But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. ~Frederic Bastiat, The Law


PREMIUM LEGAL RESOURCES LEGAL FORMS ASK A LAWYER

[current as of '95?]

In order to facilitate peaceful political transition into a constitutional state ready to realize a multiparty system, introduce parliamentary democracy, and promote conversion to a socially alert market economy, Parliament submits the following text as the authorized version - until the ratification of its replacement - of the Constitution of Hungary.

Chapter I

General Provisions

Article 1

Hungary is a Republic.

Article 2

(1) The Republic of Hungary is an independent and democratic constitutional state.

(2) In the Republic of Hungary all power belongs to the people. The people exercise their sovereignty through elected representatives or directly.

(3) In this country no activity, whether of a social or state organization, and no endeavour of any citizen, may be aimed at securing or exercising power by means of force, or at the exclusive possession of power. Anyone has the right and the duty to take action against such endeavours in any lawful manner.

Article 3

(1) In the Republic of Hungary, political parties may be freely founded and may act in freedom provided they show respect for the Constitution and the statutes of constitutional law.

(2) The parties are involved in registering and expressing the will of the people.

(3) The parties may not exercise public power directly. Accordingly, no party may control or direct any State organ. In order to ensure the effective separation of the parties from State power, the law determines the social and public offices that cannot be filled by any member or officer of any party.

Article 4

The trade unions and other interest organizations protect and represent the interests of employees, cooperative members, and of entrepreneurs.

Article 5

The State of the Republic of Hungary safeguards the freedom and power of the people, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and the boundaries registered in international treaties.

Article 6

(1) The Republic of Hungary repudiates war as a means of dealing with conflicts between nations and refrains from the use of force against the independence or territorial integrity of other states. It also refrains from making threats implying recourse to force.

(2) The Republic of Hungary is working for cooperation with all the peoples and countries of the world.

(3) The Republic of Hungary bears a sense of responsibility for what happens to Hungarians living outside of its borders and promotes the fostering of their relations with Hungary.

Article 7

(1) The legal system of the Republic of Hungary accepts the universally recognized rules and regulations of international law, and harmonizes the internal laws and statutes of the country with the obligations assumed under international law.

(2) The law regulates legislative procedures. The votes of two thirds of the Members of Parliament present are required for passing new legislation.

Article 8

(1) The Republic of Hungary recognizes the inviolable and inalianable rights of persons. Ensuring respect and protection for these rights is a primary obligation of the State.

(2) In the Republic of Hungary the law contains rules on fundamental rights and obligations, but must not impose any limitations on the essential contents and meaning of fundamental rights.

(3) Repealed

(4) In times of emergency, national crises, or extreme danger, the observation of fundamental rights may be suspended or their exercise curtailed - except for the fundamental rights specified in Articles 54 through 56, paragraphs (2) through (4) in Article 57, Articles 60, 66 through 69, and Article 70/E.

Article 9

(1) Hungary has a market economy in which public and private property are to receive equal consideration and protection under the law.

(2) The Republic of Hungary recognizes and supports the right to enterprise and the freedom of economic competition.

Article 10

(1) Any property of the Hungarian State is part of the country's national wealth.

(2) The full range of exclusive ownership by, and of the exclusive economic activities of, the State is determined by the law.

Article 11

State-owned companies and economic units operate independently in the manner and with the responsibility defined by the law.

Article 12

(1) The State supports cooperatives based on voluntary association and recognizes their autonomy.

(2) The State respects the assets and property of local governments.

Article 13

(1) The Republic of Hungary guarantees the right to property.

(2) Property may be expropriated only exceptionally when this is a matter of public interest, and only in the cases and in the manner regulated by law, unde r terms of full, unconditional and immediate indemnification.

Article 14

The Constitution guarantees the right of inheritance.

Article 15

The Republic of Hungary protects the institution of marriage and the family.

Article 16

The Republic of Hungary pays special attention to the secure existence, education and training of young people and protects the interests of youth.

Article 17

The Republic of Hungary sees to the wants of the needy through a long line of social measures.

Article 18

The Republic of Hungary recognizes and implements everyone's right to a healthy environment.

Chapter II

Parliament

Article 19

(1) Parliament is the supreme organ of State power and popular representatio n in the Republic of Hungary.

(2) Exercising its rights deriving from the sovereignty of the people, Parliament ensures the consitutional order of society, and determines the organization, orientation and conditions of government.

(3) Within this competence, parliament
a) enacts the Constitution of the Republic of Hungary;
b) frames laws;
c) defines the social and economic objectives of the country; d) checks the balance of State finances and approves the Budget and its implementation;
c) decides about the adoption of the Government programme;
f) ratifies the international treaties that are of outstanding significance for the external relations of the Republic of Hungary;
g) decides on the declaration of a state of war and the questions of concluding peace;
h) in case of a state of war or of the immediate threat of armed attack by a foreign power (the danger of war) it proclaims a state of emergency and sets up the National Defence Council;
i) In case of armed action aiming to overthrow the constitutional order to gain absolute power, in cases of acts of violence committed with arms or by armed units that jeopardize the lives and material security of citizens on a mass scale, of natural disasters or serious industrial accidents (hereinafter: emergency) it declares a state of emergency;
j) decides on the use of the armed forces outside or inside the country;
k) elects the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the members of the Constitutional Court, the ombudsmen to deal with the observation of civil rights and the rights of national and ethnic minorities, the president and vice-presidents of the State Audit Office, the president of the Supreme Court and the chief prosecutor;
1) on the proposition of the Government submitted after consultation with the Constitutional Court, dissolves local representative bodies whose operation has been found unconsitutional; decides on the geographical boundaries, the names, and seats of counties; on the re- registration of some townships as cities of county status; and on any changes in the borders of the districts of the capital city; m) exercises general amnesty.

(4) For decisions on the cases enumerated in points g), h), i) and j) of para (3), the votes of two thirds of the Members of Parliament are necessary.

