a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 07-04-2011 / e) 29/2011 / f) / g) Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 2011/37 / h) CODICES (Hungarian).
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
General Principles - Certainty of the law.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial - Effective remedy.
Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right of access to the public service.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Civil servant, dismissal, reason / Protection, dismissal, unjustified.
Civil servants, defined as those working for state institutions and institutions of local government, cannot be fired without the provision of a reason for the dismissal.
I. In December 2010 the governing two-thirds majority of Parliament amended the Act on Civil Servants so as to make it possible to dismiss civil servants without the employer providing a reason for the dismissal. After the amendment had been passed, several trade unions and civil rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) challenged it before the Constitutional Court.
II. The Constitutional Court, by referring to its earlier decision concerning the dismissal of government officials, held that the legal framework for appointing and dismissing civil servants should be clearly regulated by the Act.
The Court did not question that the need to increase the efficiency, performance and standard of public administration may justify measures to make the dismissal of civil servants less difficult. However, the Court held that the legislature should develop rules that create a balance between the governmentís objectives and the protection of civil servantsíconstitutional rights.
The Court found that the possibility of firing a civil servant without the provision of any reason whatsoever limits disproportionately the constitutional right to take public office, ensured by Article 70.6 of the Constitution. According to the Courtís reasoning, the Act should ensure protection for civil servants in the event of an unjustified dismissal. The lack of normative rules concerning the dismissal of a civil servant makes it impossible for ordinary court judges to decide on the legality of a dismissal, which violates the right to seek a legal remedy. Therefore the Constitutional Court annulled the legislation ex nunc.
- Decision 8/2011.