In The Matter Of The Application For Revocation Of Section 4A Of The Act. No. 237/1995 Coll., On Salary Of Judges

Original Language Title: ve věci návrhu na zrušení §4a zák. č. 236/1995 Sb., o platu soudců

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320/2000 Sb.


The Constitutional Court

On behalf of the United States

The Constitutional Court ruled the day 3. July 2000 on the proposal for the City Court

Brno, Czech Republic for annulment of the provision of Section 4a of the Act No. 237/1995 Coll., on salary and

other elements linked to the exercise of the functions of the representatives of the State

power and some State authorities and judges, as amended by law no 287/1997


as follows:

The proposal is rejected.


The Constitutional Court has received 23 July. September 1999, design by the municipal court in Brno

repeal of Act No. 285/1997 Coll. supplementing Act No. 237/1995

Coll., on salary and other terms associated with the performance of the functions

representatives of State power and some State authorities and judges in

amended by Act No. 135/1996.

President of the Chamber. Eva Gottwaldová this acting for the municipal court

Brno pursuant to § 30 para. 3 of Act No. 182/1993 Coll., on the Constitutional Court, (hereinafter referred to

"the law on the Constitutional Court") said that pursuant to § 109 paragraph. 1 (b). (b))

the second and third sentence of the code of civil procedure was interrupted by an action

judge of the Supreme Court demanding the payment of 62 000 CZK

Accessories, which should be paid in January 1998 as an additional

the salary for the second half of 1997, pursuant to section 4 of Act No. 237/1995 Coll. in

as a result of the amendment to the Act No. 283/1997 Coll., this amount shall be paid to him

He has not been on her claim.

The law, which should be used in solving the case, it is referred to in

the opinion of the applicant in breach of constitutional law, according to the article. 95 para. 2

The Constitution of the United States, has submitted a case after interruption of proceedings Constitutional

the Court. The municipal court in Brno, complains that the contested Law of its

retroaktivnost, which should result in a violation of the principle of legal certainty and the

the protection of the citizens ' confidence in the law. It is based on the claim of the plaintiff, that he

eligible for additional salary for the second half of 1997 when the conditions

set out in section 4, paragraph 4. 2 Act No. 237/1995 Coll. was already 29 June.

September 1997 and that no other law cannot be disturbed once acquired

claim. There has been a serious infringement of this article. 1, art. 4 and article. 28 of the Charter

fundamental rights and freedoms.

As the proposal complies with the formal requirements of an application for annulment of the Act and

has been made according to § 64 para. 4 of the law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court

requested from both chambers of the Czech Parliament comments on the proposal.

In the Chamber of Deputies, signed by the President Prof. Ing.

Václav Klaus, CSc., stated: Act No. 287/1997 Coll. amending

Act No. 237/1995 Coll., section 4 of the governing other salary

leaders and judges the following new Section 4a, where it is stipulated that the

officials and judges for more pay for the second half of 1997 does not belong.

According to law No. 237/1995 Coll. additional salary representatives and judges belongs

If a representative or a judge in the calendar half-year, actually

its function has pursued at least 90 calendar days, and if the performance of this

the features in the first half of the calendar year end leaders prior to the

on 31 December 2007. may and the judges before the date 30. in the second half of June and

calendar year performance will not end before the date of 30 representatives.

November and the judges before the date of 31. December. Eligible for additional salary for

calendar semester of the fulfillment of the two conditions arises. Act No.

287/1997 Coll., laying down that the officials or judges for more salary per second

half of 1997 does not belong, came into effect on the date of publication, i.e.. 28.

November 1997, prior to the fulfilment of the other conditions. Out of it

It follows that the right to salary for the second half of 1997 did not arise,

and therefore, this law could not retroactively affect the acquired rights. Act No.

287/1997 Coll. has been approved by the required majority of members, signed

respective constitutional factors and properly declared in the collection of laws. In

the conclusion of his observations of the President of the Chamber of Deputies stated that

the legislature acted in the belief that the law is adopted in accordance with the

The Constitution, the constitutional order of the Czech Republic and our legal order, and that the

It is up to the Constitutional Court to examine the constitutionality of the contested act.

President Of The Chamber, PhDr. Libuše Benešová in its observations

zrekapitulovala the course of the legislative process. It stated that if the

Act No. 285/1997 raised its retroactivity, in this direction

the design is not well-founded. Also, if this law is considered

the perspective of respecting the constitutional principle of judicial independence is the

the place to comment on this issue already on the grounds that it was not

option in the case of representation given to the proposal for the repeal of the law No.