(5) A national plebiscite may be called by Parliament if the decision is supported by the votes of two thirds of the MPs present at the time.

Article 19/A

If Parliament is prevented from making the decisions concerned, the President of the Republic may call for a state of war, announce a state of emergency, set up the National Defence Council, and proclaim a state of extreme danger.

(2) Parliament is to be considered incapacitated if it is not in session and convening it is impossible because of the shortness of time, or because of the events that have caused the state of war, the emergency, or crisis.

(3) The fact of incapacitation, and therefore the need for proclaiming an emergency or crisis, is verified by the Speaker of Parliament, the President of the Constitutional Court and the Prime Minister jointly.

(4) At its first session after its incapacitation, Parliament supervises the justification of a state of war, state of emergency or crisis, and decides about the legitimacy of the measures taken. To carry such a decision, the votes of two thirds of the Members of Parliament are required.

Article 19/B

(1) In case of an emergency, the National Defence Council decides about the deployment of the armed forces outside or inside the country and the introduction of the emergency measures defined in a separate law.

(2) The President of the Republic presides over the National Defence Council. The members of the Council are: the Speaker of Parliament, the leaders of the factions of the parties represented in Parliament, the Prime Minister, the ministers, and the commander and chief of staff of the Army.

(3) The National Defence Council exercises;
a) the rights temporarily vested in it by Parliament
b) the rights of the President of the Republic, and
c) the rights of the Government.

(4) The National Defence Council may pass decrees in which it may suspend th e force of certain laws or deviate from certain legal provisions. It may also pass other special measures, but must not suspend the Constitution.

(5) Unless Parliament acts to prolongue their validity, decrees passed by th e National Defence Council go out of force as soon as the given state of emergenc y is over.

(6) Not even a state of emergency may limit the operation of the Constitutional Court.

Article 19/C

(1) If Parliament is prevented from taking action during a state of emergency, decision on the deployment of armed forces is up to the President of the Republic.

(2) During a state of crisis(peril) the emergency measures defined in a separate law are introduced by a decree of the President of the Republic.

(3) The President of the Republic informs without delay the Speaker of Parliament about the emergency measures introduced. During any period of emergency, Parliament - or if the former is hindered, the National Defence Committee of Parliament - remains in session. Parliament, or the National Defence Committee, is free to suspend emergency measures the President of the Republic has called for.

(4) The emergency measures decreed remain in effect for thirty days unless their validity has been extended by Parliament, or, if Parliament is inhibited, by its National Defence Committee.

(5) The same rules are to be applied in a state of peril, extreme danger as in a state of emergency.

Article 19/D

To pass a law on the detailed rules applicable during a state of emergency, peril or crisis, the affirmative votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.

Article 20

(1) Parliament is elected for a term of four years.

(2) Members of Parliament act in the public interest.

(3) Members of parliament are entitled to immunity as defined and regulated in the law on their legal status.

(4) Members of Parliament are entitled to fees to ensure their independence, to certain benefits, and to compensation to cover costs.

To pass a law on the amount of the fee, the sums of compensation and on the range of special concessions, the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are required.

(5) No Member of Parliament may become President of the Republic, member of the Constitutional Court, ombudsman; president, vice-president or accountant of the State Audit Office; judge or prosecutor; or - except for members of the Government and political state secretaries - work in any organ of state administration. No MP may be a regular or hold professional status in the armed forces, in the police and in any security force. The law may also establish other cases of incompatibility.

(6) To pass the law on the legal status of Members of Parliament, the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.

Article 20/A

(1) The mandate of a Member of Parliament is terminated
a) with the end of the term of Parliament,
b) with the death of a MP,
c) with the demise of the MP concerned,
d) when incompatibility is declared,
e) if the MP is disfranchised.

(2) If a reason is cited for incompatibility (para (5), Article 20) by any representative of the House against a Member of Parliament, Parliament decides whether to pronounce incompatibility.

(3) Addressing a statement to this effect to Parliament, an MP may give up his mandate. No confirmatory statement from Parliament is necessary for the resignation to be valid.

Article 21

(1) Parliament elects its Speaker, deputy speakers, and Clerk from among its members.

(2) Parliament sets up standing committees from among its members and may delegate a committee to investigate any given question.

(3) Data requested by parliamentary committees must not be denied; anybody summoned to testify before a parliamentary committee is obliged to do so.

Article 22

(1) Parliament holds regular sessions twice a year - from February 1 to June 15, and from September 1 until December 15.

(2) The constituent session of Parliament is convened - for a date within one month after the elections - by the President of the Republic. Otherwise it is the duty of the Speaker of Parliament to convene sessions - and each individual sitting - of Parliament.

(3) If this is requested by the President of the Republic, by the Government, or by one fifth of the MPs, Parliament must be convened for a special session or special meeting. The request has to specify the reason for convening Parliament, the date(s) proposed, and the agenda to be followed.

(4) The President of Parliament may adjourn - for no more than thirty days - a session of Parliament on one occasion during any given session.

(5) During the adjournment period, the President of the Republic is obliged to convene Parliament if one fifth of the MPs petition this in writing, within eight days of his receipt of the request.

Article 23

The meetings of Parliament are open to the public. However, on the request of the President of the Republic, the Government, or any MP, Parliament may call for a meeting in camera if the request is supported by two thirds of the Members of Parliament.

Article 24

(1) Parliament has a quorum when more than half of the MPs are present.

(2) Parliament passes a decision with the affirmative votes of over half of the MPs present.

(3) For the amendment of the Constitution, or for passing certain decisions defined in the Constitution, the affirmative votes of two thirds of the Members of Parliament are required.

(4) Parliament lays down the rules of procedure and the order of debates in standing orders for which the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are required.

Article 25

(1) Legislation may be initiated by the President of the Republic, the Government, any parliamentary committee and any Member of Parliament.

(2) The right of legislation is vested in Parliament.

(3) Acts passed by Parliament are signed by the Speaker and sent to the President of the Republic.

