Hungary’s Justice minister has revealed that the prime minister has tasked him with drawing up a legislative proposal for the creation of the organizational independence of a public administration justice system via the establishment of a Public Administration High Court.
László Trócsányi, minister of Justice, said judicial independence is the pinnacle of democracy and an extremely important constitutional value.
“There are still many issues to discuss, step by step, with the involvement of professional organizations; progress must be made while always respecting judicial independence,” László Trócsányi, minister of Justice, said.
During a conference in Budapest on the further development of the public administration justice system, Minister Trócsányi said it is evident from the currently ongoing seventh amendment to the Constitution that the Public Administration High Court would have a similar legal status to the Curia (Supreme Court), and would serve as the country’s highest judicial forum for public administration cases, with public administration courts acting independently from the existing court system.
The minster added that he had set up a working committee to clarify professional issues, the members of which are in the most part judges – the president of the Curia and delegates from the National Office for the Judiciary – in addition to acknowledged Hungarian legal experts, including professors of public administration and constitutional law, heads of university law faculties.
The minister said he supports the establishment of a two-level organizational system for public administration courts, with public administration courts working under the Public Administration High Court, and that with relation to labor-related disputes it would be expedient for the lower ranked courts to operate locally and remain at general court level.
The working committee will be examining these cases, in addition to the distribution of various case types between the two levels of the judiciary, and uniform legal practice. Establishing the organizational system for an independent public administration judiciary goes hand in hand with the separation of the labor court system, for which a worthy place must be found.
The minister said it is yet to be decided who will publish and evaluate applications for the posts of judge and head of court, who will appoint public administration judges and heads of court, and what the professional requirements, conflict of interest regulations, interoperability conditions and salary system for the legal status of public administration judge will be.
“The establishment of an independent public administration judicial system also requires the establishment of its separate administration, creating a kind of competitive model within the field of court administration. Cooperation between the National Office for the Judiciary, which is responsible for administering traditional courts, and the National Judicial Council is vital to this. It must also be decided whether the minister of Justice should be given a role in the external administration of public administration courts. This can only occur while respecting judicial independence. The minister of Justice would primarily play the role of caretaker, dealing with budgetary, building management or other issues,” the minister concluded.