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Constitutional Court Overrules Supreme Court, Giving Green Light to Gov’t’s 5th Referendum Question

Júlia Tar 2021.12.18.

Regarding the question “Do you support the availability of non-conversion treatments for minor children?,” the Constitutional Court announced that the National Assembly would have the power to amend legislation in accordance with the Constitution, as to whether the yes or no votes were in the majority, and therefore, the previous Kúria decision to the contrary was annulled.

The government has tabled five referendum questions to strengthen the Child Protection Act. These have been challenged by the NGO Society for Civil Liberties and the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party in the Kúria (which is the Supreme Court of Hungary). The Kúria ruled at the end of October that the question “Do you support the availability of non-conversion treatments for minor children?” cannot be validated.

Parliament Orders Referendum on Child Protection Law
Parliament Orders Referendum on Child Protection Law

The public will be asked four questions.Continue reading

According to the reasoning, it cannot be validated because a referendum cannot be aimed at changing the Fundamental Law. The Kúria ruled that under the Fundamental Law, the right of minors to receive certain treatments cannot be withdrawn, and children have the right to their physical integrity and self-determination.

The government has turned to the Constitutional Court, because according to Judit Varga, Minister of Justice, “…changing the essential meaning of the question, enriching it or omitting certain elements, or combining content that is not grammatically related to it, will result in the Kúria ultimately deciding not on the authentication of the question proposed by the organizer of the referendum, but on the authentication of fiction.”

Supreme Court Annuls One of Govt's Referendum Questions
Supreme Court Annuls One of Govt's Referendum Questions

The request for review was filed by the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party, who argued that the question gave "the false impression that sex reassignment surgery for minors is available today," even though it is not.Continue reading

In the Constitutional Court’s view, whether the yes or no vote on the question would be in the majority, Parliament would have the power to legislate in accordance with the Constitution, and therefore the Kúria’s decision to the contrary was annulled. “It would lead to the emptying of the referendum as a legal institution of the direct democratic exercise of power, if the Kúria were to refuse to certify a referendum question from which a legislative solution in accordance with the Constitution could be derived,” reads the explanatory text.

The full decision can be read here.

Featured photo illustration via pixabay.com


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