268/1998 Coll., on the withdrawal of the additional salary for the second half of 1998

officials and some government agencies, judges,

prosecutors and members of the Presidium of the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which the

the appellant was also attacked by only its retroactivity. You will not be

Certainly, disputed that the principle of the independence of judges includes a

a number of aspects, which can be sorted and material security of judges. However, it is on

the place to point out that this material security is done mainly

in the form of a regular monthly salary, the amount and the conditions for and

This cash with no restrictions on does not touch. Yet even in the

European Commission evaluation report on the Czech Republic it was stated that

"the salaries of judges are relatively high", while in other areas, for example.

as regards the police and administrative structures, it was as a persistent

the problem highlighted the low level of salaries. These aspects are strongly

seen our public.

Additional salary is according to the legal provisions, a single monetary

provided under the specified conditions once each calendar half-year,

and from the conditions of eligibility, when one of them is the duration of the

the working relationship of the judge on the last day of the calendar half-year,

It appears that this Act can hardly be treated as material

ensure the judges, whose reduction or withdrawal could have the effect of

breach of the principle of the independence of judges. The law was challenged by the Senate

approved by all present. To represent the Senate was accompanied by an even

těsnopisecká report of the meetings of the Senate, when presenting the Bill

No 287/1997. it was noted that when adopting the stability and

adjustment measures of the Government, it was decided that the workers in the

the budget and certain other organisations and bodies, who are

be remunerated pursuant to Act No. 143/1992 Coll., on salary and remuneration for work

stand-by in budgetary and certain other organizations and bodies

Hess additional salary for the second half of this year. A similar provision

It was recently approved in the approval of the law on salaries of State

representatives. Proponents of that law had considered that it is right to

similar adequate adjustment was performed and for those people that are from

State funds paid pursuant to Act No. 237/1995 Coll., Such

the adjustment is moral, and it's about to virtually all who are

remunerated from public funds, were on it this year as well.

The Constitutional Court is not bound by the grounds, but only Petite administered

the proposal to assess and ensure compliance with other constitutional

standards and principles. In this context, in particular, could not overlook, that

findings published under no. 233/1999 Coll. as unconstitutional set aside the part of the

a similar law (No. 268/1998 Coll.), in relation to the judges

General courts, and even in this case, therefore, had to address the issue of whether the

the contested act is not inconsistent with the constitutionally guaranteed by principles

the democratic rule of law and judicial independence as a constitutional

the Court found in that case. From this perspective, the Constitutional Court

He came to the following conclusions.

Judicial independence is one of the fundamental democratic

values, and to the attainment of this independence certainly helps and material

the security of judges. In particular, it is essential that the judicial compensation

It was not by the other components of State authority interfered with arbitrarily,

repeatedly and in any form. Therefore, the Constitutional Court focused (in accordance

with the decision-making practice of the European Court of human rights) to the question whether

the contested intervention into the guaranteed rights (IE. in this case, the withdrawal of the so-called. 14.

the salary of judges of general courts) 1. was established by law 2. pointing to the

the legitimate aim pursued, and 3. was necessary in a democratic society.

1. The first question it is possible to conclude that the legal form of intervention is met

was. Navrhovatelovy are unfounded objections that the law is

retroactive, since in the present case, the situation is comparable to findings

published under no. 233/1999 Coll., in which the Constitutional Court the question of the

a similar law already adequately-retroactivity, and in that

the case therefore have no choice but to refer to this finding. The Constitutional Court further

notes that the terms of the Constitution-is not relevant

the fact that in the present case there was an adoption of the contested act

differences in legislative form, IE. amendment to the relevant law on the

Apart from the adoption of a separate law. While it is true that

constitutional is preferable, though-just so "sensitive" areas, such as

the containment of the material benefits of judges-law occurs

the original, which provides the salary and other essentials of judges, and therefore it is

the systematic solution than when it is received by a separate law that

his ad hoc interfered in the matter of the law of another. However, from the

This difference in terms of the Constitution itself does not have a decisive

the importance of.

In this respect, therefore, the application for annulment of the Act is not justified,

as to the contested intervention there has been a statutory form.

2. The second question is whether the contested act is pointing to the legitimate aim pursued,

that is,. whether the withdrawal of the so-called. 14. the salaries of the judges of the ordinary courts was in

the present period is legitimate.

