within the competence of the Parliamentary Commissioner's to examine the procedure of parliament. Obviously, the Parliamentary Commissioner's must not review laws enacted by parliament. Because of their vagueness and ambiguity paragraphs (f) and (h) of Article 29 also violate the certainty of law, as their meaning is not clear enough.

Supplementary information:

Two Justices attached separate opinions to the decision. In their view, not only those three points of the challenged provision were unclear, ambiguous and therefore unconstitutional, but the whole provision should have been declared null and void.