HUN-2002-2-003
a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c)   / d) 19-07-2002 / e) 35/2002 / f)   / g) Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 2002/100 / h) .
 
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
 
 
General Principles - General interest.
Fundamental Rights - General questions - Limits and restrictions.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to dignity.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Security of the person.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial - Access to courts.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to private life - Protection of personal data.
 
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
 
Data, personal, collecting, processing / Video surveillance, sport events / Remedy, effective / Sports, Arbitration, Tribunal / Consumer, protection.
 
Headnotes:
 
The purpose of the surveillance of sports events required by the Sports Act is to protect the safety of spectators and their assets and to avoid racist behaviour and violence, and therefore to protect human dignity and physical integrity. Although the video surveillance of sports events infringes the right to self-determination with respect to information of those who attend matches and games, it does not follow that this is an unnecessary and disproportionate limitation of this fundamental right.
 
Summary:
 
The petitioner sought constitutional review of certain provisions of the Sports Act on the grounds that they violated the right to the protection of personal data under Article 59 of the Constitution and the right to a fair trial and legal remedy under Article 57 of the Constitution.
 
Under the Sports Act, the organisers of various sports events should carry out surveillance in order to ensure public safety and the security of people's assets. According to Article 85.4 of the Sports Act, the pictures thus recorded can be forwarded to those affected by the pictures, certain state organs, and organisers who arrange similar sports events. The Court held that although there are sufficient guarantees concerning data processing by state organs, legal provisions regarding the collection and processing of personal data of private actors, such as the organisers of such sports events, are missing from the Hungarian legal system.
 
Referring to its Decision no. 15/1991, the Court emphasised that personal data may only be processed for a definite and legally justified purpose, to which every stage of the process had to conform. Therefore, the requirement under Article 85.4 of the Sports Act that data be supplied to private organisations and persons arranging similar sports events without a valid, legally justified purpose was insufficient to permit the forwarding of personal data. The scope of data collection and processing was too wide, since it was permitted to process data not only of those who were excluded from participating in sports events, but of everyone who attended the sports event. The aim of Article 85.4 of the Act was to avoid a remote and indirect danger. Under this provision, collecting personal data was not only the means, but became an end in itself.
 
The Court also reviewed the constitutionality of Article 82.5 of the Sports Act, under which a person who is excluded from access to sports events can appeal against this decision to the Sports Arbitration Tribunal or to the Consumer Protection Authority. According to the petitioners, this provision infringed the right to a fair trial and more specifically the right to a legal remedy.
 
As concerned the proceedings of the Sports Arbitration Tribunal, the Court held that such proceedings require an agreement by the two parties to submit their dispute to arbitration. In the current case this means that the organiser, who issued the order excluding the other party from access to matches and stadia, can decide whether to take their dispute to arbitration. Such a proceeding does not in the Court's opinion constitute an effective legal remedy in a constitutional sense.
 
Concerning proceedings of the Consumer Protection Authority, the Court emphasised that under Article 82.5 of the Sports Act this proceeding is an alternative: it is up to the parties whether they choose this means of legal enforcement, and the relevant substantive and procedural provisions are missing from the Sports Act. As a consequence of this, the provision of the Sports Act on the proceedings of the Sports Arbitration Tribunal and the Consumer Protection Authority violated the right to a legal remedy.
 
Supplementary information:
 
One of the Justices attached a concurring opinion to the judgment. Justice Harmathy emphasised that the Constitutional Court should have examined the challenged provisions of the Sports Act in the light of the right to privacy and not data protection.
 
Justices Kiss and Kukorelli in their separate opinion pointed out that the Court should have taken into account the whole concept of the Sports Act concerning the surveillance of sports events and the human rights apprehensions which that strategy engender. Second, the Court should have examined the constitutionality of the Act from the viewpoint that it requires private-sector actors to collect personal information, including information that law enforcement can use in gathering evidence of criminality.
 
Languages:
 
Hungarian.