Public Hearing

A public hearing is held before making the final decision, and it is organised by the Constitutional Court in instances of assessing the constitutionality or legality, in proceedings on electoral disputes, as well as in proceedings for banning the work of a political party, trade-union, and association of citizens or religious community. However, also in the abovementioned instances, the Constitutional Court may decide not to hold a public hearing, if it has made an assessment that in the course of proceedings the subject-matter has sufficiently been clarified and that, on the basis of the provided evidence, it can make a decision without holding a public hearing; if it had already deliberated on the same subject-matter, and no new reasons have been offered for altering the decision on that particular subject-matter, as well as if the conditions for suspension of proceedings have been met. In addition, the Constitutional Court may decide to, outside of the stated (legally determined) conditions for an obligatory and facultative public hearing, hold a public hearing whenever it deems holding a public hearing necessary, and especially in cases of complex constitutional and legal matters or where the question of constitutionality and legality is posed on which the Court has not yet taken a position.

           The pubic hearing is convened by the President of the Constitutional Court, i.e. his or her Deputy, and it summons all participants to the proceedings for the purpose of giving their arguments and providing necessary information. It also summons representatives of bodies and organisations responsible for execution of the general act in question, if this is of relevance for the assessment of constitutionality and legality, and also, when necessary, representatives of bodies and organisations, scholars and public figures, as well as others, for the purpose of giving their opinions and explanations. The public at large may be informed in an adequate manner that a public hearing will be held. The Constitutional Court may hold a public hearing and make a decision also in absence of certain participants, and it may also postpone it or suspend it for the purpose of providing the necessary data, information and opinions, as well as in other justified cases.

              The public hearing requires preparation of a report which is delivered to all participants in the proceedings, and other persons that have been summoned to the public hearing. At the public hearing, the judge-rapporteur presents the constitutional and legal questions in relation to the request made, without presenting the draft decision, and subsequently the parties to the proceedings present and support their arguments and facts of relevance for clarifying the state of affairs.  In the course of a public haring, Constitutional Court judges, without offering their opinion, may ask questions and ask the parties to the proceedings and other invitees for clarification concerning the subject-matter of the public hearing.