11 March 2019
The Venice Commission will be reviewing the Hungarian Government's new Law on administrative courts 15-16th March and is expected to publish its opinion in the following days. The government is also preparing for this, by planning to modify the legislation on administrative courts. The government may be aware that in its current form the Law does not comply with international regulations, with European traditions, and with democratic principles.
At its next meeting, the Venice Commission will be hearing Hungarian minister of justice Mr. László Trócsányi and is expected to accept the commission's opinion on the Law. The Commission's draft is not yet public, but the Hungarian Helsinki Committee hopes it will condemn the Law on several points.
The Hungarian Government is most likely preparing for this scenario because according to the legislative process Parliament is expected to modify the new Law in April-May 2019. This would be the last chance to amend the Law, as the selection of the new judges is to begin this summer, making any future amendments to the system very difficult. For this reason, this is the last month to persuade the Hungarian Government to bring the Law in line with common European values.
Hungarian Parliament voted on setting up the new administrative court system at the end of last year, and the new courts are to be operational from 1 January 2020.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee's previous materials are available here: https://www.helsinki.hu/en/administrativecourts/.