Judicial self administration bodies
The all-judge meetings are convened by the president of the court and the participants are the judges assigned to the specific court. The duties of the meetings include: to express an opinion on the application of court leaders, to elect a delegate for the election of NOJ members and to elect the judicial council.
The members and alternate members of the judicial council are elected by the all-judge meeting for 6 years. The judicial council has 5 to 15 members and 3 to 13 alternate members, the number of the members and alternate members are determined by the all-judge meeting. In the course of discharging duties during a judge appointment procedure provided for in the act of the status and remuneration of judges, the judicial court of the general court will be completed with 2 court of appeal judges (appointed by the president of the court of appeal) where the judicial council of the court of appeal will be completed with 2 Curia judges (appointed by the president of the Curia). In the course of discharging their duties, these judges will have same rights and obligations as other members in the council.
The judicial council expresses opinions regarding the following subjects: the appointment, position, relocation or assignment of the judge, may initiate that the president, deputy president, team leader, deputy team leader of distrust and administrative and labour courts are investigated or dismissed, expresses an opinion on the annual budgetary plan of the court, the utilisation of the approved budget, the organisational and operational policy and the case allocation plan of the court.
The division is a local professional forum that is the body of judges assigned to specific law areas. The division is lead by the division leader. Among other things, the division expresses an opinion about applications for judge positions, the applications of leaders for various positions, participates in the assessment of the professional activity of judges and expresses an opinion of case allocation plans.
Administrative and labour regional division
The administrative and labour regional division is the special professional body of judges acting in administrative and labour cases at administrative and labour court and general courts. Its organisational framework is provided by the general court where the leader of the regional college delivers judgments (or by the administrative and labour court belonging to such general court.)
Pursuant to the Act CLXI of 2011 on the organisation and administration of courts of justice, the Administrative and Labour Regional Division of the Metropolitan General Court also discharges the duties of a regional division. In addition, there are 7 more regional divisions in place in the 19 counties. In addition to other duties, they express an opinion in the job application of the division leader and deputy division leader of the administrative and labour regional division and may also initiate the judiciary managers are investigated or dismissed.
Regarding the disciplinary and related indemnification cases of judges, including legal disputes arising from the professional assessment of their work or managerial duties, effective from 1 July 2011, there is a first instance service court attached to the Court of Appeal operating in the territory of Budapest. The second instance service court is attached to the Curia.
In the performance of its tasks, NOJ pays extra attention to strengthening knowledge sharing regarding in-depth professional expertise and practical experiences concentrating in the judiciary organisation. The useful vehicles for this are professional networks. By relying on these networks it is possible to ensure that judiciary employees who maintain direct contacts with each other and apply outstanding expertise can work together in a coordinated, fast and efficient manner.
Professional networks established in recent years include:
- European Legal Consultant Network,
- Spokesperson and Press Secretary Network,
- Professional and Coordinator Network of Child Centred Justice,
- Network of the Contact Persons of the National Programme for the Open Judiciary,
- National Network of the Professional Coordinators of Judiciary Libraries,
- National Network of the Coordinators of Judiciary Mediation,
- E-lawsuit Contact Persons’ Network,
- Training Network,
- Experts’ Network Expressing Opinion on Draft Legislation
- Coach Trainer Network
In order to collect and utilise and also to accomplish specific objectives, the President of the National Office for the Judiciary (hereinafter: NOJ) sets up working groups to carry out particular tasks.
With activities encompassing analysis, consultancy, proposals, opinions and preparation for decision-making, these working groups are there to help the President of NOJ in discharging duties set out in Section 76 of the Act CLXI of 2011 on the organisation and administration of courts.
The operation of these working groups is also designed to ensure that the key strategic objectives of the President of NOJ are accomplished. Setting up various working groups also helps strengthen the project oriented approach from which efficient working can benefit. In recent years more and more working groups were established both at NOJ and the courts.
The working groups are set up to perform tasks in well-defined subjects including professional, strategic, control, budgeting or other demarcated duties and also to help take up common positions and adopt common stances. They discharge their respective activities on the basis of their own work plan with an objective to attain the objective set out in the resolution of the President of NOJ about their establishment.
The primary objective of the working groups is to ensure that NOJ decisions are based on careful preparation and, thereby, can contribute to the transparency and predictability of the judicial and administrative work of the judicial organisation.
Operational working groups include:
- The judicial integrity working group
- The working group supporting that regarding the Act on General Public Administration Procedure (Kp.) the effet utile principle is complied with,
- The working group supporting that regarding the new Act on Criminal Procedure (Be.) the effet utile principle is complied with,
- The working group supporting that regarding the new Code of Civil Procedure (Pp.) the effet utile principle is complied with,
- the judicial mediation Working Group,
- the digital star-map working group
- the working group for economic, staff and remuneration management,
- the child-centred justice working group
- the IT Security Governance System (IBIR) working group,
- the record management working group,
- the working group for a comprehensible judiciary,
- the working group supporting the uniform development of client centres, and
- the new enforcement working group.
The project is being implemented as a part of the Széchenyi 2020 program during the period from 2 May 2017 until 30 June 2019. For the purposes of the project’s implementation, the National Office for the Judiciary (NOJ) received a non-reimbursable EU aid of HUF 2.7 billion.
