According to Minister of Justice László Trócsányi, the Government will be submitting the bill on the seventh amendment to the Constitution to the National Assembly on Tuesday; the amendment is made up of ten articles and concerns three main topics.

In a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI, Mr. Trócsányi highlighted the fact that there has already been a parliamentary debate on certain elements of the proposed latest amendment to the Constitution in the autumn of 2016, but they were not adopted at the time because of a lack of support from opposition MPs.

The Minister stressed that the first topic concerns the protection of Hungary’s constitutional self-identity and asylum regulations. This amendment has been made necessary by the fact that Europe and Hungary are facing new challenges that “require the reinforcement of our national sovereignty”, he explained.

Mr. Trócsányi said the so-called National Creed would be supplemented in the interests of protecting sovereignty and constitutionality: in accordance with the ruling of the Constitutional Court, it will prescribe the protection of constitutional self-identity for state bodies. With relation to the European Union, the exercising of fundamental rights and freedoms must be in harmony with the Fundamental Law (the Constitution), in addition to which Hungary’s right of disposal with regard to the country’s territorial unity, population, form of government and state system also cannot be restricted, he added.

With relation to illegal immigration, the Minister of Justice highlighted that “the ban on resettling alien populations will be declared, and the amendment reinforces the fundamental principle that is often applied in international law according to which the state has the right to determine who can live on its territory”.

The police will be given an important role in preventing illegal immigration, he added.

The amendment also states that non-Hungarian citizens who have arrived in Hungary from a country in which they are not persecuted or in direct danger of being persecuted cannot be eligible for asylum, he told the press. According to the Minister, the amendment is justified by the fact that the vast majority of asylum-seekers arrive at Hungary’s borders via safe countries in which they do not even try to apply for asylum.

Mr. Trócsányi also said that “his professional opinion has not changed a bit since 1990”, and accordingly he places special emphasis on establishing the organisational independence of the public administration justice system. The second topic included in the constitutional amendment creates the organisational foundations for a separate public administration court system, meaning that some 70 years after the termination of the Hungarian Royal Public Administration Court, in accordance with Hungarian tradition, we will once again have the opportunity to establish a Public Administration High Court that is separate from other public courts and has the same legal status as the Curia (the Supreme Court), he said.

He also noted that preparatory work on the establishment of organisational independence has already begun within the Ministry of Justice, and once it is complete he will be putting the legislative package before the Cabinet.

Mr. Trócsányi reported on the fact a further constitutional amendment related to the courts provides more detailed stipulations, in comparison to existing provisions concerning the interpretation of the law on the part of courts, primarily on how the goal of legislation can be recognised in the case of a piece of legislation.

The third topic included in the constitutional amendment bill aims at increasing protection for private and family life, and the home, taking into account the trends of recent years (digitalisation, technological advances, drones), he explained. The proposed legislation is in harmony with the regulations included in the national constitutions of many other countries, the Minister said in summary.