Article 26

(1) Within fifteen days - or, if the Speaker of Parliament so requests, within five days - of receipt of the law framed, the President of the Republic endorses it and sees to its promulgation. Ratified Acts of Parliament have to be published in the Official Gazette.

(2) If the President of the Republic does not accept the law or some of its provisions, he may, before signing it but within the deadline set in para (1), send it back with his comments to Parliament for reconsideration.

(3) Parliament debates the law anew and decides on enactment again. After the reconsidered Act has been returned to him, the President of the Republic is bound to sign it and to promulgate it within five days of its receipt.

(4) If the President of the Republic thinks that any provision of the law may be unconstitutional, he sends it within the deadline set in para (1) to the Constitutional Court before singing it, and requests a report on its constitutionality.

(5) If the Constitutional Court, after proceeding on the law with the requested urgency, has found it unconstitutional, the President of the Republic returns the law to Parliament. Otherwise, he is bound to sign the Act and promulgate it within five days.

Article 27

Members of Parliament may put questions to the ombudsmen (parliamentary commissioners) for the implementation of civil, and national and ethnic minority rights, to the president of the State Audit Office, and to the president of the Hungarian National Bank; and address interpellations and questions to the Government, to any member of the Government, and to the Chief Prosecutor (Attorney General) on any matter that falls within their competence.

Article 28

(1) The mandate of Parliament commences with its constituent meeting.

(2) Parliament may proclaim its dissolution even before the expiry of its mandate.

(3) The President of the Republic may dissolve Parliament simultaneously with setting the dates for the new election if a) Parliament has at least four times within twelve months during its own mandate withdrawn its confidence from the Government, or b) in case the mandate of the Government had ended, Parliament failed to elect within forty days after the date of the first nomination, the candidate prime-minister put up for the office by the President of the Republic. (4)

(5) Before dissolving Parliament, the president of the Republic is bound to consult with the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and with the heads of the factions of the parties that have representatives in Parliament.

(6) Within three months after the expiry of the term of parliament, its dissolution or its being dissolved, a new Parliament has to be elected. Parliament operates until the constituent meeting of the new Parliament.

Article 28/A

(1) During the period of an emergency, Parliament may not declare its dissolution and may not be dissolved.

(2) If the term of Parliament expires during an emergency, its mandate is automatically extended until the end of the peril.

(3) A Parliament that has dissolved or been dissolved may be reconvened by the President of the Republic in case of a state of war, the threat of war, or any other emergency situation. In that case, Parliament itself decides on the extension of its mandate.

Chapter III

The President of the Republic

Article 29

(1) The President of the Republic is Hungary's head of State. He stands for the unity of the nation and safeguards the democratic operation of the State organization.

(2) The President of the Republic is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Article 29/A

(1) The President of the Republic is elected by Parliament for a term of five years.

(2) Any enfranchised citizen who has had his 35th birthday by election day is eligible for the post of the President of the Republic.

(3) The President of the Republic may be reelected for this office for no more than one additional term.

Article 29/B

(1) The election of the President of the Republic is preceded by nominations. Written recommendation by at least fifty Members of Parliament is required for valid candidacy. The list of the candidates who have been validly nominated must be submitted to the Speaker of Parliament before the votes are called. Any one Member of Parliament may recommend only one cadidate. The recommendations of those who have made more than one nomination are declared null and void.

(2) Parliament elects the President of the Republic by secret ballot. The voting process may have to be repeated several times as needed. If candidate is elected President of the Republic if he has won two thirds of the votes of the Members of Parliament.

(3) If no candidate commands this two-thirds majority on the first balloting, a new vote has to be called on the basis of new recommendation according to para (1). For election of the second polling, a two-third majority of the votes is required again.

(4) If the required majority has no been produced by the second polling either, a third voting has to be held. On the third polling, the ballots have to be cast for one of the two candidate who received the highest number of votes on the second polling. The President of the Republic is elected on the basis of the third polling if regardless of the number of voter casting ballots - he has won the majority of the votes cast.

(5) The voting process has to be completed in the maximum period of three successive days.

Article 29/C

(1) The President of the Republic is to be elected at least thirty days before expiry of the mandate of the earlier President, and, if the mandate has ended before the end of term, after thirty days of expiry.

(2) The date for the presidential election is set by the Speaker of Parliament.

Article 29/D

The elected President of the Republic occupies his post on the expiry of the mandate of the earlier president, or, in case the mandate has come to an end prematurely, on the eighth day following the announcement of the election returns. Prior to entering office, the President of the Republic takes his oath of office before Parliament.

Article 29/E

(1) In case of the temporary incapacitation of the President of the Republic, or if for some reason his mandate comes to an end prematurely, his competence is bestowed upon the Speaker of Parliament until the new President of the Republic has been inducted into office. However, the Speaker of Parliament acting as President of the Republic may not forward laws to Parliament for reconsideration or to the Constitutional Court for study; he must not dissolve Parliament and has the right of granting clemency only to benefit people whose judgement-at-law has become definitive.

(2) While he is substituting for the President of the Republic, the Speaker of Parliament must not exercise his rights as a member of Parliament, and his responsibilities as Speaker are taken over by the deputy speaker designated by Parliament.

Article 30

(1) The office of the President of the Republic is incompatible with every other State, social, and political office or assignment. The President of the Republic may not pursue any other remuncrative occupation, and, except for activities enjoying copyright protection - must not accept any other fees.

(2) The votes of two thirds of the MPs present at the sitting are required for decisions on the President's regular fees, prerogatives and reimbursement on costs incurred in the fulfilment of duties.

