Year of the Constitution 2022
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Final acts

Content updated: 21-05-2021 16:34

The provision of the Law on Personal Bankruptcy that violated the prohibition on overcoming the power of a ruling of the Constitutional Court and the consequences of the application of that provision have been declared anticonstitutional

19-05-2021

By its ruling of 19 May 2021, the Constitutional Court, having examined the case subsequent to a petition filed by a court, recognised that Paragraph 7 (wording of 13 June 2019) of Article 29 of the Law on Personal Bankruptcy, insofar as, under this paragraph, claims for compensation for damage caused by criminal acts are written off, is in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 7, Paragraph 2 of Article 30, and Paragraph 2 of Article 107 of the Constitution, as well as with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law. By this ruling, for the first time, all the consequences of the application of the unconstitutional legal regulation have been declared anticonstitutional.

The Constitutional Court noted that the impugned legal regulation, under which the claims for compensation for damage caused by criminal acts are written off at the end of the bankruptcy proceedings of a natural person, is identical to the one established on 22 December 2015, which the Constitutional Court, in its ruling of 19 May 2017, found to be in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 30 of the Constitution, as well as with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law, having assessed the impugned legal regulation as creating the preconditions for a person who caused damage to benefit from the criminal act that he/she has committed, and to avoid, in principle, the obligation to make full compensation for the damage, as well as creating the preconditions preventing a person who suffered such damage (the creditor in the bankruptcy process of the natural person) from receiving fair compensation for the damage suffered.

The Constitutional Court concluded that, by establishing the impugned legal regulation identical to the one already declared, in terms of its content, unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, the legislature not only violated Paragraph 2 of Article 30 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law, but also disregarded the prohibition, arising from Paragraph 2 of Article 107 of the Constitution, on overcoming the legal force of a final act of the Constitutional Court and, at the same time, denied the principle, entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Constitution, of the supremacy of the Constitution and the related constitutional imperative of the rule of law enshrined therein, as well as the principle of the separation of powers, which is consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Constitution, and the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 5 thereof that the scope of power is limited by the Constitution.

It was stated in the ruling that the consequences that arose on the basis of the impugned unconstitutional legal regulation before the date of the official publication of this ruling of the Constitutional Court must not be regarded as lawful, since, otherwise, the preconditions would be created for disregarding the Constitution, among others, for denying the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution and the related imperative of the rule of law, the administration of constitutional justice and the constitutional principles of the separation of powers and a state under the rule of law. It has also been stated that, in this constitutional justice case, there are no circumstances due to which the retroactive application of this ruling of the Constitutional Court would be impossible, or that this application would impose such a burden on society and the state that would be disproportionate to the objective of completely eliminating the consequences of the anticonstitutional act, or that this application would have particularly unfavourable consequences for human rights and freedoms.