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TOP COURT: LAWS PASSED ON DEC 12 VALID

Hungary's Constitutional Court declared an amendment to the labour code and the law on the new administrative court system adopted by parliament on Dec. 12 last year to be lawful.
 

Opposition MPs had gathered a quarter of members of parliament to appeal the amendment and the legislation, which they argued were adopted amid a breach of parliament’s rules and in conflict with the constitution. Among the lawmakers’ objections was that parliament’s speaker had not chaired the session from the speaker’s podium. The court said that voting conditions had not breached so-called guarantee rules and that MPs were personally responsible for meeting procedural expectations of the house, noting that opposition lawmakers had prevented the speaker from accessing the podium.

According to the court, a “constitutional necessity to ensure reasonable operations of parliament” could justify “measures to save majority decision-making from suffering unreasonably large drawbacks arising from the democracy of the assembly”. The court cited a decision by the European Court of Human Rights, too, declaring that the freedom of debates in parliament is “not unrestricted” and “parliament has the right to intervene when its members disrupt the usual order of the legislative process”.