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Hungary: Laws on administrative courts lack effective checks and balances in government, according to the Venice Commission

Venice Commission Venice 15 March 2019
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Hungary: Laws on administrative courts lack effective checks and balances in government, according to the Venice Commission

An opinion adopted today by the Council of Europe’s constitutional experts of the Venice Commission raises questions over two December 2018 laws establishing a separate system of administrative courts, with its own high court (the future Supreme Administrative Court, or SAC) and its own judicial council (the future National Administrative Judicial Council, or NAJC).

Hungarian Justice Minister László Trócsányi, who attended discussions in Venice today, had requested the opinion, which acknowledges that the principle of creating a new separate legal order in the area of administrative law falls within the sovereign right of the national legislature and is fully in line with European standards and practices.

Moreover, guaranteeing the transfer of all current administrative judges wishing to be incorporated in the new administrative courts and opening up access to the function of administrative judge to individuals with substantial experience in public administration are commendable, as is having administrative judges from more diverse professional backgrounds. In particular, the possibility of appointing people who have worked in administrative authorities or at the bar as administrative court judges ensures “effectiveness”, according to the opinion.


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