Top court rejects appeal against local referendum on ‘party district’ opening hours
The Constitutional Court on Wednesday said it rejected an appeal submitted by a company against an upcoming local referendum on the closing hours of pubs and other venues in a central Budapest district.
A local referendum set for this Sunday will ask residents whether pubs and clubs in the “party district” covering Károly körút to Erzsébet körút should be closed between midnight and 6am. The measure would impact around 400-500 venues in the 7th district, including many of the city’s popular “ruin pubs”. The noise of party-goers and the extended opening hours have been subject to a long-standing dispute between residents, apartment leasers and club owners.
The referendum question was initiated by the local council’s lawmakers and approved by the local election committee and upheld by the Municipal Court.
The complainant claimed that a local regulation to be enacted in light of the referendum’s outcome would infringe on the rights of employees, suppliers, event organisers and artists in the area, the court said.
It would also infringe on property ownership rights, as the operation of properties under conditions set in original contracts by the local council could be compromised.
The top court rejected the complaint, ruling the legislation in question does not yet exist and so the grounds for complaint do not exist either.
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