Article 30/A

(1) The President of the Republic
a) represents the Hungarian State;
b) concludes international treaties and agreements on behalf of the Republic of Hungary. If the subject of the agreement belongs under the competence of the legislation, the prior agreement of Parliament is required for concluding the agreement;
c) accredits and receives ambassadors and envoys;
d) sets the dates for the parliamentary elections and for the general elections of local authorities;
e) may participate in, and have the floor at, the meetings of Parliament and parliamentary committees;
f) may propose that Parliament take certain measures;
g) may make a motion for the holding of a plebiscite;
h) according to rules defined in a separate law, appoints and relieves of their duties state secretaries and ombudsmen; i) on the proposal of persons or organs defined in a separate law, appoints and relieves the president and vice presidents of the Hungarian National Bank, and university professors; appoints and relieves of their duties the rectors of universities; appoints and promotes generals; confirms the president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in his office;
j) confers the titles defined in the law, awards orders of merit and distinctions, and authorizes using or wearing them;
k) exercises the right of granting elemency in individual cases,
l) decides in citizenship cases;
m) decides all affairs separate laws have referred to his competence.

(2) Every measure and decree of the President of the Republic - except for those contained in points a), d), c), f) and g) - require countersigning by the Prime Minister or the competent minister.

Article 31

(1) The mandate of the President is terminated
a) with expiry of the term of office
b) with the death of the President
c) if there is a state of emergency that makes fulfilling his duties impossible for a period of over ninety days
d) if incompatibility has been declared
e) if he has resigned
f) if he has been stripped of the presidency.

(2) In case there are reasons to indicate incompatibility in connection with the person of the President of the Republic in the fulfilment of his office [para 30, ident (1)], Parliament takes a decision on declaring incompatibility after a representative has made the relevant motion. To pass the decision, the affirmative votes of two thirds of the Members of Parliament are required. Voting is by secret ballot.

(3) The President of the Republic may resign from his post in a statement addressed to Parliament. For the resignation to take effect, a statement of acceptance is neccessary from Parliament. Within 15 days after his initial resignation, the President may be requested by Parliament to reconsider his decision. If the President of the Republic abides by his decision, Parliament cannot refuse accepting the resignation.

(4) The President of the Republic may be stripped of his office if in the performance of his functions he has deliberately flaunted the Constitution or transgressed any other law.

Article 31/A

(1) The person of the President of the Republic is inviolable; his special protection is ensured by a separate law.

(2) One-fifth of the Members of Parliament may lodge a motion to impeach the President of the Republic if he has offended against the Constitution or any other law.

(3) To start the impeachment procedure, the votes of two thirds of the members of Parliament are required. Voting is by secret ballot.

(4) After the decision of parliament until the conclusion of the impeachment procedures, the President must not exercise his functions.

(5) Judging the offence is within the competence of the Constitutional Court.

(6) If, as a result of the proceedings, the Constitutional Court has established the violation of the law, it may strip the President of the Republic of his office.

(7) repealed

(8) repealed

Article 32

(1) If impeachment proceedings have been started against the President of the Republic because of an act subject to criminal persecution committed during his term of office in connection with his official duties, the Tribunal has to apply the basic provisions of criminal law procedure as well. A prosecuting commissioner Parliament has chosen from its own ranks presents the indictment.

(2) The President of the Republic may be held criminally accountable for other acts only after the termination of his office.

(3) If the Tribunal has established the culpability of the President of the Republic in a deliberate criminal offence, it may strip him of his office, and at the same time may apply any measure or punishment specified in the Criminal Code for the given offence.

Chapter IV

The Constitutional Court

Article 32/A

(1) The Constitutional Court oversees the constitutionality of legal provisions and performs other functions the law refers to its competence.

(2) Any law or legal measure found unconstitutional is annulled by the Constitutional Court.

(3) In the cases defined by the law, anyone may initiate proceedings at the Constitutional Court.

(4) The fifteen members of the Constitutional Court are elected by Parliament. A nominating committee comprising of one member from each of the parties represented in Parliament, proposes the candidates for Constitutional Court membership. Two thirds of the affirmative votes of the Members of Parliament are necessary for election to the Constitutional Court.

(5) Outside of the responsibilities deriving from the authority of the Constitutional Court, the members of the Court must not be affiliated to any party and must not carry on political activity.

(6) For the ratification of the law on the organization and operation of the Constitutional Court, two-thirds of the votes of the MPs present are necessary.

Chapter V

Ombudsman for the Protection of Civil Rights
Ombudsman for the Protection of National and Ethnic Minority Rights

Article 32/B

(1) It is the duty of the Parliamentary Commissioner (Ombudsman) for Civil Rights to investigate, or to have investigated, any abuse of constitutional rights that has come to his attention, and to initiate general or particular measures for redress.

(2) The Ombudsman for the protection of national and minority rights investigates, or has investigated, any abuse of nationality or ethnic minority rights that has come to his attention, and to initiate general or particular measures for redress.

(3) In cases defined in the law, anyone may propose that the Ombudsman take action.

(4) The Ombudsmen for civil rights and for nationality and ethnic minority rights are elected, on the nomination of the President of the Republic, by Parliament - with two thirds of the affirmative votes of all MPs necessary. For the protection of certain constitutional rights, Parliament may elect separate ombudsmen.

(5) The competence of the Ombudsman for national and ethnic minority rights is exercised by a body appointed by national and ethnic minority groups and elected by the Parliament consisting of one person for each nationality and ethnic minority group, and elected by Parliament.

(6) Each Ombudsman reports on his activities and experiences annually to Parliament.

(7) For the ratification of the law on Ombudsmen (parliamentary commissioners), the affirmative votes of two-thirds of the MPs present are required.

Chapter VI

The State Audit Office and The Hungarian National Bank

Article 32/C

(1) The State Audit Office is the financial and economic accounting organization of Parliament. It is its duty to exercise control over the management of state finances and the Budget, and within this to oversee the cogency of the Budget Bill and the merit and expediency of each item of spending. It countersigns contracts on credit claimed by the Budget; oversees in advance the legality of the spendings the Budget has planned for; checks the final accounts of the State Budget. The State Audit Office controls the management of State assets, the wealth-preserving and wealth-increasing work of State-owned companies and enterprises; and sees to other duties that are part of its competence under the law.

