The national legal system
The Hungarian legal system is a continental legal system that primarily follows German
legal traditions. It is governed by a strict statutory hierarchy in which lower-level statutes
shall not be in contradiction with higher-ranking statutes.
The most important principles are laid down by the Fundamental Law and the constitutional
rules a re augmented by laws, while detailed regulation is provided by Government and
ministerial decrees. The coherence of the system is guarded by t he Constitutional Court,
which may annul any statute th at is in contradiction with the Fundamental Law ( with the
exception of legislation relating to certain issues, such as the state budget).
The system is structured int o legal fields (e.g. criminal law, civil law, labour law,
administrative law) with most fields having their own procedural codes.
The judicial system has two levels (first instance and appeal level). However, extraordinary
remedies (such as a review by the Curia, Hungary’s Supreme Court) are also available. (In
criminal proceedings, an ordina ry third instance appeal is also available in certain cases.)
There is also the possibility of a judicial review of administrative decisions.
While international human rights treaties are integrated into the domestic legal system
through their promulgation in the form of acts of Parliament, courts, as a rule, refuse to
apply them directly. They are applied as points of reference at times if concurring
interpretation of domestic law is possible.
List of main legislation transposing and implementing the d irectives
The main pieces of legislation transposing and implementing the two directives are the
− The Fundamental Law of Hungary (Article XV) – date of adoption: 25 April 2011,
grounds covered: all (not specified), material scope: non-discrimination in the
provision of fundamental rights;26
− Act CXXV of 2003 on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities (ETA)
– date of adoption: 28 December 2003, grounds covered: all (open-ended list),
material scope: all (not specified);27
− Act XXVI of 1998 on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Guaranteeing of
their Equal Opportunities (RPD Act) – date of adoption: 1 April 1998, grounds
covered: disability, material scope: h ealthcare, education, employment, culture and
sports, housing, transportation, access to public services, accessible environment,
− Act I of 2012 on the Labour Code (Labour Code) – date of adoption: 6 January 2012,
grounds covered: all, material scope: employment;29
− Act V of 2013 on the Civil Cod e (Civil Code) – date of adoption: 26 February 2013,
grounds covered: all (not specified), material scope: all (not specified). 30
26 The Fundamental Law of Hungary (Magyarország Alaptörvénye), 25 April 2011,
27 Act CXXV of 2003 on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities (2003. évi CXXV. törvény
az egyenl bánásmódról és az esélyegyenlség elmozdításáról), 28 December 2003,
28 Act XXVI of 1998 on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Guaranteeing of their Equal
Opportunities (1998. évi XXVI. törvény a fogyatékos személyek jogairól és esélyegyenlségük
biztosításáról), 1 April 1998, http://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.cgi?docid=99800026.TV.
29 Act I of 2012 on the Labour Code (2012. évi I. törvény a munka törvénykönyvérl), 6 January 2012,
30 Act V of 2013 on the Civil Code (2013. évi V. törvény a Polgári Törvénykönyvrl), 26 February 2013,