a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 27-10-2003 / e) 47/2003 / f) / g) 2003/122 / h) .
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
General Principles - Certainty of the law.
General Principles - Clarity and precision of legal provisions.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial - Access to courts.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial - Independence.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to private life - Protection of personal data.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Crime, prevention, means, permissible / Police, surveillance, released convict.
The Constitutional Court held that provisions allowing the police to monitor, for the purposes of crime prevention, convicts released after at least three years' imprisonment clearly violated the fundamental rights of convicts, especially their right to the protection of personal data and the privacy of the home.
The petitioner sought constitutional review of certain provisions of the Act XXXIV of 1994 on the Police (Police Act) concerning crime prevention on the ground that they violated the principle of legal certainty.
The impugned provision authorises the police to monitor, for the purposes of crime prevention and under certain circumstances set out in the Act, convicts released after at least three years' imprisonment. Monitoring means, inter alia, collecting secret data without judicial authorisation, including the right to enter the home of such a person without any prior judicial authorisation.
In its decision, the Constitutional Court struck down the impugned provisions of the Police Act on the grounds that they violated the right to remedy and the right of access to court, as well as Article 50.3 of the Constitution, which guarantees the independence of judges. The Court argued that the Act failed to lay down the guiding principles for the decision-makers exercising discretionary power. Thus, the judicial proceedings were a mere formality; the decision was not, in fact, made by the judiciary.
The Constitutional Court also considered that the provisions lacked legal certainty and struck them down for that reason. The provisions in question were not clearly defined; they did not comply with the requirements concerning foreseeable legal consequences.