In a recent ruling (II. ÚS 1852/19), the Constitutional Court considered the reasoning that is required in the decisions of general courts including the Supreme Court. According to the Constitutional Court, mere reference to the legal literature or to a Constitutional Court decision will not suffice when justifying a general court decision. Constitutional rules are interpreted mainly by general courts, which apply traditional methods of legal interpretation to reach and justify legal conclusions. Opinions in the professional literature may reinforce the conclusions expressed and justified. By referring to a Constitutional Court ruling, general courts may in principle emphasise that a proposed interpretation does not contravene the constitution in the Constitutional Court’s opinion. However, Constitutional Court rulings are usually silent on the factual correctness of a particular legal interpretation.

The Constitutional Court recognises that an appeal is an extraordinary remedy, which is reflected in the different constitutional requirements that must be met to justify an appellate court decision. In particular, the Supreme Court cannot be expected to repeatedly subject already resolved legal issues to the detailed review of appellate proceedings. However, in a situation where a point of law has been raised in an appeal and this has not yet been properly settled by the Supreme Court, then assuming the grounds for the appeal have not been resolved by the court of first instance or an appellate court, the absence of proper legal reasoning in a Supreme Court decision is a breach of the appellant’s right to judicial protection.

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