Top court, Kuria heads call for defence of constitution

The presidents of the Constitutional Court and the Kuria, Hungary's supreme court, have warned of the dangers posed by attacks against the basic law, and called for defending the constitution.

As the constitution is the foundation of social peace and public order, the attacks launched against it endanger social order, as well as the life, health and property of citizens, Constitutional Court President Tamas Sulyok told a conference, marking the tenth anniversary of the new basic law, on Friday. As these phenomena go beyond the frames of democratic dialogue, the Constitutional Court cannot tolerate them at all, he said.

There exists and is a need for legitimate criticism of Hungary’s constitution, he said. Illegitimate criticism, however, differs from this as it aims to break constitutional continuity and advocates open violations of the constitution and the effective laws.

Sulyok noted that over the past decade the Constitutional Court had repeatedly protected freedom of the press, freedom of religion, judicial independence and the right of assembly.

“The Constitutional Court has become the cornerstone of the rule of law,” he said.

Kuria President Andras Zs Varga spoke about “the ongoing planning of a constitutional coup”, insisting that the “breaking” of the basic law would be equal to breaking the sovereign Hungarian state.

He stressed the need to defend the basic law from the attacks, arguing that division of power is an asset and the state and the legal system should prevent any attempts of “criminal organisations” to abuse it.

The Kuria should be steadfast, self-confident and reliable so as to serve as a supporting pillar of the basic law, Varga said.

Chief Public Prosecutor Peter Polt said that the Hungarian prosecution is independent, cannot be instructed, and is not subordinated to either the government or the parliament.

“The basic law is the compass which helps navigate the ship of Hungary and its prosecution service to safe, legally safe waters,” he said.

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