Govt To Go Ahead With New High Court

  • 25 May 2018 9:45 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Govt To Go Ahead With New High Court
The planned constitutional amendment includes a passage that allows the establishment of a public administrative court, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said.

The idea is to create a new high court that offers a remedial forum at the same level as the Kúria, Hungary’s Supreme Court, he said, insisting that the measure would not affect the broader judicial system.

The court, an independent public administration body, falls within the bounds of normal European practice as well as Hungary’s own legal traditions, he said. “We’ll be keeping track of what is happening in the National Judicial Council at a distance…” he replied to a question concerning any future changes to the judicial system as a whole.

He said the government had not discussed the issue and it was not on the agenda either. A further change to the constitution will aim to ensure that the household is inviolable. Everyone’s private home will enjoy constitutional protection,” he said without elaborating.

The government will consult with the opposition parties over the constitutional change, he said. On defence developments, the minister said the army budget would rise by 0.1% each year, so by 2026 it will reach the 2% of the GDP level required by NATO.

Next year, the defence budget will be 80 billion forints (EUR 250.4m) bigger, allowing for serious military developments, he added. On the topic of the Central European University (CEU), he noted that an agreement between the government and the CEU must be concluded by Dec 31 before ratification by parliament.

Commenting on a recent controversy regarding political statements critical of the Constitutional Court for its ruling on the question of the legitimacy of ballots posted without an official envelope, Gulyás said expressing the expectations of society should not be forbidden simply because those convictions are made in a political context. He added that judges, too, have their say on courtrelated matters.

Asked about a campaign by NGO Human Rights Watch to get the ruling Fidesz party thrown out of the European People’s Party, he said the NGO was financed to a large degree by George Soros and it was therefore no surprise that the government’s migration policy did not meet with its approval. He added that Fidesz was the EPP’s most successful member.

MTI Photo: Kovács Attila

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