(2) The State Audit Office is led in its work and controlling activity by considerations of legality, expediency, and the financial results of the units concerned. The State Audit Office reports on its findings to Parliament, and its reports must be made public. The president of the State Audit Office submits the findings of the Office on the final accounts together with the final account itself to Parliament.

(3) For the election of the president and vice-presidents of the State Audit Office, the votes of two thirds of the Members of Parliament are required.

(4) For the ratification of the law on the principles to govern the organization and operation of the State Audit Office, two thirds of the votes of the MPs present are necessary.

Article 32/D

(1) It is the responsibility of the Hungarian National Bank to issue legal tender in the manner determined by the law, to protect the stability of the national currency, and to regulate the circulation of money.

(2) The President of the Hungarian National Bank is appointed by the President of the Republic for a term of six years.

(3) The President of the Hungarian National Bank presents to Parliament a report on the activities of the Bank once a year.

Chapter VII

The Government

Article 33

(1) The Government consists of
a) The Prime Minister and
b) the ministers.

(2) The Prime Minister's substitute is the minister he has designated.

(3) The Prime Minister is elected by a simple majority vote of the Members of Parliament. Parliament decides on the election of the Prime Minister and on acceptance of the Government programme at the same time.

(4) The ministers are proposed by the Prime Minister, and appointed and relieved of their duties by the President of the Republic.

(5) The Government is formed when the ministers have been appointed. After the formation of the Government, its members take their oath of office before Parliament.

Article 33/A

The mandate of the Government ends
a) with the formation of the newly elected Parliament
b) with the resignation of the Prime Minister, or the Government
c) with the death of the Prime Minister, or
d) if, in accordance with the contents of para (1), Article 39/A, Parliament has carried a no-confidence motion in regard to the Prime Minister and elects a new Prime Minister.

Article 34

The enumeration of the ministries of the Republic of Hungary is contained in a separate law.

Article 35

(1) The Government
a) protects constitutional order, protects and ensures the rights of citizens
b) ensures the implementation of the laws
c) directs and coordinates the work of the ministries and of other organs directly subordinated to them
d) with the involvement of the Minister of the Interior, it ensures the control of the legality of the operation of the authorities,
e) ensures the elaboration of social and economic plans and sees to their implementation
f) determines the role of the State in scientific and cultural development and ensures the conditions for their realization
g) designates the State system of social welfare and medical care provisions, and ensures the conditions required.
h) it supervises the operation of the armed forces, of the police and of other law-and-order-maintenance agencies
i) takes the necessary measures to avert the consequences of natural disasters that jeopardize the security of the life and property of citizens (from here on, emergency situation), and to ensure public law and order and public security
j) participates in the determination of foreign policy and concludes international agreements on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Hungary
k) performs all functions the law refers to its competence.

(2) In its own sphere of functions the Government issues decrees and passes resolutions. These are signed by the Prime Minister. No decree and resolution of the Government may be contrary to the law. Decrees issued by the Government must be promulgated in the Official Gazette.

(3) In an emergency situation the Government, empowered by Parliament, may pass decrees and measures that deviate from the provisions of certain laws. Fo r the ratification of the law on emergency rules, the affirmative votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.

(4) Except for legal provisions, the Government annuls or amends all resolutions or measures passed by subordinate organs that are contrary to the law.

Article 36

In the performance of its functions, the Government cooperates with the social organizations concerned.

Article 37

(1) The Prime Minister presides over Government sessions and provides for the enforcement of Government decrees and resolutions.

(2) The ministers head the branches of public administration within their scope of functions, and direct the organs subordinated to them in conformity with legal provisions and Government resolutions. Ministers without portfolio perform functions designated by the Government.

(3) In the performance of their functions, the Prime Minister and the members of the Government may issue decrees. However, these must not be contrary to any law or any government decree and resolution. The decrees have to be promulgated in the Official Gazette.

Article 38 repealed

Article 39

(1) In the performance of its functions the Government is responsible to Parliament. It is bound to render account of its activities regularly to Parliament.

(2) The members of the Government are responsible for their work to the Government and to Parliament, and must report on their activities to both. Their legal status, pay and the manner in which they may be impeached are regulated by law.

(3) Members of the Government may participate in, and take the floor at, the sessions of Parliament.

Article 39/A

(1) A nonconfidence motion may - with the designation of the preferred candidate for Prime Minister - be launched against the Prime Minister on the written proposal of at least one fifth of the Members of Parliament. A nonconfidence motion against the Prime Minister is to be regarded as a nonconfidence motion against the Government. If the majority of the Members of Parliament have expressed nonconfidence in the motion, the candidate named as the choice for the new Prime Minister must be regarded as elected.

(2) The debate and voting on the motion must be held three days after it has been submitted at the soonest, and after eight days at the latest.

(3) Through the Prime Minister, the Government may propose a vote of confidence in compliance with the time limits set in para (2).

(4) Through the Prime Minister, the Government may also recommend that the voting over the proposal it put forward should be at the same time a vote of confidence.

(5) If Parliament does not vote its confidence to the Government as laid down in paragraphs (3) and (4), the Government must resign.

Article 39/B

If the mandate of the Government is terminated, the Government is to stay in office until the formation of the new Government and to exercise all Government rights. However, it must not conclude international agreements, and it may issue decrees only on the basis of express empowerment by the law in special cases when no delay is permissible.

Article 40

(1) For the discharge of certain functions, the Government may set up goverment committees.

(2) In any matter coming within the scope of state administration, the Government may take action directly or through any of its members.

(3) The Government is authorized to draw any branch of State administration directly under its control and to create special organs for this purpose.

Chapter VIII

The Armed Forces and the Police

Article 40/A

(1) The armed forces (Hungarian National Army, Border Guard) have the fundamental function of providing military protection for the homeland. For the ratification of the law on the duties of the armed forces and the detailed rules applying to them, the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.

(2) The fundamental function of the police is to safeguard public security and defend law and order. The ratification of the law on the police and the detailed rules connected with national security require two thirds of the votes of the MPs present.

