a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 05-06-2015 / e) 17/2015 / f) On the Agricultural-Land Committees / g) Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 2015/78 / h) .
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial - Reasoning.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to property.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Agricultural, land / Decision, reason / Land committees, procedure / Land, transfer, lease, sale.
The power of agricultural-land committees to prevent land sale agreements is not contrary to the right to property. However, the agricultural-land committees should provide reasoning in their decisions.
I. Several judges initiated the constitutional review of some provisions of Act CXXII of 2013 on Land Transfer (hereinafter, «Land Transfer Act»). According to the Land Transfer Act, the aim of the functioning of the agricultural-land committees is to ensure the transparency and competitiveness of the transfer of local lands, and to prevent speculative land acquisition. The Land Transfer Act prescribes that the land-sale agreements shall be approved by an authority, namely the local agricultural-land committee, which represents the interests of the local farmers. In connection with this procedure, several judges turned to the Constitutional Court requiring the examination of provisions concerning the proceedings of the agricultural-land committees, which they deemed to be unconstitutional. In the judges view, the provisions on the proceedings of the agricultural-land committees violate the right to a fair trial and legal remedy, since one cannot access to the court and there is no legal remedy available against the resolution of the agricultural-land committees.
II. The Constitutional Court decided – and announced in public – on the judicial initiatives concerning the provisions on agricultural-land committees. The Constitutional Court annulled some provisions concerning the resolution of agricultural-land committees and declared constitutional requirements concerning the proceeding of the agricultural-land committee.
The Constitutional Court held that the power of the agricultural-land committees to prevent land-sale agreements is not contrary to the right to property, because the Fundamental Law allows cardinal Acts to prescribe the limits and the conditions of the acquisition and utilisation of agricultural lands. However, the Constitutional Court declared – as a constitutional requirement – that the agricultural-land committee should enclose a reasoning in its decisions.
Following the decision of the Constitutional Court, the law-maker has no legislative obligation. The provisions declared unconstitutional cannot be applied in the original cases of the judicial initiatives as well as in any other cases with the same subject.
III. Judges Imre Juhász and László Salamon attached concurring opinions and Judges Ágnes Czine, László Kiss and Miklós Lévay attached a dissenting opinion to the decision.