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The Hungarian Judicial System

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Áron Tóth

on 3 November 2013

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Transcript of The Hungarian Judicial System

The Hungarian Judicial System

AIAKOS Programme
2013

Judicial system
Supreme Court
(Kúria)

Checks and balances
Legislative branch
Executive branch
Judicial branch
Many others....
Supreme Court
(Kúria)
Regional High Courts of Appeal
(Ítélőtábla)
Regional Courts
(Törvényszék)

District Courts
(Járásbíróság)

President
elected by the Parliament
for 9 years
must be a judge with at least 5 of years judicial practice
Scope of authority
judges upon motions for review,
adopts uniformity decisions, which are binding at all courts,
performs the analysis of the judicial practice,
publishes guiding resolutions
judges upon the collision of a local government decree with another statutory provision.

Judges of the Supreme Court
It has ~ 70 judges
Judges are selected through an open application process
Regional Courts of Appeal
Five Regional Courts of Appeal
Scope of authority
judges upon the appeals filed against the decisions of the regional courts,
they have ~ 165 judges.

Regional Courts
Scope of authority
Hears cases in first instance,
judges upon appeals against the decisions of the district courts.
20 Regional Courts
District Courts
111 "general" courts + 20 labour and administrative courts,
the smallest: 1 judge
the biggest: 250 judges
all together: ~ 1720 judges
Scope of authority
They proceed as a court of first instance.
Labour and administrative courts
judges upon cases in connection with labour relations,
reviews the decisions of administrative authorities.
Courts in numbers
Number of courts
Number of court employees
Number of judges
Annual budget of the court system
157
~ 11.000
~ 2.800
70% of the judges are women
Number of cases
(in 2012)
new cases: 1.129.000
finished cases: 1.116.000
pending cases: 244.000
~ 27.000.000 Euro
Judicial administration system
Professional Administration
Supreme Court (Kúria)
Supervising body of the court administration
National Judicial Council
Technical administration
(financing, IT, HR, etc.)
National Office for the Judiciary
adopts uniformity decisions, which are binding at all courts,
performs the analysis of the judicial practice,
publishes guiding resolutions.
court administration and management,
it's president is elected by the Parliament for 9 years,
must be a judge with at least five years of judicial practice.
15 members
14 members are judges, elected by their peers + the president of the Kúria
How to become a judge?
Possible choices after graduating at the law school
Trainee judge
Trainee prosecutor
Trainee attorney
Notary public candidate
PhD student
Company lawyer
etc.

Entrance exam to become a trainee judge
Being a trainee judge
Secretary judge
After the bar exam the trainee judge can be appointed to a „secretary judge”

Before the appointment a psychological test has to be completed

A secretary judge can work without the control of an instructor judge
(e.g. can hold hearings in some criminal cases or decide in some smaller civil/criminal cases)
1st round
Written part

20 test questions – 20 points
2 essay questions („what is your opinion about …”) – 40 points

The candidate must have at least 30 points to start the oral part.

2nd round
Oral Part

board of judges
Questions about
Criminal law
Civil law
Judicial system
Personal questions (e.g. motivation)

60 points – the candidate must reach 30 points here as well

3rd round
Personal hearing by the President of the Court (optional)

motivation,
expectations,
fields of interests.

The President of the Court decides who wins the position.

Competitive exam organized by the Hungarian Academy of Justice
Worker and student at the same time

Training and education
Practice time - 3 years
13 months in the criminal department
13 months in the civil department
10 months optional

Initial training: organized by the courts
16 exams (every field of law)
Mock trials

Optional trainings: organized by the Academy

Practical training of the trainee judges
Working under the control of an instructor judge

Making the records at the trial
Writing the drafts decisions
„Managing” the cases (administrative work)

Bar exam
After 3 years in the practice the trainee judge can start the bar exam

Criminal law
Civil law
„Mixed” (administrative law, constitutional law, european law)

We have the same exam for every legal profession since 1991.

Training of secretary judges
Obligatory training is organized by the Academy

"Judicial preparation program"
the court system, the judicial profession and ethics
practical view of civil cases
practical view of criminal cases
the practice of leading a trial

Becoming a judge
Requirements
Hungarian citizen
30 years of age
University degree in law + bar exam
Working at least one year in a position in which the bar exam is needed (e.g. secretary judge)
Being capable to work as a judge according to a physical and psychical examination
Property declaration
Application procedure
After the appointment
The first appointment is for a three year period.
After this period there is a professional evaluation.
After the appointment for an undetermined period a judge is evaluated in every eight years.
The President of the National Office for the Judiciary announces the call for applications to the empty position.

The Judicial Council (a self-governing body elected by the judges at each court) forms an opinion about the applicants and ranks them by giving points to evaluate their skills and attributes.
The President of the Court makes a suggestion to the President of the National Office for the Judiciary, who should be appointed as a judge at the court.

The President of the Court can only suggest the applicant who is the 1st, 2nd or the 3rd in the rank.
The President of the NOJ submits proposal to the President of the Republic who should be appointed as a judge.

If she suggests the 2nd or the 3rd in ranking, the National Judicial Council has to confirm this.

The President of the Republic appoints the judge. His decision is not bound to the proposals.
Thank you for your attention!
District Courts
Full transcript