Verfassungsgericht: Zwangspensionierung von Richtern ist verfassungswidrig

Das ungarische Verfassungsgericht hat entschieden, dass das Gesetz über die Frühpensionierung – oder besser: Zwangspensionierung – von Richtern gegen die Verfassung verstößt. Das Gesetz wurde durch Mehrheitsentscheidung rückwirkend für nichtig erklärt.

„In its judgement pronounced today, the Constitutional Court has declared unconstitutional and, therefore, annulled the provisions on the compulsory retirement age of judges as of 1 January 2012 (the date of entry into force of the Act on the Status and Remuneration of Judges)

The Constitutional Court has examined several constitutional complaints lodged against the Act that replaced the retirement age of 70 years by the general retirement age (which is applicable according to the year of birth), so de facto it was reduced to 62–65 years. Consequently, the impugned provisions terminated the service of those who have reached the maximum age before 1 January 2012 on 30 June 2012, and ordered to be terminated the service of judges who reach that age between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2012 on 31 December 2012.

The Constitutional Court has held that the new regulation violates the constitutional requirements for the judicial independence on both formal and substantial grounds. From the formal point of view, a cardinal act shall determine the length of judicial service and the retirement age in order to guarantee the irremovability of judges. Therefore, the reference to the “general retirement age” laid down in an ordinary Act does not fulfil this requirement.

As regards the substantial unconstitutionality, the new regulation resulted in the removal of judges within a short period, within three months. Notwithstanding the relative freedom of the legislator to determine the maximum age of judges, and the fact that a certain age cannot be deduced from the Fundamental Law, the Constitutional Court has held that the introduction of a lowered retirement age of judges shall be made gradually, within an appropriate transitory period and without the violation of the principle of irremovability of judges.

The greater the difference between the new retirement age and 70 years, the longer transitional period for introducing a lower retirement age is needed. If not, the irremovability of judges, which constitutes an essential element of the judicial independence, is violated.

BALSAI István, DIENES-OEHM Egon, LENKOVICS Barnabás, POKOL Béla, STUMPF István, SZALAY Péter and SZÍVÓS Mária judges have expressed dissenting opinions.“

Die Entscheidung im Volltext: