Constitutional Court Axes Lowering Judges Retirement Age – But Orbán Says Rules Will Stay
Hungary’s Constitutional Court has thrown out government legislation to lower the retirement age of judges, prosecutors and notaries.
In a ruling this week the Court said that both the form and content of the law violated the constitutional requirement that judges be independent.
The government has sought to exclude older judges (who may have practised law before the regime-change of 1989) by claiming that lowering their retirement age to 62 merely regularised their position with the general retirement age.
The Court’s judges objected to the law on the formal grounds that the age limit was not defined in cardinal law and that the effects of the change would take place in an unreasonably short space of time.
The government has responded by saying it will not give up the new rules. “The system is to stay,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán insisted at a press conference yesterday.
It is now expected that revised proposals will go before parliament this week to amend inconsistencies in the law. These will “harmonise the constitution, the law on courts and the Pension Act”, the prime minister said.
Story by Jeremy Stanford