Other defense options

Constitutional complaint


A constitutional complaint is the last defense against a conviction and other decisions of criminal proceedings authorities. As the Constitutional Court stands outside the system of courts of the Czech Republic, it is not an extraordinary remedy. The conditions for filing it are quite strict: 1. the exhaustion of all legal remedies in the Czech court system other than new trial (i.e. an unsuccessful extraordinary appeal), 2. filing the complaint within 2 months of receiving the negative decision on the extraordinary appeal, 3. mandatory representation by an attorney (who must both write and file the constitutional complaint with a power of attorney from the convicted person), and 4. first of all, the contested judgment must not be pending before the Constitutional Court or must not have been decided before it. A constitutional complaint is filed with the Constitutional Court.

The constitutional complaint must specify which fundamental right under the Constitution the conviction should have violated. The average success rate is approximately 6%. If the constitutional complaint is successful, the Constitutional Court can only overturn the guilty conviction, not determine innocence. The courts must therefore retry the case in such an instance.

The Constitutional Court does not have a set time limit to hear a complaint, but it decides most complaints within a maximum of 2 years, depending on how complex the case was and what all needs to be studied.