Article 40/B

(1) Except for military exercises based on valid international agreements or peace maintenance activities performed on request of the United Nations Organization, the armed forces may cross state borders only with the prior consent of parliament.

(2) The armed forces may be used only in times of an emergency situation promulgated in accordance with the provisions of Constitution, in case of armed action aimed at the overthrow of the constitutional order or at the seizure of absolute power, furthermore in cases of violence committed with arms, or the use of force in a manner endangering the safety of the life and property of citizens on a mass scale, and only when the deployment of the police is not sufficient.

(3) Unless there is a valid international agreement containing other provisions, the command of the armed forces is the exclusive province of Parliament, of the President of the Republic, the National Defence Council, the Government and the competent minister as laid down in the Constitution or in a separate law.

(4) A law adopted with the votes of two thirds of the MPs present may restrict any party activity by the regular members of the armed forces and of the police.

Article 40/C

(1) Unless there is a valid international agreement in force to the contrary, foreign armed forces may not pass through and may not be used or be stationed in, the territory of the country without the prior consent of Parliament.

(2) International agreements that concern national defence must be confirmed in the law and promulgated.

Chapter IX

Local Governments

Article 41

(1) The territory of the Republic of Hungary consists of administrative units including the Capital, the counties, cities, towns and villages.

(2) The Capital is divided into districts. Districts may be formed in other cities also.

Article 42

The enfranchised citizens of the villages, towns, of the capital city and its districts, and of the counties are entitled to the right of local self-government. Local self-government means autonomous and democratic management of local affairs by the communities concerned and exercise of local public authority in the interest of the population.

Article 43

(1) All local authorities have the same fundamental rights (44/A). However, the duties and responsibilities of local governments may be different.

(2) The rights and duties of local governments are determined by the law. The Courts protect the lawful exercise of jurisdiction by local authorities. Local governments are free to turn to the Constitutional Court for the protection of their rights.

Article 44

(1) Citizens who have the vote exercise local government through the representative body they have elected and by local plebiscites.

(2) The members of the representative body are elected for a term of four years.

Article 44/A

(1) The local representative body
a) regulates and administers matters that belong to the competence of the local authority; its decisions may be revised only if there is a question of their legitimacy.
b) exercises ownership rights in regard to local-authority property, independently budgets the incomes of the local government, and may start ventures on its own responsibility
c) to deal with its duties as laid down in the law, the local authority is entitled to an adequate income of its own to perform its functions and also receives State support proportionate to its scope of duties
d) authorizes, within the limits of the law, local taxes (rates), their types and measures
e) within the limits of the law, it independently sets up its organization and formulates its standing orders
f) may create local emblems, and found local titles, distinctions and awards
g) in public affairs of concern to the local community, it may put forward initiatives to the organizations entitled to take decisions
h) may freely form associations with other local representative bodies, it may create interest organizations with other local authorities, and may within its competence cooperate with local authorities in other countries, and affiliate itself with international organizations of local governments.

(2) A local representative body may frame decrees within its competence, which, however, must not be in conflict with legal provisions of a higher level.

Article 44/B

(1) The Mayor is the president of the local representative body. A representative body may elect committees and set up its own office.

(2) Apart from his duties and responsibilities in local government, the Mayor may exceptionally, on the basis of the law or legal authorization, perform duties of state administration and authority.

(3) A law or government decree may assign state administrative functions and authority to the Notary, and, exceptionally, to the acting director of the office of the representative body.

Article 44/C

The votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary for the acceptance of the law on local self-government. The same proportion of votes are necessary for the adoption of a law that limits the fundamental rights of local authorities.

Chapter X

The Judiciary

Article 45

(1) In the Republic of Hungary, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Hungary, the Court of the Capital City and the county courts, and local courts administer justice.

(2) Legislation may provide for the institution of special courts for certain groups of cases.

Article 46

The courts administer justice in councils of professional judges and lay assessors. Legislation may authorize exceptions to this rule.

Article 47

The Supreme Court of the Republic of Hungary sets guidelines based on principles for the judicial work of every court. The directives and decisions in questions of principle of the Supreme Court are binding on all courts of the country.

Article 48

(1) The President of the Supreme Court is elected, after nomination by the President of the Republic, by Parliament. The vice-presidents of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of the Republic on nomination by the President of the Supreme Court. For the election of the President of the Supreme Court, the votes of two thirds of the Members of Parliament are necessary.

(2) Professional judges are appointed by the President of the Republic in the manner determined by the law.

(3) Judges may be removed from office only for reasons and through procedures laid down in the law.

Article 49

Repealed

Article 50

(1) The Courts of the Republic of Hungary protect and ensure constitutional order, the rights and lawful interests of citizens, and punish the perpetrators of criminal offenses.

(2) The Courts supervise the legality of the decisions of public administration.

(3) Judges are independent and are subordinate only to the law. Judges may not hold membership in any party and must not carry on political activities.

(4) To adopt the law on the Courts, the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.

Chapter XI

The Prosecutor's Office

Article 51

(1) The Chief Prosecutor and the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Hungary provide for the protection of the rights of the citizens and are responsible for the consistent prosecution of every act violating or endangering constitutional order or endangering the security and sovereignty of the country.

(2) The prosecutorial organization carries on investigations in cases determined by the law, exercises supervision over the legality of criminal investigations, acts for the prosecution in proceedings before courts, and exercises supervision over the observance of legality in the administration of punishments.

(3) The Prosecutor's Office helps to ensure that all social organizations, all state organs and citizens comply with the law. In the event of transgression of the law, it takes action for the protection of legality in the cases determined by the law.

Article 52

(1) The Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Hungary is elected by Parliament on the proposal of the President of the Republic. The deputies of the Chief Prosecutor are appointed on the proposal of the Chief Prosecutor by the President of the Republic.

(2) The Chief Prosecutor is accountable to Parliament, and is obliged to report on his work.

