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Hierarchy of Sources of Law in Hungary

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Alexandra Horváth

on 27 August 2015

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Transcript of Hierarchy of Sources of Law in Hungary

Uniformity procedure
Act XX of 1949
The Constitution of the Republic of Hungary
4. Decrees
The Fundamental Law of Hungary
25 April 2011
Government Decrees
Decrees of Prime Minister and the Decrees of Minister
Decrees of the Governor of the Hungarian National Bank
Local Government Decrees
5. Legal instruments of state administration
contain normative provisions
cannot be qualified as legally binding abstract norms
cannot conflict with other legal norms
Legislation Act defines two types of legal instruments of state administration: normative decisions and normative orders -> are internal provisions, organisational and operational rules
3. Parliamentary laws
adopted by the National Assembly, by a simple majority of votes
except cardinal acts -> require a qualified majority (2/3 of votes of the members of the National Assembly)
rules for fundamental rights and obligations can only be determined by parliamentary laws
Hierarchy of Sources of Law in Hungary
I. Hungarian sources of law:
Acts of Parliament
International Agreements
1. Constitution
Act XX of 1949 on the Constitution is at the apex of the hierarchy of legislation in Hungary. Every other law must be compatible with it. The Constitution is enacted by the National Assembly and an amendment to it requires a two-third majority of the votes of all the Members of Parliament [Article 24(3) of the Constitution].
The Hungarian Constitution consists of fifteen chapters
3. Decrees
can be enacted by the National Assembly
fundamental rights and obligations are regulated by Acts
Legislation Act brings further domains within the exclusive scope of legislation
some Acts are adopted by a simple majority of votes (more than half of the votes of all the Members of Parliament present)
others by a two-thirds majority (qualified majority)

2. Acts of Parliament
The Legislation Act recognizes:
Government Decrees
Ministerial Decrees
Local Government Decrees
Decrees of Hungarian National Bank
4. International Agreements
the relationship between international agreements and domestic law is based on a dual system
international agreements have been incorporated into domestic law via their promulgation by legal regulations
The Hungarian Constitution also declares another method of incorporating supra-national legal acts into the national legal system:

Article 7.
(1) The legal system of the Republic of Hungary accepts the generally recognized principles of international law, and shall harmonize the country's domestic law with the obligations assumed under international law.
(2) Legislative procedures shall be regulated by law, for the passage of which a majority of two-thirds of the votes of the Members of Parliament present is required.

Article 8.
(1) The Republic of Hungary recognizes inviolable and inalienable fundamental human rights. The respect and protection of these rights is a primary obligation of the State.
(2) In the Republic of Hungary regulations pertaining to fundamental rights and duties are determined by law; such law, however, may not restrict the basic meaning and contents of fundamental rights.
II. Other sources of law:
Other legal instruments of governance (decisions, central bank orders)
Decisions of the Constitutional Court
The Case Law of Courts -> Supreme Court ensures the uniform application of law
Article 47.
(1) The Supreme Court is the supreme court authority for justice of the Republic of Hungary.
(2) The Supreme Court shall assure the uniformity of the administration of justice by the courts and its resolutions
concerning uniformity shall be binding for all courts.
can be initiated if the adoption of a uniformity decision is required
binding on the courts
published in the Supreme Court’s Official Repertory
Norms comprising the Hungarian legal system:
Constitutional norms
International agreements, the fundamental principles of international law and European law
Parliamentary laws
Legal instruments of state administration
Case-law of the courts

1. Constitutional norms
The Fundamental Law of Hungary (promulgated on 25 April 2011) sits at the apex of the legislative
hierarchy in Hungary, consequently other legal norms must be compatible with it. It was enacted by
the National Assembly, and its amendment requires a two-thirds majority of the votes of all members
of the Assembly [Article S(2) of the Fundamental Law].
The Fundamental Law of Hungary consists of
six sections
2. International agreements, the fundamental principles of international law and European law
International agreements:
Article Q

(2) In order to comply with its obligations under international law, Hungary shall ensure that
Hungarian law be in conformity with international law.
(3) Hungary shall accept the generally recognized rules of international law. Other sources of
international law shall become part of the Hungarian legal system by promulgation in legal regulations.
EU law:
Article E

(2) With a view to participating in the European Union as a Member State and on the basis of an international treaty, Hungary may, to the extent necessary to exercise the rights and fulfil the obligations deriving from the Founding Treaties, exercise some of its competences set out in the Fundamental Law jointly with other Member States, through
the institutions of the European Union
6. Case-law of the courts
Hungary’s supreme court, the Curia renders judicial uniformity decisions
ensuring the uniform application of law
providing judicial guidance to lower courts
adopted uniformity decisions are binding for other courts
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