Personal decisions


„The judge is independent in his or her adjudication. Judges are appointed by the
President of the Republic. During the selection process, it is necessary to
guarantee that the judicial office is the result of a legally-regulated, open election
procedure ensuring equal opportunities for all applicants and the best candidate
may win.”


The law provides NJC with the most and strongest powers in relation to personnel decisions. They all relate to judicial service and leadership appointments, and they intend to compensate for the fact that, in the selection process of judges and executives, not the decision of one person made on subjective, non-professional grounds is dominating but judicial self-management prevails as a result of the wider internal legitimacy control.

Judicial applications shall be published and judged by the President of NOJ, the call for applications shall be published in the official journal and on the central internet site of the courts. Any Hungarian citizen who is thirty years of age, has full legal capacity, does not have a criminal record, has legal university qualification, has passed the bar exam and has worked for at least one year in a legal profession (court secretary, junior prosecutor, attorney-at-law, notary, counsellor etc.) is eligible to be a judge in Hungary. An additional condition is that the person is found suitable for judicial work based on a professional orientation test and agrees on making an asset declaration. Applicants shall be heard by the Judicial Council of the Tribunal or Court of Appeal and shall set points for the applicant under a corresponding Ministerial Decree of Justice. The number of objective points is determined by the length of the service period, qualification, result of the bar exam and other competencies set out in the decree exhaustively. While the other part of the points is determined on the basis of the hearing by the Judicial Council. Based on the aggregated points, the Judicial Council will rank among the applicants. If the president of the tribunal or court of appeal agrees, he/she will forward the ranking to the president of NOJ, but if he/she does not agree, he/she shall forward the documents to the president of NOJ with the reasons for his/her proposal. The President of NOJ nominates the first ranked candidate to the President of the Republic or, if a judge is ranked first, decides on the transfer of that judge. There is also a legal possibility for a second or third ranked applicant to be appointed, but this is only possible with the agreement of NCJ. NCJ also defines the principles to be taken into consideration in the course of evaluating an application when the recruiting court wishes to fill the vacancy with the second or third candidate of the ranking. In the election procedure for the judges of the Curia, not NOJ, but the president of the Curia is involved, but it is also necessary for NCJ to agree to the deviation from the ranking. [Points b) and c) of paragraph (3) of Article 103 of Act CLXI of 2011]

Judicial leadership positions will also be filled by tenders. The appointment competency of the President of NOJ includes positions of the presidents and vice-presidents of the courts of appeals and tribunals and the leaders of collegium. The assembly of judges of the recruiting court expresses its opinion about the applications, in the case of a head of a collegium, also the collegium, so the assigned judges may express their consent or disagreement with the candidate and the application of the candidate with a secret ballot. If the President of NOJ, or in the case of a collegium of Curia the president of Curia, does not intend to nominate a candidate who has received the majority of the supporting votes or intends to appoint a person who is not supported by most of the judges, the consent of NCJ is required. [Point d) of paragraph (3) of Article 103 of Act CLXI of 2011]

In addition, the NCJ publishes its opinion annually on the appointment practice of the president of NOJ and that of the President of the Curia regarding judges and judiciary leaders and thus exercises a posterior control over the entire appointment procedure. [Point f) of paragraph (3) of Article 103 of the Act CLXI of 2011]

The law stipulates that the same person may serve as a president and deputy up to two consecutive cycles. The reason for this is that the legislator wished that there would be no judicial leadership for a period of more than 12 years, the positions of power would not be fixed. However, there may be a situation when no other candidate is eligible to undertake the position, so in such cases, NJC may consent to the re-appointment of the leader concerned. [Point e) of paragraph (3) of Article 103 of Act CLXI of 2011]

The legislator intended to avoid situations when a judiciary leader is a relative of one of the judges working for the department under his/her leadership. Therefore the consent of NJC is necessary in each case, based on recent practice this exemption is granted by NJC once and for a definite period of time [Point b) of paragraph (3) of Article 103 of Act CLXI of 2011]

Judges make asset declaration in every third year, based on which their enrichment can be tracked. Judges may perform occupational activities further to their service in a limited extent, and in case their income does not substantiate their enrichment, the judiciary leader submits a proposal to NJC to perform a control procedure the aim of which is to establish the reason of the enrichment. [Point i) of paragraph (3) of Article 103 of Act CLXI of 2011]

The resignation period of the judges is 3 months as per the law, however NJC may consent to the fact that the resignation period can be shorter and may release the judge from service, for the resignation period or a part of it. In case the service of the judge is terminated because of retirement, his/her resignation period is 6 months and shall be released from service for a period of 3 months, however, based on his/her request NJC can establish that the period of such release is shorter. [Points k) and l) of paragraph (3) of Article 103 of Act CLXI of 2011]]

Further to that based on the initiative of the President of NJO, NJC decides on the donation of titles, may propose the donation of awards, may award prizes, certificates, plaquettes, furthermore may consent to the donation of certifications awarded by third parties. Among these, the Juhász Andor prize established in 2011 is the most important, of which donation takes place every year on the day of the courts, 15 July. [Point j) of paragraph (3) of Article 103 of Act CLXI of 2011]]

One of the most important powers of NJC, which has not been exercised yet, is that based on personal hearing it expresses a preliminary opinion on the person nominated as the President of NJC and the president of the Curia, who are elected with the two-thirds majority by the National Assembly.