Article 53

(1) Prosecutors are appointed by the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Hungary.

(2) Prosecutors must not be affiliated to any party and may not carry on political activities.

(3) The prosecutorial organization is headed and directed by the Chief Prosecutor.

(4) The rules on the prosecutorial organization are laid down in the law.

Chapter XII

Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens

Article 54

(1) In the Republic of Hungary every human being has the innate right to life and the dignity of man, and no one may be arbitrarily deprived of these rights.

(2) No one may be subjected to torture, or to cruel, unusual, inhuman or humiliating treatment or punishment. It is absolutely impermissible to perform medical or scientific experiments on human beings without their consent.

Article 55

(1) In the Republic of Hungary everyone has the right to liberty and personal security, and no one may be deprived of freedom except for reasons defined in the law and on the basis of legal proceedings.

(2) Persons suspected of the perpetration of a criminal offence and detained, must be released or brought before a judge as soon as possible. The judge is bound to give a hearing to the person brought before him, and must produce a written decision adducing his reasons for setting the detainee free or keeping him in custody.

(3) Anyone who has been victimized through illegal arrest or detainment is entitled to compensation.

Article 56

In the Republic of Hungary every human being has legal standing.

Article 57

(1) In the Republic of Hungary everyone is equal before the law and has the right to defend himself against any accusation brought against him, or, in a civil suit, to have his rights and duties judged by an independent and impartial court of law at a fair public trial or hearing.

(2) In the Republic of Hungary no one may be regarded as guilty until his culpability has been established by a legally valid decision of the court.

(3) Persons subjected to criminal proceedings are entitled to the right of defense in every phase of the procedure. Defence lawyers must not be called to account for opinions expounded while they present the defence.

(4) No one may be pronounced guilty of, or sentenced for, any act that was not considered a criminal offence under Hungarian law at the time it was committed.

(5) In the Republic of Hungary everyone is entitled to legal redress or has the right of appeal against court or administrative decisions, or any other authority's decision, that infringe his rights or lawful interests.

Article 58

(1) Whoever is staying in the territory of Hungary is entitled - except for some cases defined in the law - to free movement and the right of choosing his or her place of residence, including the right of leaving his domicile or the country.

(2) Foreigners lawfully staying in Hungary may be expelled from the country only on the basis of a decision that is in accord with the law.

(3) The adoption of the law on the freedom of travel and settlement requires the affirmative votes of two thirds of the MPs present.

Article 59

(1) In the Republic of Hungary everyone is entitled to the protection of his or her reputation and to privacy, including the privacy of the home, of personal effects, particulars, papers, records and data, and to the privacy of personal affairs and secrets.

(2) For the acceptance of the law on the protection of the security of personal data and records (particulars), the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.

Article 60

(1) In the Republic of Hungary everyone has the right to the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

(2) This right includes the free choice or acceptance of religion or any other conviction according to one's conscience, and the liberty to express, or refuse to express, to exercise or teach one's religion and conviction through the performance of religious acts and rites, either individually or together with others, either publicly or in a closed circle.

(3) In the Republic of Hungary the Church functions in separation from the State.

(4) The ratification of the law on the freedom of conscience and of religion requires the votes of two thirds of the MPs present.

Article 61

(1) In the Republic of Hungary everyone has the right to the free declaration of his views and opinions, and has the right of access to information of public interest, and also the freedom to disseminate such information.

(2) The Republic of Hungary recognizes and protects the freedom of the Press.

(3) The law on the publicity of data and information and the law on the freedom of the Press require the support of two thirds of the votes of the MPs present for ratification.

(4) For the adoption of the law on the supervision of public radio, television and news agency services, and on the appointment of their leaders; the law on the licencing of commercial radio and television stations, and the prevention of monopolies on information, the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.

Article 62

(1) The Republic of Hungary recognizes the right to peaceful assembly and guarantees its free practice.

(2) The adoption of the law on the freedom of assembly requires the votes of two thirds of the MPs present.

Article 63

(1) In the Republic of Hungary everyone has the right, on the basis of the freedom of association, to set up organizations for purposes not prohibited by the law and to adhere to such organizations.

(2) For political purposes no armed organization may be established on the basis of the freedom of association.

(3) The adoption of the law on the right of association and on the operation and financial management of parties requires the votes of two thirds of the MPs present.

Article 64

In the Republic of Hungary everyone has the right to submit written petitions or complaints either alone or together with others.

Article 65

(1) On terms laid down in the law, the Republic of Hungary ensures the right of asylum for foreign citizens persecuted in their homeland and for those displaced persons who are at their place of stay harrassed on grounds of race, religion, nationality, language or political affiliation.

(2) A person already granted asylum must not be extradited to another state.

(3) The adoption of the law on the right of asylum requires the votes of two thirds of the MPs present.

Article 66

(1) The Republic of Hungary guarantees the equality of men and women in regard to all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

(2) In the Republic of Hungary, mothers receive special support and protection before and after the birth of their children, in compliance with separate provisions of the law.

(3) Special rules ensure protection for women and young people in the performance of their jobs.

Article 67

(1) In the Republic of Hungary, every child has the right to enjoy the care and protection on the part of their families, and by the State and society, that is necessary for satisfactory physical, mental and moral development.

(2) Parents are entitled to the right of choosing the kind of education their children are to receive.

(3) Special provisions contain the responsibilities of the State in regard to the position and protection of families and of youth.

Article 68

(1) The national and ethnic minorities living in the Republic of Hungary share the power of the people; they are constituent factors in the State.

(2) The Republic of Hungary grants protection to national and ethnic monorities, it ensures the possibilities for their collective participation in public life, and enables them to foster their own culture, use the mother tongue, receive school instruction in the mother tongue, and freedom to use their names as spelled and pronounced in their own language.

(3) The laws of the Republic of Hungary ensure representation for the national and ethnic minorities living in the territory of the country.

(4) National and ethnic minorities may set up their own local and national government organizations.

