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On 31st of January the Hungarian Council for the Judiciary has issued comments and recommendations on the draft legislation proposed by the Ministry of Justice of Hungary.

The Council draws attention to the fact the proposed legislation does not meet the commitments made by the Hungarian Government to the European Union and the declared intentions to strengthen the role and powers of the National Judicial Council of Hungary.

The opinion underlines shortcomings regarding a very limited scope of the opinion that can be adopted by the Council regarding candidates for the position of the President and Vice-president of the Supreme Court (Kuria) and the President for the National Office for the Judiciary (OBH). The Council views proposed legislation as a set back from a current situation.

The Council further notes that the draft legislation does not rule out a possibility for judicial leaders appointed by the President of the OBH to become members of the Council and thus does not ensure full independence of this supervisory body. Full access to all the documents held by the OBH is not ensured to Council and neither is the proposed legislation sufficient for the Council to become a separate legal person with regard to its budget. 

Full text of the opinion may be accessed here