HUNGARIAN CIVIL PROCEDURE PROVISIONS DURING THE STATE OF DANGER PERIOD Cover Image
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HUNGARIAN CIVIL PROCEDURE PROVISIONS DURING THE STATE OF DANGER PERIOD
HUNGARIAN CIVIL PROCEDURE PROVISIONS DURING THE STATE OF DANGER PERIOD

Author(s): László Pribula
Subject(s): Administrative Law
Published by: Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai
Keywords: Hungarian 1952 Civil Procedure Code; Hungarian Civil Procedure Code; Hungarian civil procedure; Hungarian Government Decree 74/2020;

Summary/Abstract: In March 2020, the Hungarian civil procedure faced an extraordinary challenge by the unpredictable but widely threatening Covid-19 epidemic, which necessitated the introduction of provisions as effective as possible to protect public health. The task was challenging because the public does not only expect the courts to settle the legal disputes righteously, but, based on a century-long development in the history of law, the requirement of verbal and direct hearings has become of accentuated importance. The traditional model of civil cases centres around the public institution of hearings with the simultaneous presence of the judge, the parties, and their representatives, as well as other actors in the case. Simultaneously, the legislator accentuated the importance of concentrated and rapid case management, especially in the past few years. The extraordinary situation caused by the epidemic might have raised the complete close-down of courts. But, as there is no court proceeding without hearings, this solution could not have been acceptable by either the parties seeking to assert their rights or by court employees for reasons of human resources management, as the judgements of legal disputes would have been postponed for an undefined period. The interests of both the citizens seeking justice and the court employees could be fulfilled by a solution that created the conditions of uninterrupted jurisdiction and the avoidance of personal contacts to protect their health. After a necessary period of preparation resulting from the unexpected situation, this extremely difficult issue was solved by the Government Decree 74/2020 (from 31 of March), officially abbreviated as VEIR., which did not abrogate the generally effectual procedure rules, but merely adjusted them to the specificities of the crisis situation. The same happened to the civil procedure too. During the period of the state of danger, in contentious (and noncontentious) cases, depending on the date of bringing of the action, the regulations of either Act III of 1952 (the 1952 Civil Procedure Code, henceforth 1952 PP.), in force until the 31 of December 2017, or Act CXXX of 2016 (the current Civil Procedure Code, hereafter PP.), in power from the 1 of January 2018, were applicable, with the amendments included in the government decrees. This different regulation formed the special state of danger procedure law to mitigate the consequences of the epidemic.

  • Issue Year: 65/2020
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 113-140
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: English