(5) The votes of two thirds of the MPs present are required to pass the law on the rights of national and ethnic minorities.

Article 69

(1) In the Republic of Hungary no one may be arbitrarily deprived of his or her Hungarian citizenship, nor may any Hungarian citizen be expelled from the territory of the Republic of Hungary.

(2) A Hungarian citizen may always come home from abroad.

(3) During a legitimate stay abroad every Hungarian citizen is entitled to protection by the Republic of Hungary.

(4) The ratification of a law on citizenship requires the votes of two thirds of the MPs present.

Article 70

(1) All Hungarian citizens of age whose regular domicile is in Hungary have the right to be elected at the elections for Parliament and for local governments, and - if they are in the territory of the country on election day - to vote.

(2) The right to vote is denied to those who have been under legal guardianship and are limited or incapacitated in their actions, to those who are doing term under a lawful sentence or who are under compulsory institutional care or treatment ordered in a criminal procedure.

(3) In elections of the local self-government even non-Hungarian ncitizens who have settled in Hungary for a longer period of time have the right to vote, according to a separate law.

(4) Every Hungarian citizen has the right to be active in public affairs and to bear public office in accordance with his talent, training and professional qualifications.

Article 70/A

(1) The Republic of Hungary guarantees for all persons in its territory human and civil rights without discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other views, national or social origins, ownership of assets, birth or on any other grounds.

(2) Any discrimination falling within para (1) agains persons is strictly punishable by law.

(3) The Republic of Hungary promotes the realization of equality before the law with measures aiming to eliminate inequalities of opportunity.

Article 70/B

(1) In the Republic of Hungary everyone has the right to work, to the free choice of employment and occupation.

(2) Everyone without any discrimination has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to emolument that corresponds to the amount and quality of the work performed.

(4) Everyone has the right to rest and free time for recreation, and regular paid holidays.

Article 70/C

(1) Everyone has the right to form an organization for the protection of economic and social rights together with others, or to adhere to such an organization.

(2) The right to strike may be exercised within the framework of the law that regulates it.

(3) The votes of two thirds of the MPs present are required to adopt the law on the right to strike.

Article 70/D

(1) People living within the territory of the Republic of Hungary have the right to the highest possible level of physical and mental health.

(2) The Republic of Hungary implements this right through arrangements for labour safety, with health institutions and medical care, through ensuring the possibility for regular physicial training, and through the protection of the built-in a natural environment.

Article 70/E

(1) Citizens of the Republic of Hungary have the right to social security. In case of old age, illness, disability, being widowed or orphaned, and in case of unemployment for no fault of their own, they are entitled to the provisions necessary for subsistence.

(2) The Republic of Hungary upholds the right of people to being provided for through the social security system and its institutions.

Article 70/F

(1) The Republic of Hungary ensures for its citizens the right to culture.

(2) The Republic of Hungary ensures this right through the expansion of culture and making arrangements for general access to it, through free and compulsory eight-grade education, through the general accessibility of secondary and third-level instruction, moreover through financial assistance for those in school.

Article 70/G

(1) The Republic of Hungary respects and supports the freedom of science and art, the freedom of learning and of teaching.

(2) Only qualified scholars and scientists have the right to arrive at decisions in regard to what should be credited as a contribution to science, a scientific result, and to assess the scientific value of research.

Article 70/H

(1) All citizens of the Republic of Hungary have the duty to defend the homeland.

(2) Subject to their general defence obligation, citizens are expected to undergo military service, armed or unarmed; or civil service on terms specified in the law.

(3) For the ratification of the law on military defence obligations, the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are required.

Article 70/I

Every citizen of the Republic of Hungary bears the obligation to contribute to rates and taxes in accordance to income and wealth.

Article 70/J

In the Republic of Hungary, parents and guardians have the obligation of seeing to the education of minor children.

Article 70/K

Claims deriving from infringement of fundamental rights and objections to state (administrative) decisions in regard to compliance with duties may be brought to the Courts.

Chapter XIII

Principles Governing the Elections

Article 71

(1) Members of Parliament, the members of the representative bodies of villages, townships and of the districts of the Capital, the legally defined number of the members of the representative body of the capital city, moreover, the Mayor in cases defined in the law, are elected by direct secret balloting on the basis of the universal and equal right to vote.

(2) The members of the representative bodies of counties are elected by secret ballot by the meeting of delegates chosen by the village and city representative bodies.

(3) Separate laws provide for the election of the Members of Parliament, the Mayor and the members of the local representative bodies. For the adoption of these laws the votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.

Article 72 Repealed Article 73 Repealed

Chapter XIV

The Capital City and Emblems of The Republic of Hungary

Article 74

The Capital of the Republic of Hungary is Budapest.

Article 75

The National Anthem of the Republic of Hungary is the poem by Ferenc Kolcsey entitled Hymn as set to music by Ferenc Erkel.

Article 76

(1) The National Flag of the Republic of Hungary is a tricolour of red, white and green stripes of equal width running horizontally.

(2) The Coat of Arms of the Republic of Hungary is a vertically impaled shield coming to a point in the middle of the rounded base. Four red and four silver horizontal stripes alternate on the dexter. A triple green crest rises from the sinister base, its middle mound bearing a gold coronet transfixed by a silver patriarchal cross against the red field. Atop the shield rests the Holy Crown of St. Stephen.

(3) For the adoption of laws on the Coat of Arms, the Flag of the Republic of Hungary and the usage of those the votes of two thirds of MPs are necessary.

Chapter XV

Final Provisions

Article 77

(1) The basic law of the Republic of Hungary is the Constitution.

(2) The Constitution and the constitutional provisions are equally binding on all organizations of society, all state organs and on citizens.

(3) repealed

Article 78

(1) The Constitution of the Republic of Hungary comes into force on the day of its proclamation. The Government is to see to its implementation.

(2) The Governments bears the obligation of submitting to Parliament the Bills necessary for the enactment of the Constitution.

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