A controversial proposal to establish a separate administrative court system in Hungary, which would also have merged the labour courts with the regional courts, is now on hold indefinitely.
As highlighted previously in The Word, at the end of 2018 the Hungarian Parliament passed an act (Act CXXX of 2018, the ‘Act’) on the establishment of a new administrative court system. The concept was that it would operate under the direction of a newly established Supreme Administrative Court and under the operative leadership of the Ministry of Justice. At the same time, the labour court would be merged into the general regional courts.
In the last six months there has been huge international debate surrounding the Act, during which the Hungarian government was severely criticised for jeopardising the values of the European Union, such as the concept of the constitutional state and the independence of judges.
As a result, on 30 May 2019 the Hungarian government submitted a bill to the Parliament on postponing the establishment of the administrative court system. According to the official justification for the bill the government wishes to bring an end to the groundless debates around the Act and related criticism regarding the constitutional state.
As a result, the separate administrative court system will be not established by 1 January 2020 and this plan will be postponed for an indefinite period of time. The administrative and labour courts will also continue to work unaltered as a separate court, that is, the labour court will be not merged into the general regional courts.