About the CourtLegal BasisThe Rules of ProcedureV. THE PUBLIC CHARACTER OF THE WORK OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

V. THE PUBLIC CHARACTER OF THE WORK OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT


1. Ensuring the Public Character of the Work

Article 23
(The Public Character of the Work)

(1) The public character of the work of the Constitutional Court is ensured in a manner that is regulated by a law and these Rules of Procedure.

(2) The public character of the work of the Constitutional Court is ensured by the President. In particular, the public character of the work of the Constitutional Court is ensured by the public presentation of the annual report on the work of the Constitutional Court and by press conferences.

(3) In accordance with the CCA and the Rules of Procedure, the Constitutional Court ensures the public character of issued decisions and orders by publishing them or making them available in official publications, in the Collected Decisions and Orders of the Constitutional Court, on the website of the Constitutional Court, and in national and other computer databases.

2. The Inspection of a Case File

Article 24
(The Inspection of a Case File)

(1) Participants in proceedings before the Constitutional Court may inspect the case file during office hours in the Office of the Registrar under the supervision of a court employee.

(2) Prior to inspecting a case file, a person who has the right to inspect such must sign a statement on the protection of the personal data which they may inspect. The right to inspect a case file is not related to the internal part of a case file, which encompasses the reports which are a basis for deciding, draft decisions or orders, and the minutes of deliberation and voting.

(3) The right to inspect a case file also encompasses the right to copy certain parts of the case file; participants in proceedings may also be sent a copy by mail.

(4) The Constitutional Court determines a schedule of fees for issuing such copies.

Article 25
(The Inspection of a Case File on the Basis of Permission)

(1) Persons who are not participants in proceedings but who demonstrate legal interest may inspect a case file if they obtain written permission from the President.

(2) Persons who are not participants in proceedings and who demonstrate that they need information on the work of the Constitutional Court to write a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral thesis or to do research regarding the work of the Constitutional Court, may inspect a case file on the basis of written permission from the President.

(3) The persons referred to in the preceding paragraph may not inspect documents that are enclosed with applications and designated as business, official, or other secrets.

3. Information on the Status of Proceedings in a Case

Article 26
(Information on the Status of Proceedings in a Case)

(1) The Constitutional Court judge who is assigned a case according to the work schedule (hereinafter referred to as the judge rapporteur) provides participants in proceedings before the Constitutional Court information on the status of proceedings in the case.

(2) The information referred to in the preceding paragraph is provided in writing and upon the written request of a participant in proceedings.

(3) The Secretary General provides information on the status of proceedings in the case to other persons in the manner referred to in the preceding paragraph.

4. Public Hearings

Article 27
(Public Hearings)
 
(1) Anyone may be present at a public hearing, except during the parts thereof from which the public is excluded.

(2) The Secretary General informs accredited journalists of public hearings.

(3) An order calling a public hearing is also posted on the notice board and published on the website of the Constitutional Court eight days prior to the public hearing.

Article 28
(Recording Public Hearings)

(1) Filming and photographing during public hearings is not allowed, however, it is allowed prior to a public hearing and at the oral pronouncement of Constitutional Court decisions.

(2) Journalists who attend a public hearing may make an audio recording of the course of the public hearing in order to report on the work of the Constitutional Court, however, they may not publicly broadcast such recordings.

(3) Records of public hearings are made and kept as audio recordings.

(4) Within the framework of the right to inspect a case file, participants in proceedings have the right to listen to the audio recordings of the relevant public hearings and the right to have a copy of such made at their own expense.

5. Media Relations

Article 29

(The Person Responsible for Media Relations)

(1) The Secretary General is responsible for maintaining contact with representatives of the media; among other tasks, the Secretary General:

– provides press releases and information on the work of the Constitutional Court;
– announces which cases are on the agenda of sessions of the Constitutional Court;
– provides information on the manner of the work and proceedings of the Constitutional Court;
– provides information on cases that are resolved outside court proceedings.