In this context, the Constitutional Court could not depart from social and

the economic reality of the Czech Republic, which at the time of the adoption of this

the law was in a difficult economic and social situation, which in their

the consequences also led to the abolition of the so-called. 14. civil servants ' salaries (though

a slightly different form than in the constitutional factors) and also to the withdrawal of the so-called. 14.

salary of constitutional officials. In terms of the legitimacy of the goals, therefore, Constitutional Court

is of the opinion that neither the judges of general courts are not in a

"legal and economic vacuum" that would make them completely from the surrounding

the economic and social reality. Therefore, you cannot categorically say that

judges of general courts have preconceived right to such material

security cannot be the legislative form in any way, and for the

no circumstances changed.

In finding an established under Act No. 231/1999 Coll., the Constitutional Court declared that

the State is obliged to create the institutional prerequisites for fair

the independence of the courts and to stabilize their position in relation to

legislation and the Executive branch. The courts must carry out their tasks and duties

in particular in the area of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen, with these principles

shall not be undermined or legislative means. The Constitutional Court on this

the fundamental basis has not changed anything. In the case in question was the procedure

the legislature shall affect the material provision of the whole public sphere (and with it the

regard to the relationship of Act No 236/1995 Coll. and act

No 143/1992 Coll.), and not only the judges. Different assessment of only one

the group, though increasingly protected the constitutional principle of kautelami

independence would be hardly acceptable in that context

advantage. Each time the legislative intervention into the material

the security of judges is therefore necessary consistently to respect fundamental

principles of material law and value orientation of the constitutional

order of the Czech Republic. In particular, this intervention must not occur as a result of

arbitrariness or a violation of the principle of legal certainty. In such a case, it would

apparently there was a breach of the legitimacy of the objective pursued.

However, in this respect, it is necessary to see the difference in the situation of both

the aforementioned cases. If in the case of the award of the declared under no.

233/1999 Coll., the Constitutional Court ruled in a situation where the intervention of the

the independence of judges was contested legislative act of the immediate and

to date, in compliance with the proposal on the matter would in effect mean

the granting of the relevant material benefits with more than two-year

delay (when even the plaintiff before the municipal court in Brno has filed its proposal

more than a year after the contested act came into effect) and cancellation

the contested law to protect judicial independence would be of

at the most problematic aspects of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court in the

their activities must seek effective protection of constitutionality and for this

annulment of the contested act, the situation was obviously inefficient and neplnilo

would adequately the purpose that the Constitutional Court declared in the award

an established under Act No. 231/1999 Coll.

The Constitutional Court notes that in the present case did not find a contradiction between the

the legitimacy of the objective pursued and the contested intervention and that the law in question

even from this perspective is not unconstitutional.

3. the third aspect, which is the Constitutional Court, was assessing whether the

the contested Law was a necessary measure in a democratic society. It

means that the Constitutional Court had to focus on the question of whether to reference

the legitimate aim pursued could not be reached in any other way than the adoption of this

the law. In Mr. things Constitutional Court found that the chosen solution-through

all-reservations cannot be considered unconstitutional even

Therefore, it would not constitute a measure in a democratic society

necessary. The contested Law, namely of all these reasons not to

the threat of institutional assumptions for the real independence of the courts and

It cannot be characterized as either arbitrary act of the legislature. The constitutional

the Court in carrying out its tasks, must consider even the intensity of intervention to

the fundamental principles of constitutionality and challenged the law as unconstitutional

derogovat only if it concludes that the rate of neústavnosti

the contested law violates basic constitutional principles in real terms. To such

the conclusion, however, in the present case, the Constitutional Court has to grow up.

The Constitutional Court's approach to the law in the case of cancellation,

If it finds that the benefits resulting from the derogations prevails over

unwanted consequences arising from it, and then proceed according to the principle

adequacy in material law. Even in this respect, the constitutional

the Court reason for the annulment of the contested act did not.

The President of the Constitutional Court:

in the z.. Haboob in r.

Vice Chairman

Different opinions under section 14 of Act No. 182/1993 Coll., on the Constitutional Court,

the decision of the plenum have been judges. Vladimír Čermák, JUDr. Vladimir

Paul, JUDr. Vlastimil Sevcik and JUDr. Eva Zarembová and its justification

judges JUDr. Pavel Holländer, JUDr. Ivana Janů and JUDr. Jiří Malenovský.