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Constitution of Hungary (2011)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Preamble

4WE, THE MEMBERS OF THE HUNGARIAN NATION, at the beginning of the new millennium, with a sense of responsibility for every Hungarian, hereby proclaim the following:

5 We are proud that our king Saint Stephen built the Hungarian State on solid ground and made our country a part of Christian Europe one thousand years ago.

6 We are proud of our forebears who fought for the survival, freedom and independence of our country.

7 We are proud of the outstanding intellectual achievements of the Hungarian people.

8 We are proud that our people has over the centuries defended Europe in a series of struggles and enriched Europe’s common values with its talent and diligence.

9 We recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood. We value the various religious traditions of our country.

10 We promise to preserve the intellectual and spiritual unity of our nation torn apart in the storms of the last century. The nationalities living with us form part of the Hungarian political community and are constituent parts of the State.

11 We commit to promoting and safeguarding our heritage, our unique language, Hungarian culture, the languages and cultures of nationalities living in Hungary, along with all man-made and natural assets of the Carpathian Basin. We bear responsibility for our descendants; therefore we shall protect the living conditions of future generations by making prudent use of our material, intellectual and natural resources.

12 We believe that our national culture is a rich contribution to the diversity of European unity.

13 We respect the freedom and culture of other nations, and shall strive to cooperate with every nation of the world.

14 We hold that human existence is based on human dignity.

15 We hold that individual freedom can only be complete in cooperation with others.

16 We hold that the family and the nation constitute the principal framework of our coexistence, and that our fundamental cohesive values are fidelity, faith and love.

17 We hold that the strength of community and the honour of each person are based on labour, an achievement of the human mind.

18 We hold that we have a general duty to help the vulnerable and the poor.

19 We hold that the common goal of citizens and the State is to achieve the highest possible measure of well-being, safety, order, justice and liberty.

20 We hold that democracy is only possible where the State serves its citizens and administers their affairs in an equitable manner, without prejudice or abuse.

21 We honour the achievements of our historical constitution and we honour the Holy Crown, which embodies the constitutional continuity of Hungary’s statehood and the unity of the nation.

22 We do not recognise the suspension of our historical constitution due to foreign occupations. We deny any statute of limitations for the inhuman crimes committed against the Hungarian nation and its citizens under the national socialist and communist dictatorships.

23 We do not recognise the communist constitution of 1949, since it was the basis for tyrannical rule; therefore we proclaim it to be invalid.

24 We agree with the members of the first free Parliament, which proclaimed as its first decision that our current liberty was born of our 1956 Revolution.

25 We date the restoration of our country’s self-determination, lost on the nineteenth day of March 1944, from the second day of May 1990, when the first freely elected body of popular representation was formed. We shall consider this date to be the beginning of our country’s new democracy and constitutional order.

26 We hold that after the decades of the twentieth century which led to a state of moral decay, we have an abiding need for spiritual and intellectual renewal.

27 We trust in a jointly-shaped future and the commitment of younger generations. We believe that our children and grandchildren will make Hungary great again with their talent, persistence and moral strength.

28 Our Fundamental Law shall be the basis of our legal order: it shall be a covenant among Hungarians past, present and future; a living framework which expresses the nation’s will and the form in which we want to live.

29 We, the citizens of Hungary, are ready to found the order of our country upon the common endeavours of the nation.

30FOUNDATION

31Article A

32The name of OUR COUNTRY shall be Hungary.

33Article B

341. Hungary shall be an independent, democratic state governed by the rule of law.

352. Hungary’s form of government shall be that of a republic.

363. The source of public power shall be the people.

374. The people shall exercise its power through its elected representatives or, in exceptional cases, in a direct manner.

38Article C

391. The functioning of the Hungarian State shall be based on the principle of separation of powers.

402. No person’s activity shall be aimed at the forcible acquisition, exercise or exclusive possession of power. Every person shall be entitled and obliged to act against such attempts in a lawful way.

413. The State shall have the exclusive right to use coercion in order to enforce the Fundamental Law and legislation.

42Article D

43Bearing in mind that there is one single Hungarian nation that belongs together, Hungary shall bear responsibility for the fate of Hungarians living beyond its borders, and shall facilitate the survival and development of their communities; it shall support their efforts to preserve their Hungarian identity, the assertion of their individual and collective rights, the establishment of their community self-governments, and their prosperity in their native lands, and shall promote their cooperation with each other and with Hungary.

44Article E

451. In order to enhance the liberty, prosperity and security of European nations, -Hungary shall contribute to the creation of European unity.

462. With a view to participating in the European Union as a member state, Hungary may exercise some of its competences arising from the Fundamental Law jointly with other member states through the institutions of the European Union under an international agreement, to the extent required for the exercise of the rights and the fulfilment of the obligations arising from the Founding Treaties.

473. The law of the European Union may stipulate a generally binding rule of conduct subject to the conditions set out in Paragraph (2).