Implemented using EU aid, the objective of the Digital Judiciary project is to offer more efficient electronic access to court records, decisions and public registers. The overall objective of the project is to reduce bureaucracy. As a result of developments to be implemented, clients will be able to manage their cases faster and cheaper. The administrative burdens of courts can be reduced whereby more efficient work can be ensured.
Project developments affect three key areas. The system used to anonymize and publish judicial decisions will be renewed: the decisions will be accessible in a uniform and easy to search decision repository. By digitising judicial pleadings both the judges and the clients will be able to access the documents of their ongoing cases online. In addition, a direct link will be established between the courts and the electronically accessible public registers.
It is a fundamental expectation of the society to improve the timeliness of judicial proceedings and to increase the transparency of procedures. To this effect, it is a primary objective of the National Office for the Judiciary (NOJ) to implement broader and more efficient electronic administration for the judiciary system. More specifically, the intention is to introduce nation-wide remote hearing and sound and video recording in the courtrooms.
To this end the President of the National Office for the Judiciary kicked off an internal project in September 2018 with an objective to assist the work of courts with technical devices that can satisfy the requirements of the 21st century and also to link courtrooms with international bodies, domestic co-institutions and other courts by installing pieces of equipment that render remote hearing possible. The devices should be able to guarantee the security of persons participating in the proceedings, and (from the standpoint of citizens) to reduce the time and costs necessary to appear before the courts thereby strengthening the service nature of courts.
The making of video and sound recordings in the courtrooms facilitates the accurate and true documentation of events at the hearing. The objective is to ensure that the recordings are made, reviewed and annotated within the same system and using this annotation system the judge should be able to retrieve the part of the hearing he/she needs.
Road into the Future
It is a primary objective to ensure that we have modern, 21st century courts. To this effect, based on the own choice of the judges, a total of 2424 mobile devices were purchased
In order to ensure that the related tasks are accomplished in an as smooth and coordinated manner as possible, a project entitled ”Road into the Future – the Procurement of Innovation Devices” was set up. In addition to coordinating registration and delivery related tasks, the objective is to fully deploy the new device, including in particular the installation of applications needed for everyday work, together with the necessary security systems.
From Dream to Reality
In order to efficiently introduce a new office system, the project entitled ”From Dream to Reality – Administration in the 21st Century” was set up. Proper working conditions play a pivotal role in enforcing high level and timely judicial activities. Thanks to this modern office application package, going forward all courts nation-wide will be able to use a uniform mailing interface and word processing application thereby avoiding problems arising from different formants.
György Mailáth Scientific Competition
Effective from 2014 the President of the National Office for the Judiciary stages scientific competitions to the memory of judge royal György Mailáth, the former President of the Hungarian Royal Curia.In these competitions law students and judicial employees can participate in different sections and submit papers to the sections of civil law, criminal law, labour law, administrative law, European law and general judicial administration. In all cases the paper ideas are closely related to the judiciary practice. The fundamental expectation the papers must meet is that the selected topic is discussed with academic rigour. The projects are then assessed by the Evaluation Committee the members of which represent all levels of the judicial organisation.
György Ráth History and Tradition Upholding Competition
Every year the National Office for the Judiciary stages a competition for general courts and the courts of appeal in judicial history and tradition upholding thereby supporting activities focusing of judicial history and tradition upholding.
The competition is named after György Ráth, one of the most learned jurist, judge, high court of cassation judge of his age, who then also served as the president of council of the Royal Court of Appeal. He has also done a lot to promote Hungarian fine and applied arts and in 1881 organised the National Hungarian Museum of Applied Arts.
The subject matters of the competition may include: research work, making a film clip, organising a memorial or plaque initiation ceremony or refurbishment, organising an exhibition (relating in particular to judicial themed history exhibition and conference round tours), organisation of judicial history themed conferences (relating in particular to judicial themed history exhibition and conference round tours), preparation of publications and the restoration of historical objects.
Jablonszky and Wagner Programme
Introduced in 2014, the objective of the internal application system is to improve the sense of the well-being of clients and the working conditions of employees at the courts by making use of amounts available under tenders published for refurbishment aids. Based on the favourable experiences gained, now we can conclude that the tendering system is extremely successful, and proved to be one of the most efficient vehicles to spend available funds, in line with the strategic objectives of the President of NOJ.
This tendering process can properly explore minor but justified development needs that are frequently overlooked in the shadow of major scale developments and thus can make good local deficiencies those of which only the users of the buildings are aware. The tendering process creates equal opportunities among courts, rewards creativity, preparations and foundations. This manner of access to funding improved the investment culture of the judiciary organisation and, as a result of close cooperation, increases the number of investments that are both important to participants and increase their satisfaction. Against this background, NOJ decided to continue using this tendering system and expanded the scope of developments for which tender funding is available.
By restructuring already existing scholarship programmes and creating new opportunities, the President of the National Office for the Judiciary established a Werbőczy Scholarship Programme in 2018. The objective of the scholarship programme is to deliver international results to domestic justice, to communicate the results of Hungarian justice on the international stage and also to continuously improve the necessary professional language competences.