Individuals in the Constitutional Court: Complaint, Protest, Scandal, and Weapons of the Weak

This paper comparatively examines the means for resistance of individuals against the constitutional judiciary. Starting with the case of the Slovak Constitutional Court, the paper critically assesses the different ways in which the Court relates to and interacts with an individual, including a change from a constitutional petition to complaint (coordinate) mechanism by an amendment in 2001.

The relationship of the constitutional judiciary with an individual is not, however, exhausted with an access to complaints procedure. Courts operate at the sharp end of the law and even though judges may be “armed only with pens,” by signing a court order, they regularly enforce rules and impose state violence on citizens. Individuals do occasionally resist a constitutional court by a way of protest, scandalising the institution or individual judges, and other techniques of evasion. The paper charts these techniques in a comparative perspective.