484. The authorisation to recognise the binding nature of an international agreement referred to in Paragraph (2) shall require a two-thirds majority of the votes of the Members of Parliament.

49Article F

501. The capital of Hungary shall be Budapest.

512. The territory of Hungary shall be comprised of counties, cities, towns and villages. Cities and towns may be divided into districts.

52Article G

531. The child of a Hungarian citizen shall be a Hungarian citizen by birth. A cardinal Act may define other cases of the origin or acquisition of Hungarian citizenship.

542. Hungary shall defend its citizens.

553. No person may be deprived of Hungarian citizenship established by birth or acquired in a lawful manner.

564. The detailed rules for citizenship shall be defined by a cardinal Act.

57Article H

581. In Hungary the official language shall be Hungarian.

592. Hungary shall protect the Hungarian language.

603. Hungary shall protect Hungarian Sign Language as a part of Hungarian culture.

61Article I

621. The coat of arms of Hungary shall be a vertically divided shield with a pointed base. The left field shall contain eight horizontal bars of red and silver. The right field shall have a red background and shall depict a base of three green hills with a golden crown atop the central hill and a silver patriarchal cross issuing from the middle of the crown. The Holy Crown shall rest on top of the shield.

632. The flag of Hungary shall feature three horizontal bands of equal width coloured red, white and green from top to bottom as the symbols of strength, fidelity and hope respectively.

643. The anthem of Hungary shall be the poem Himnusz by Ferenc Kölcsey set to music by Ferenc Erkel.

654. The coat of arms and the flag may also be used in other historical forms. The detailed rules for the use of the coat of arms and the flag, and state decorations shall be defined by a cardinal Act.

66Article J

671. The national holidays of Hungary shall be:

68 a.the 15th day of March, in memory of the 1848-49 Revolution and War of Independence,

69 b.the 20th day of August, in memory of the foundation of the State and King Saint Stephen the State Founder, and

70 c.the 23rd day of October, in memory of the 1956 Revolution and War of Independence.

712. The official state holiday shall be the 20th day of August.

72Article K

73The official currency of Hungary shall be the forint.

74Article L

751. Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman established by voluntary decision, and the family as the basis of the nation’s survival.

762. Hungary shall encourage the commitment to have children.

773. The protection of families shall be regulated by a cardinal Act.

78Article M

791. The economy of Hungary shall be based on work which creates value and freedom of enterprise.

802. Hungary shall ensure the conditions for fair economic competition, act against any abuse of a dominant position, and shall defend the rights of consumers.

81Article N

821. Hungary shall enforce the principle of balanced, transparent and sustainable budget management.

832. Parliament and the Government shall have primary responsibility for the enforcement of the principle set out in Paragraph (1).

843. In the course of performing their duties, the Constitutional Court, courts, local governments and other state organs shall be obliged to respect the principle set out in Paragraph (1).

85Article O

86Every person shall be responsible for his or herself, and shall be obliged to contribute to the performance of state and community tasks to the best of his or her abilities and potential.

87Article P

88All natural resources, especially agricultural land, forests and drinking water supplies, biodiversity – in particular native plant and animal species – and cultural assets shall form part of the nation’s common heritage, and the State and every person shall be obliged to protect, sustain and preserve them for future generations.

89Article Q

901. In order to create and maintain peace and security, and to achieve the sustainable development of humanity, Hungary shall strive for cooperation with every nation and country of the world.

912. Hungary shall ensure harmony between international law and Hungarian law in order to fulfil its obligations under international law.

923. Hungary shall accept the generally recognised rules of international law. Other sources of international law shall become part of the Hungarian legal system by publication in the form of legislation.

93Article R

941. The Fundamental Law shall be the foundation of the legal system of Hungary.

952. The Fundamental Law and legislation shall be binding on every person.

963. The provisions of the Fundamental Law shall be interpreted in accordance with their purposes, the National Avowal and the achievements of our historical constitution.

97Article S

981. A proposal for the adoption of a new Fundamental Law or any amendment of the present Fundamental Law may be submitted by the President of the Republic, the Government, any parliamentary committee or any Member of Parliament.

992. The adoption of a new Fundamental Law or any amendment of the present Fundamental Law shall require a two-thirds majority of the votes of all Members of Parliament.

1003. The Speaker of the House shall sign the Fundamental Law or the amended Fundamental Law and send it to the President of the Republic. The President of the Republic shall sign the Fundamental Law or the amended Fundamental Law and shall order its publication in the Official Gazette within five days of receipt.

1014. The designation of the amendment of the Fundamental Law made during publication shall include the title, the serial number of the amendment and the date of publication.

102Article T

1031. A generally binding rule of conduct may be laid down by a piece of legislation which is made by a body with legislative competence as specified in the Fundamental Law and which is published in the Official Gazette. A cardinal Act may lay down different rules for the publication of local ordinances and other legislation adopted during any special legal order.

