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The Republic of Hungary is a parliamentary republic and a unitary state divided into 19 counties.


Constitution is the supreme law in Hungary. The 1949 Constitution was revised several times among which the most important amendments were added in 1989 and in 1997. The revision of October 1989 granted legal rights for individuals, constitutional checks on the authority of the Prime Minister and also established the principle of parliamentary oversight. In 1997, an amendment, which streamlined the judicial system was added.

Other sources of Hungarian law are the Acts of Parliament, international agreements, governmental and ministerial decrees and decrees of local governments.

The legislative power is exercised by a unicameral National Assembly. The members of the Assembly are elected for a four-year term by popular vote under a system of proportional and direct representation. Out of the total 386 seats, 176 are decided in single constituency vote, 152 on the basis of 20 district lists (county and municipal), and 58 seats on the basis of national lists. The Parliament has an extensive power over the government.

Legislative procedure: The Parliament enacts laws with a majority of the votes of the Members of Parliament present. Legislation may be initiated by the President, the Government, all Parliamentary Committees, and individual members of Parliament. The President ensures promulgation of the law within a period of fifteen days, or within a period of five days if upon the request of the Speaker of Parliament. If the President disagrees with a law or with any provision of a law, prior to promulgation, he/she may refer the law, with comments, to the Parliament for reconsideration. The President is required to sign and promulgate the law, if the Parliament adopted it in the second reading. If the President has reservations about the constitutionality of any provision of a law, he/she may refer the law to the Constitutional Court for review prior to promulgation. Should the Constitutional Court determine the law to be unconstitutional, the President refers the law to the Parliament for revision. The President of the Republic signs the law subject to national referendum if the law is confirmed by a national referendum.

Executive power in Hungary is vested in the President, Prime Minister and the government.

The National Assembly appoints the President for a five-year term for a maximum of two successive terms.

The government consists of the Prime Minister and the ministers. The Prime Minister is elected by a simple majority vote of the members of Parliament. The ministers are proposed by the Prime Minister, and appointed and relieved of their duties by the President.

Judicial system in Hungary consists of three tiers: the Supreme Court, the Court of the Capital City and the county (municipal) courts and local (municipal district) courts. The areas of jurisdiction include criminal, civil and administrative law. Common courts deal with administrative judgements. There are no special, administrative courts.

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ. Supreme Court ensures the uniformity in application of law by the courts. It sets guidelines based on principles for the judicial work of every court. The directives and decisions in questions of principle of the Supreme Court are binding for all courts of the country.

The Constitutional Court was established in 1989. Its jurisdiction covers the review of the constitutionality of laws. Any law or secondary legislation acts found unconstitutional are annulled by the Constitutional Court. In cases defined by law, anyone may initiate proceedings with the Constitutional Court. The Court also examines disputes concerning competence between the organs of central administration. The decisions of the Constitutional Court are final.


Hungary is:

  • OSCE Participating State since 25 June 1973
  • Member State of the United Nations since 14 December 1955
  • Member State of the Council of Europe since 6 November 1990
  • Member State of the European Union since 1 May 2004

Status of Ratification of the Main International Human Rights Treaties, Conventions and other instruments

12 April 2007
International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2007)
22 December 2006
Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (2004)
22 December 2006
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2003)

Legal Reviews

Joint Opinion on the 2020th Amendments to Electoral Legislation

Date : 18 October 2021 English [0.31 MB]

Joint Opinion on Section 253 on the Special Immigration Tax of Act XLI of 20 July 2018 of Hungary Amending Certain Tax Laws and Other Related Laws and the Immigration Tax (in English)

Date : 17 December 2018 English [0.45 MB]

Joint Opinion on Section 253 on the Special Immigration Tax of Act XLI of 20 July 2018 of Hungary Amending Certain Tax Laws and Other Related Laws and the Immigration Tax (in Hungarian)

Date : 17 December 2018 Hungarian [0.57 MB]

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