Hungarian Judicial System

In Hungary, justice shall be administered by the following courts: The Curia, the regional courts of appeal, the regional courts, the district courts and the administrative and labour courts.

District courts

There are 111 district courts in Hungary located in major cities.  The district courts proceed only in first instance. District courts shall have jurisdiction in first instance of all actions which are not delegated under the competence of regional courts by law. Groups may be established at district courts to handle certain types of cases.

District courts are led by the President. District courts are not legal entities however the President thereof might undertake obligations in accordance with the rules on the management of public finances in a manner stipulated in the internal rules of the regional court.

Administrative and labour courts

There are 20 administrative and labour courts located on the seat of regional courts. Administrative and labour courts shall proceed in the first instance in cases reviewing administrative decisions, and in cases regarding employment relationships and legal relationships of an employment nature. Administrative and labour courts are led by the President, but they are not legal entities. Groups may be established at administrative and labour courts to handle certain types of cases.

Regional courts

There are 20 regional courts in Hungary in the 19 country of Hungary and in Budapest (Budapest-Capital Regional Court). 

The regional court shall proceed as the first instance court – in cases defined by law (Code of civil procedure and Code of criminal procedure) – and review appeals lodged against the decisions of district courts and administrative and labour courts in the second instance.

Regional courts are led by the President, and they are legal entities. Chambers, groups as well as criminal, civil, economic and administrative and labour judicial colleges shall operate at regional court. Colleges may operate jointly.

Regional courts of appeal

There are 5 regional court of appeal in Hungary. The regional court of appeal shall review appeals - in second or third instance - submitted against the decisions of district courts or regional courts and shall proceed in other cases referred to its jurisdiction. Regional courts of appeal are led by the President, and they are legal entity. The regional court shall operate chambers as well as criminal and civil judicial colleges. 

Curia of Hungary

The Curia is the highest judicial authority in Hungary. Under the authority of its President it has three departments: criminal, civil and administrative-labour law departments. Each department has various chambers: chambers hearing appellate cases, chambers passing uniformity decisions, chambers issuing decisions on principles, as well as working groups examining judicial practice.

Within the framework of the departments, the judges administer justice in chambers consisting of three judges. A chamber adopting uniformity decisions consists of five judges chaired by the head of the section/department concerned, however, in cases requiring the collaboration of several sections/departments, the size of the chamber increases to seven members.

The Curia guarantees the uniform application of law. The decisions of the Curia on uniform jurisdiction are binding for other courts.

The responsibilities of the Curia are the following:

  • examination appeals submitted against the decisions of the regional courts and the regional courts of appeal in cases defined by law,
  • review final decisions if these are challenged through an extraordinary remedy,
  • adopting uniformity decisions, which are binding for all other courts,
  • analysis final decisions to examine and explore judicial practice,
  • publishing decisions on principles,
  • passing decisions in cases where local government decrees violate legal rules,
  • passing decisions in cases where the local government fails to legislate as laid down in the act on local governments,
  • other duties referred to its authority by law.