(2) The Secretary General may authorise other court personnel to maintain contact with representatives of the media.

Article 30
(Informing the Media)
 
(1) The Constitutional Court may decide to inform the public through the press and other media of a particular case which is the subject of constitutional review, or which has already been decided by the Constitutional Court, by means of a press release or in some other appropriate manner.

(2) Copies of requests and petitions to initiate the procedure for the review of the constitutionality or legality of regulations and general acts issued for the exercise of public authority may be provided to journalists with the permission of the Secretary General. If such contain data which should not be revealed to the public due to the protection of privacy, the Secretary General determines the manner of providing copies of the request or petition.

(3) In constitutional complaints cases, the Secretary General may provide to journalists information on the status of the proceedings; copies of constitutional complaints may be provided to journalists with the permission of the Secretary General only if they were lodged by legal entities.

(4) An official note in the case file is made concerning every permission granted and copy of a request, petition, or constitutional complaint so provided.

(5) The Secretary General informs the public of the proposed agenda of a session of the Constitutional Court one day prior to the session.

(6) If a motion of a participant in proceedings referred to in the second paragraph of Article 38a of the CCA is submitted or if the Constitutional Court decides that
the personal data of participants in proceedings is not to be stated in a decision, the information on the proposed agenda and other information provided by the Secretary General do not contain the personal data of the participants in proceedings.

Article 31
(Accredited Journalists)

(1) The Constitutional Court accredits journalists and maintains a register thereof. It regularly sends accredited journalists press releases and information on its work in a manner determined by the Secretary General. The Secretary General sends press releases and information on the work of the Constitutional Court to other journalists upon their request.

(2) The Secretary General decides on entry into the register of accredited journalists upon the request of an editor in chief of a news medium or upon the request of an independent journalist.

(3) If the Secretary General denies an accreditation request, he issues a decision on such, against which the editor in chief or independent journalist may file an appeal within eight days. The President decides on such appeal.

(4) The editor in chief of the news medium or independent journalist may cancel such accreditation. The cancellation takes effect on the day the Secretary General is informed thereof. If the Constitutional Court establishes that an accredited journalist no longer cooperates with the news medium whose editor in chief requested accreditation, or if an independent journalist has lost his status as an independent journalist, and his accreditation was not cancelled, the Secretary General determines that his accreditation is cancelled. The Secretary General notifies the editor in chief of the cancellation, who may within three days require that the Secretary General issue a decision on the cancellation. The appeal referred to in the preceding paragraph of this article is allowed against such a decision.

6. Access to Constitutional Court Decisions and Related Information

Article 32
(The Inspection of Adopted Decisions)

(1) Everyone has the right to inspect the adopted decisions and orders of the Constitutional Court.

(2) If the Constitutional Court decides that the personal data of a participant in proceedings is not to be stated in the decision or order, the decision or order contains fictitious initials instead of the names of the relevant persons and locations. If such person is represented by an authorised representative who is a lawyer, the name of the lawyer or the name and address of the law firm is nevertheless stated in the decision or order.

(3) Anyone may use the library of the Constitutional Court during office hours to inspect the Collected Decisions and Orders of the Constitutional Court and the computer database of the Constitutional Court, which contain the decisions and orders issued by the Constitutional Court.

Article 33
(Information not Publicly Available)

(1) Personal data from registers and auxiliary books are not public. A person who is not a participant in proceedings may access such only on the basis of an approved inspection of the case file, to the extent and in the manner determined by the CCA and these Rules of Procedure.

(2) Internal materials gathered in proceedings prior to the issuance of the decisions and orders of the Constitutional Court (reports that are the basis for consideration and deciding, draft decisions and orders, and other internal materials gathered for the consideration of a case) are not public and are maintained in the internal part of the case file. These materials are considered confidential even if they are not specifically designated as such.

(3) The Constitutional Court determines by a special act how it treats information which is designated as confidential on the basis of law.