Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was defiant on Monday in the face of a Constitutional Court ruling that overturned a law reducing the mandatory retirement age of judges from 70 to 62.
Oh no you don’t: PM
“The system is here to stay,” Orbán said after the court voided, with retroactive effect, legislation that would force 236 judges into retirement this year.
Orbán said he had instructed state secretary for justice Róbert Répássy to draft amendments that would bring the law in line with the Constitution.
Critics have voiced concerns that the government aims to stack the judiciary with sympathetic judges and the European Commission has already launched a legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Hungary’s highest court said the existing law was unconstitutional in both form and content and violates the requirement that judges be independent.
The president of the 15-strong court, Péter Paczolay, said in a radio interview on Thursday that the government must abide by its ruling. This is “one of the most important criteria of constitutional order”, he said.