Orbán dismantles independent Hungarian court system – American Bar Association is concerned

Authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is working hard (and efficiently) to dismantle independent democratic institutions in Hungary. Now he tightened his grip on the court system by creating a parallel judicial structure under his trusted justice minister. The new system will be in place within a year and Mr. Orbán will have full control of hiring and promoting its judges. The so called “public administration” courts will also handle matters related to electoral law, corruption and the right to protest.

Chile’s dictator Augusto Pinochet said that “Not a leaf moves in this country if I’m not moving it.” For all practical purposes Orban is almost there.

The American Bar Association (ABA) is alarmed by the swift changes in Hungary and issued the following statement.

György Lázár


Statement of Bob Carlson, ABA president about the changes to the Hungarian Court System

WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2019 — The American Bar Association is concerned that Hungary’s creation of a parallel court system overseen by a politically appointed justice minister threatens to further erode that country’s judicial independence. The independence of the Hungarian legal system has been undermined by the Hungarian Parliament’s Dec. 12, 2018, decision to remove matters involving elections, taxation, the police and public institutions from the Supreme Court’s oversight of public administration law and to delegate responsibilities for those matters to a new court system overseen by the justice minister.

Absent a guarantee of autonomy and independence, transferring key public administration decisions from the courts to a separate administrative judiciary threatens judicial independence in Hungary. The formation of the new court system, which will start hearing cases in 2020, violates Hungary’s commitment to an independent judiciary, as reflected in its agreement to adhere to the U.N.’s Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary. Granting a political appointee authority over hiring, promoting and disciplining judges effectively gives him authority over rulings on protests, strikes, data privacy, construction and more—issues that are no longer under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

The strength of any democracy rests on the ability of its judges to impartially interpret and apply the law. As a central component of the rule of law in any country, the judiciary must be independent of political influence, free from interference from other branches of government and tasked with equitably applying the law in all matters.

The ABA urges the government of Hungary to respect its obligations to the rule of law, to halt its efforts to create a parallel, politically controlled court system and to restore to the Supreme Court oversight of the public administrative court system.


  1. Until the new court start functioning, predicting the future is nonsense. I do not believe that you have the talent to predict the future.

  2. Why, it’s fascism folks and you know well there’s no place for independent judiciary or independent anything under such regimes, but they still use some fig leaves.

  3. Latest Orban make-a-law is far more harmful, even, than the “slave” make-a-law, which was enacted the same day.

    Orban seems pretty confident that all oversight and restraint of his drive toward dictatorship has by now been proved to be non-existent or safely ignorable.

    Ceterum censeo, Pannoniam esse eiectam…

  4. I’ll file my Motion first thing Monday morning to have Bob Carlson impeached !!!!

    No member of the US BAR ,in his official capacity ,has any business to interfere in the internal affairs of any other independent nation in the World !!!

    By such a statement, he has violated the very independence of his position and his oath !!!

    • Bende
      Wouldn’t it be Christian to help the oppressed at least by word and charity?
      As far as I remember the Hungarians wanted the US to invade Hu and help/overthrow the communist dictatorship in 1956.
      (They were also accepted as refugees/migrants by the hundreds of thousands after 1956 and were).
      Now it’s another, a fascist dictatorship and nobody’s invading.

  5. May be they will institute Sharia Laws ?!!!

    That is what’s needed there !

    One takes something not his, have his hand cut off.

    Cheets on his wife, or look at other women, cut his ….off !

    Slanders God, cut his head off !

    That will fix them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I was there in 1956 but has NEVER heard any who wanted or hoped the US to “invade” Hungary.

    Russia has invaded, in case you would not know or accept that.
    Putin is eager to be able to that soon again.
    At least being very eager tp be ready and able.
    Only the Russian economy is not permitting that, at least now.

  7. Well OBSERVER, you may call it anything that comes to your mind.
    But as I have pointed it out several times, it is the fruit of any parlamentary system.

    The parlament, or simply the majority in power ,and NOT the voting public can, may and sure do decide everything.

    As matter of fact, not even needed to be in majority.
    Like Hitler, as 32% sure was not a majority.
    Neither has any ambitious politicians who was eager for power,has ever been limited by the so called ‘rule of law’, the approval of the great public or a Constitution.

    Today ,frau Merkel in reality is in charge of Europe, but her party, not herself, was only supported by 33% of the german voter.
    And just who elected Junker ?
    Or where is a EU Constitution, or any so called rule of law ???
    Only the rule of a few powerful and influential politicians.
    That is the “system”, Hungary is sure part of it.
    Is that your kind of “democracy”???????????????

    Remember, every fish always start rotting from it’s head !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Now a rather a thought provoking question, other than just senseless and useless blaming.

    Just why would any legal system be totally unchecked , with no-oversight in any society by the very interest of justice??????????????????????

  9. Andras B. Gollner says:

    @ Bendegoose

    I see you laid another goose egg in this underpass. Could you sit on it ?

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