The Ministry of Justice will submit to Parliament the bill on the establishment of administrative courts before the end of this year, Justice Minister László Trócsányi announced at an international conference held on Thursday in Budapest. According to plans, the new system of administrative courts could start its operation from 1 January 2020.

In his keynote address at the conference on the constitutional responsibility of executive power and the 21st century challenges of judicial power held at the Andrássy Gyula German-Language University in Budapest, the Minister highlighted that they had decided on the establishment of separate administrative courts with a view to raising professional standards. He added that judicial independence is extremely important, it is a sensitive issue, and therefore during the process of codification they will be required to take a great many criteria into consideration. He said the conference creates an opportunity to discuss with foreign experts the dilemmas which have emerged during legislative preparations to date.


The Minister observed that he had set up an advisory body comprised of renowned experts for developing the relevant details and making the necessary legislative preparations. Mr Trócsányi stressed in his keynote speech that “judicial independence is a fixed star on the sky of Hungarian constitutionality and democracy”, the Fundamental Law clearly lays down the independence of judges. He said judges must pass judgements independently of any influence from the legislative and executive power branches, and are expected to act in a professional, effective and just manner during their work. He added that the external administration of courts is, at the same time, a state responsibility.

According to the Minister, legislation related to administrative courts raises a number of challenges, such as whether the justice minister should play a role in the external administration of administrative courts and if so, what that role should be, against the background of fully guaranteeing judicial independence and maintaining the division of the branches of power. It is the constitutional responsibility of the incumbent justice minister to ensure that the operation of the administrative courts and the Administrative High Court to be set up is organised in an efficient manner. He or she must do so, however, without curtailing judicial independence. The purpose of administrative courts is to create harmony between the rights of individuals and the interests of the public.


During the break of the conference the Minister told journalists that, according to plans, the new system of administrative courts could start operating as of 1 January 2020, 70 years after the abolition of the Hungarian Royal Administrative Court.

He also said that the self-governing agencies of courts will continue to play the determining role as regards personnel issues, and at the same time administrative judges will be required to be sufficiently acquainted with public administration. In the system there will be eight regional administrative courts under the supervision of the Administrative High Court.

In answer to a question regarding the Sargentini report, Mr Trócsányi said the circumstances of the adoption of the report are “completely objectionable”, as abstentions should also have been taken into consideration. He said the Treaties of the European Union, the spirit of the Treaties and the internal regulations of the European Parliament, too, are clear on this issue. The Ministry is working on a statement of claim which they will submit to the court within the relevant time limit.


In the opening speech of the conference, Spyridon Flogaitis, Director of the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) said it is very important that fully independent judges should adjudicate on the decisions of those exercising power.

At the conference of the Ministry, the University and EPLO attendees will review the responsibility of executive power and the challenges of the system of administrative courts. Constitutional judge Wolfgang Brandstetter, former Minister of Justice of Austria, will also address the conference.

(Ministry of Justice)