Government to have another shot at establishing “special court”

June 1, 2017

The Hungarian government could have another shot at establishing a so-called “special court” to discuss politically sensitive cases which are unpleasant to the government, reports based on an anonymous source.

A recent inside report by the National Judicial Office (OBH) estimates that some 200 new judges and 500 judicial employees would be required for a transformation of the court system.

“This raises the question of whether the government wishes to load up administrative courts with government officials,” commented the anonymous source.

Last year the government first proposed a plan to establish such a “special court” to discuss contentious economic and political cases of high importance to the government, such as the Hungarian National Bank’s funding of bank governor György Matolcsy’s family members, what kinds of questions can be turned into referendum, information requests, Lőrinc Mészáros winning still more state contracts, and so on.

At least half of the cadre of the planned “special court” would have included jurists and government officials currently working in the public administration.

The proposal caused public outrage. The Constitutional Court finally found the idea unconstitutional in January this year.

Since the Constitutional Court’s decision, however, news that government officials are dissatisfied with courts that occasionally decide against government interests keeps surfacing.

The current draft bill, in contrast to the previous proposal, does not explicitly include loading up the cadres of the judicial body with government officials. However, judges are suspicious as the current bill aims to modify the procedure of administrative courts and invest HUF 8 billion into the system across two years, despite the fact that the Hungarian administrative court system is considered to be among the better ones in Europe.