a)  Hungary / b)  Constitutional Court / c) / d)  04-10-2013 / e)  24/2013 / f)  On the constitutional review of the Nullity Act / g)  Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 2013/164 / h) .
Keywords of the systematic thesaurus:
General Principles - Separation of powers.
General Principles - Rule of law.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial - Independence.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to respect for one's honour and reputation.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Amnesty / Conviction, change / Pardon, restriction / Hooliganism / Riot.
An Act which invalidates convictions for vandalism, use of force and hooliganism related to the 2006 riots based solely on police reports is not unconstitutional.
I. Act XVI of 2011 concerning the remedy of convictions following the dispersal of crowds at demonstrations in autumn of 2006 (hereinafter, the "Nullity Act") had been challenged by twenty ordinary judges. They contended that the Nullity Act violated a number of provisions of the Fundamental Law, such as the principle of the rule of law, the separation of powers, judicial independence, human dignity and the right to good reputation.
II. The Constitutional Court held in its decision that the Nullity Act was not contrary to the Fundamental Law. The Constitutional Court decided that constitutional requirements in the field of criminal law shall be enforced, taking into consideration the specificity of the legal institution of nullity.
The Constitutional Court held that the legislator has the right to adopt an Act in order to do justice by implementing its political aims, but conformity with the Fundamental Law must always be ensured. The constitutional requirements that are specified in the field of criminal law must be applied, taking into consideration the specificities of the legal institution of nullity.
The Court declared that altering final verdicts for the benefit of the convicted person does not constitute a violation of the requirements of the rule of law. According to the Court, the lawmaker did not violate the principle of the separation of powers and judicial independence when it annulled by law those verdicts that convicted participants in demonstrations in autumn 2006. Although Parliament assigned tasks to the courts, the independence and self-determination of the judiciary, which are ensured in the Fundamental Law, have not been derogated.
The Court stated that although the lawmaker could have chosen other solutions in order to resolve the question of the convictions – for example, by granting general amnesty by law – after having thoroughly examined the experience of other States, the Court concluded that alternative solutions would also have posed problems and would not have offered a more effective remedy. The Court declared that when the lawmaker has to address extraordinary situations, it should have the freedom to decide how to secure social reconciliation, provided that the provisions of the Fundamental Law are not violated.
III. Justice Imre Juhász and László Salamon attached concurring opinions and Justices Elemér Balogh, András Bragyova, László Kiss and Miklós Lévay judges attached dissenting opinions to the decision.
Supplementary information:
The Act in question was drawn up by current Constitutional Court Justice István Balsai in 2010, when he was a Fidesz MP, therefore he did not take part in delivering the ruling.