PREMIUM LEGAL RESOURCES
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[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.
Hungary is a Republic.
(1) The Republic of Hungary is an independent and democratic
(2) In the Republic of Hungary all power belongs to the people. The
people exercise their sovereignty through elected representatives or
(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.
(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
(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.
The trade unions and other interest organizations protect and
represent the interests of employees, cooperative members, and of
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.
(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.
(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
(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.
(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.
(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.
(1) Any property of the Hungarian State is part of the country's
(2) The full range of exclusive ownership by, and of the exclusive
economic activities of, the State is determined by the law.
State-owned companies and economic units operate independently in the
manner and with the responsibility defined by the law.
(1) The State supports cooperatives based on voluntary association and
recognizes their autonomy.
(2) The State respects the assets and property of local governments.
(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
The Constitution guarantees the right of inheritance.
The Republic of Hungary protects the institution of marriage and the
The Republic of Hungary pays special attention to the secure
existence, education and training of young people and protects the
interests of youth.
The Republic of Hungary sees to the wants of the needy through a long
line of social measures.
The Republic of Hungary recognizes and implements everyone's right to
a healthy environment.
(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
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
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
j) decides on the use of the armed forces outside or inside the
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
(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.
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.
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
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.
(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
(6) To pass the law on the legal status of Members of Parliament, the
votes of two thirds of the MPs present are necessary.
(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.
(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.
(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
(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.
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.
(1) Parliament has a quorum when more than half of the MPs are
(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.
(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.
(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
(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.
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.
(1) The mandate of Parliament commences with its constituent meeting.
(2) Parliament may proclaim its dissolution even before the expiry of
(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
(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
(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
(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.
The President of the Republic
(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
(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.
(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
(5) The voting process has to be completed in the maximum period of
three successive days.
(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
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.
(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
(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.
(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.
(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
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.
(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
(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
(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.
(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
(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.
(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.
The Constitutional Court
(1) The Constitutional Court oversees the constitutionality of legal
provisions and performs other functions the law refers to its
(2) Any law or legal measure found unconstitutional is annulled by the
(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
(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
Ombudsman for the Protection of Civil Rights
Ombudsman for the Protection of National and Ethnic Minority Rights
(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
(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
(7) For the ratification of the law on Ombudsmen (parliamentary
commissioners), the affirmative votes of two-thirds of the MPs present
The State Audit Office and The Hungarian National Bank
(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
(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.
(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
(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.
(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.
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.
The enumeration of the ministries of the Republic of Hungary is
contained in a separate law.
(1) The Government
a) protects constitutional order, protects and ensures the rights of
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
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
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.
In the performance of its functions, the Government cooperates with
the social organizations concerned.
(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
(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.
(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
(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.
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.
(1) For the discharge of certain functions, the Government may set up
(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.
The Armed Forces and the Police
(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.
(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.
(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.
(1) The territory of the Republic of Hungary consists of
administrative units including the Capital, the counties, cities, towns
(2) The Capital is divided into districts. Districts may be formed in
other cities also.
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.
(1) All local authorities have the same fundamental rights (44/A).
However, the duties and responsibilities of local governments may be
(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.
(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
(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
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
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.
(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.
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.
(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.
The courts administer justice in councils of professional judges and
lay assessors. Legislation may authorize exceptions to this rule.
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.
(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.
(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
(3) Judges are independent and are subordinate only to the law.
Judges may not hold membership in any party and must not carry on
(4) To adopt the law on the Courts, the votes of two thirds of the MPs
present are necessary.
The Prosecutor's Office
(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.
(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.
(1) Prosecutors are appointed by the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic
(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
(4) The rules on the prosecutorial organization are laid down in the
Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens
(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
(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.
In the Republic of Hungary every human being has legal standing.
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
(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.
(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
(3) In the Republic of Hungary the Church functions in separation from
(4) The ratification of the law on the freedom of conscience and of
religion requires the votes of two thirds of the MPs present.
(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
(2) The Republic of Hungary recognizes and protects the freedom of the
(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.
(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.
(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.
In the Republic of Hungary everyone has the right to submit written
petitions or complaints either alone or together with others.
(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
(2) A person already granted asylum must not be extradited to another
(3) The adoption of the law on the right of asylum requires the votes
of two thirds of the MPs present.
(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.
(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
(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.
(1) The national and ethnic minorities living in the Republic of
Hungary share the power of the people; they are constituent factors in
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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
(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
(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
(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.
(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
(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.
(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.
(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.
(1) The Republic of Hungary ensures for its citizens the right to
(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.
(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
(1) All citizens of the Republic of Hungary have the duty to defend
(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.
Every citizen of the Republic of Hungary bears the obligation to
contribute to rates and taxes in accordance to income and wealth.
In the Republic of Hungary, parents and guardians have the obligation
of seeing to the education of minor children.
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.
Principles Governing the Elections
(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
(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
The Capital City and Emblems of The Republic of Hungary
The Capital of the Republic of Hungary is Budapest.
The National Anthem of the Republic of Hungary is the poem by Ferenc
Kolcsey entitled Hymn as set to music by Ferenc Erkel.
(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.
(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
(1) The Constitution of the Republic of Hungary comes into force on
the day of its proclamation. The Government is to see to its
(2) The Governments bears the obligation of submitting to Parliament
the Bills necessary for the enactment of the Constitution.
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