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General questions
To what extent do you apply EU law
Very much To some extent Not at all
To what extent do you set aside rules of domestic law, if necessary, to give full effect to EU law ?
Very much To some extent Not at all
Can you give examples if appropriate ?
In a case of the Supreme Court the problem centred on the use of language and the accuracy of official EU translations is centred on the interpretation of EU customs law. In a 2008 case, a company claimed in proceedings that the phrase “felfüggesztő eljárás,” as set out in Art. 3 of Commission Regulation 1972/2003/EC [1] had already been defined in Art. 114(2)(a) of the Community Customs Code, Council Regulation 2913/92/EEC. [2] At stake was a considerable sum of money which the company had already paid to the State and which – by using the exact phrasing in the EU’s own official translation into Hungarian of both instruments – it hoped to try to furnish itself with a basis for a claim to restitution of the money already paid over.

However, on further research by the bench, it was revealed that only the Hungarian and German official EU versions of the two Regulations contained precisely the same terminology . All other 21 official EU language versions provided different terms : e.g., in English , the term was translated as “suspensive regime” in Commission Regulation 1972/2003/EC, Art. 3 and a "suspension system” in the Customs Code, Art. 114(2(a).

The judges approached their task with a view to the requirement of Community loyalty under Article 10 EC and looked behind the actual wording of the official translation to give a proper interpretation of the term in the two Regulations, based inter alia on the differences present in the English, French, and Spanish official EU translations.
Do you apply EU law even if neither of the parties in a case before you has relied on EU law ?
Yes No

Article 41 Right to good administration
41.2 a The right of every person to be heard before an individual measure is taken.
This right is guaranteed in the procedural law for the administration/and the administrative courts/ in Hungary. The general rule is that it is an obligation, but there are some exemptions (e.g. : public procurement cases at administrative court etc.)

41.2.b The right of every person to have access to his or her file
This right is guaranteed in the administrative procedural law in Hungary
only when asked for,
there is no obligation for the administration to send all the documents to the complainant.
41.2.c The obligation of the administration to give reasons for its decisions
There is such obligation in Hungary. It depends on the case (2-100+ pages).
Article 47 Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial
47.1 The right to an effective remedy before a tribunal
This first paragraph is based on Article 13 of the European convention on Human Rights, ECHR but the right is more extensive than in the ECHR as the remedy must be before a court, not only a “national authority”.
The time limit for the administration to decide upon an application of a party (first instance) is 22 working days.
There is a legal remedy if the administration fails to decide within that time limit, the person can claim before the court to force the authority to make a decision.
Hungary guaranteed the remedy before a court for everyone whose rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the Union are violated.
It is necessary to appeal to a higher administrative authority before a party is entitled to appeal to a court if there is a second instance. There are two instances within the administrative law suit.
47.2 The right to a fair hearing
This second paragraph corresponds to Article 6.1 of the ECHR but the right to a fair hearing is not confined to disputes related to civil law rights and obligations. Thus, this right is also more extensive than in the ECHR.
In my opinion Hungary fulfills this obligation regarding the application of EC Law.

Other questions
The administrative courts in Hungary are confined to decide the legality of the case and they look at the “appropriateness” or “suitability” too of the administrative decisions.
The administrative court entitled to control the question of fact (full cognition, including the hearing if witnesses and experts by the court).
The administrative judge’s decision if the court relies on experts working for the administration or the court nominates own experts (depending on the individual case).
The general rule is “cassation” but in defined cases the administrative court can replace the administrative decisions with their own decisions.
There is a “two party system” before the administrative courts in Hungary.
The administrative court limited to the arguments put forward by the “parties”.

Answers above are given by :
dr. Katalin Surányi


[1] Commission Regulation (EC) No 1972/2003 on transitional measures to be adopted in respect of trade in agricultural products on account of the accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia : 2003 OJ L 293/3.

[2] Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code : 1992 OJ L 302/1.