According to the Constitutional Court (ÚS), the general courts erred when they sent a sixteen-year-old boy to an institution as a preliminary measure without hearing him. But nothing changes for him, in the constitution he is already a judgment of the court. It was the first finding that was prepared and announced on Wednesday by Constitutional Judge Kateřina Ronovská, who has been working at the ÚS since August.
The constitutional complaint was filed by a now seventeen-year-old boy. His parents submitted a proposal for placement in an institution to the district court, according to them they had problems with him, he did not work, did not go to any school and did not even show up at the employment office. The district court sent him to the institution as a preliminary measure, the decision was subsequently confirmed by the regional court of appeal.
“The Constitutional Court found several errors in the procedure of the courts. At the time of the decisions of the general courts, the minor was close to the age of majority. However, the district court did not ascertain his opinion in the proceedings and had his first contact with the young man only when the bailiff delivered the decision to him. The complainant was not in the proceedings before the district court, which decided on the issuance of a preliminary injunction, not even a guardian was appointed to explain the court proceedings to him. At the same time, ordering institutional education is without a doubt a serious interference in his life,” said constitutional judge Ronovská. She added that even the regional court did not correct this mistake, because it did not deal with the boy either.
According to the Constitutional Court, the courts violated several of the young man’s rights with their rulings, for example the right to be heard, the right to be heard in his presence, or the right to judicial protection. “If the courts were of the opinion that the minor had not chosen the ‘correct path in life’ and that there were reasonable doubts as to whether his normal development was disturbed, it was their duty to ascertain his opinion on the matter at hand. That is, to hear him and take into account his other ideas about the future,” said the judge.
However, the Constitutional Court annulled only the decision of the regional court, because the effects of the preliminary measure of the district court had already disappeared by issuing a decision on the merits. In the meantime, the complainant’s education was decided in another proceeding. Therefore, the decision of the Constitutional Court does not change anything for the young man.