The operation of the National Judicial Council is not lawful
The National Judicial Council has 15 members. The cardinal act also specifies how many members shall come from the different levels of the court system. At the moment, the Council does not have 15 members and the representation of certain levels is not realized. Therefore, the operation of the Council cannot be considered lawful.
There can be different interpretations of legal texts. Only the Constitutional Court can give an authentic interpretation in this legal question.
During the evaluation of applications for judge and court leader positions, the National Office for the Judiciary (hereafter in: NOJ) acted in conformity with the relevant laws in the year of 2017 also. There were 274 positions for judges to be filled, and there were a total of 1919 applications. 94,5 % of the announced judge positions were filled successfully.
The NOJ sent the report about the evaluation of applications to the National Judicial Council on 28 March 2018, but regrettably it is not included in the Council’s agenda so far.
The NOJ can only comment on the opinion published on 3 May 2018, after they receive the report for opinion, the written remarks and questions of council members and participants with consultative status, and after they receive the records of the council meeting that contains the discussion of the above mentioned issues.
The President of the NOJ reported regularly on the evaluation of the applications for judge positions to the National Judicial Council - including the president of the Curia (High Court of Hungary) -, to the court leaders and to the Parliament in the last six years. These reports and other related information are published on the court’s website, while the concerned parties receive detailed feedback from their competent superiors.
During the last six years, the NOJ has always been open to remarks and proposals for improvement coming from or outside the judiciary. This attitude helped to achieve some major developments in the functioning of the justice system, which helped the Hungarian judiciary to be in the first third of the EU Justice Scoreboard (made by the European Commission). Despite the continuously changing legal environment and the challenges the judges work faithfully to their oath and with an outstanding patience and for this they deserve appreciation.
The main strategic aim of the court system is that independent judges shall adjudicate in a timely and high quality manner. The NOJ and the court leaders have to provide human resources and materials to support this. Guaranteeing the content and unity of judicial practice is the task and responsibility of the Curia.