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Hungary court declines to rule on government challenge of EU law in case involving mistreatment of refugees

HUNGARY’S Constitutional Court declined today to rule on a motion challenging the primacy of European Union law in a case involving the treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers.

The decision came after Justice Minister Judit Varga challenged a ruling last year by the bloc’s top court that Hungary had failed to respect EU law by conducting pushbacks of people entering the country without authorisation, denying them the right to apply for asylum and detaining them in “transit zones” along its southern border with Serbia.

In her motion, Ms Varga asked the court to rule that the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) decision requiring that migrants be granted the opportunity to apply for asylum was incompatible with Hungary’s constitution.

The Hungarian court stressed that the interpretation of the constitution “cannot be aimed at reviewing the judgement of the CJEU, nor does the Constitutional Court’s procedure in the present case, by its very nature, extend to the review of the primacy of EU law.”

Ms Varga portrayed the decision as a victory for the right-wing government, but human rights organisation the Hungarian Helsinki Committee warned that “continuing the sabre-rattling miscarriage of justice will have serious human rights and financial consequences.”

EU spokesman Christian Wigand said that Hungarian authorities were obligated to implement the EU court’s judgement.

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