1042. Legislation shall include Acts of Parliament, government decrees, orders by the Governor of the National Bank of Hungary, orders by the Prime Minister, ministerial decrees, orders by autonomous regulatory bodies and local ordinances. Legislation shall also include orders issued by the National Defence Council and the President of the Republic during any state of national crisis or state of emergency.

1053. No legislation shall conflict with the Fundamental Law.

1064. Cardinal Acts shall be Acts of Parliament, the adoption and amendment of which requires a two-thirds majority of the votes of Members of Parliament present.

107FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

108Article I

1091. The inviolable and inalienable fundamental rights of MAN shall be respected and defended by the State as a primary obligation.

1102. Hungary shall recognise the fundamental rights which may be exercised by individuals and communities.

1113. The rules for fundamental rights and obligations shall be determined by special Acts. A fundamental right may be restricted to allow the exercise of another fundamental right or to defend any constitutional value to the extent absolutely necessary, in proportion to the desired goal and in respect of the essential content of such fundamental right.

1124. Subjects of law established by an Act shall have the fundamental rights and obligations that by nature not only apply to natural persons.

113Article II

114Human dignity shall be inviolable. Every human being shall have the right to life and human dignity; embryonic and foetal life shall be subject to protection from the moment of conception.

115Article III

1161. No person shall be subjected to torture, any inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or be enslaved. Human trafficking shall be prohibited.

1172. All medical and scientific experiments on human subjects without their free and informed consent shall be prohibited.

1183. All practices aimed at eugenics, any use of the human body or any of its parts for financial gain, and human cloning shall be prohibited.

119Article IV

1201. Every person shall have the right to freedom and personal safety.

1212. No person shall be deprived of his or her liberty except for statutory reasons or as a result of a statutory procedure. Life imprisonment without parole shall only be imposed in relation to the commission of wilful and violent offences.

1223. Any person suspected of and arrested for committing any offence shall either be released or brought before a court as soon as possible. The court shall be obliged to give such person a hearing and to immediately make a decision with a written justification on his or her acquittal or conviction.

1234. A person whose liberty has been restricted without a well-founded reason or in an unlawful manner shall be entitled to indemnity.

124Article V

125Every person shall have the right to repel any unlawful attack against his or her person or property, or one that poses a direct threat to the same.

126Article VI

1271. Every person shall have the right to the protection of his or her private and family life, home, relations and good reputation.

1282. Every person shall have the right to the protection of his or her personal data, and to access and disseminate data of public interest.

1293. The exercise of the right to the protection of personal data and the access to data of public interest shall be supervised by an independent authority.

130Article VII

1311. Every person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include the freedom to choose or change religion or any other persuasion, and the freedom for every person to proclaim, refrain from proclaiming, profess or teach his or her religion or any other persuasion by performing religious acts, ceremonies or in any other way, whether individually or jointly with others, in the public domain or in his or her private life.

1322. The State and Churches shall be separate. Churches shall be autonomous. The State shall cooperate with the Churches for community goals.

1333. The detailed rules for Churches shall be regulated by a cardinal Act.

134Article VIII

1351. Every person shall have the right to peaceful assembly.

1362. Every person shall have the right to establish and join organisations.

1373. The right to freedom of association shall allow the free establishment and operation of political parties. Political parties shall participate in the formation and proclamation of people’s will. No political party may exercise public power in a direct way.

1384. The detailed rules for the operation and financial management of political parties shall be regulated by a cardinal Act.

1395. The right to freedom of association shall allow the free establishment and operation of trade unions and other representative bodies.

140Article IX

1411. Every person shall have the right to express his or her opinion.

1422. Hungary shall recognise and defend the freedom and diversity of the press, and shall ensure the conditions for free dissemination of information necessary for the formation of democratic public opinion.

1433. The detailed rules for the freedom of the press and the organ supervising media services, press products and the infocommunications market shall be regulated by a cardinal Act.

144Article X

1451. Hungary shall ensure the freedom of scientific research and artistic creation, the freedom of learning for the acquisition of the highest possible level of knowledge, and the freedom of teaching within the framework determined by law.

1462. The State shall not be entitled to decide on questions of scientific truth, and scientists shall have the exclusive right to evaluate any scientific research.

1473. Hungary shall defend the scientific and artistic freedom of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Academy of Arts. All institutions of higher education shall be autonomous in terms of the contents and methodology of research and teaching, and their organisations and financial management shall be regulated by a special Act.

148Article XI

1491. Every Hungarian citizen shall have the right to education.

1502. Hungary shall ensure this right by extending and generalising public education, providing free and compulsory primary education, free and generally available secondary education, and higher education available to every person according to his or her abilities, and by providing statutory financial support to beneficiaries of education.

151Article XII

1521. Every person shall have the right to freely choose his or her work, occupation and entrepreneurial activities. Every person shall be obliged to contribute to the community’s enrichment with his or her work to the best of his or her abilities and potential.

1532. Hungary shall strive to create conditions ensuring that every person who is able and willing to work has the opportunity to do so.

154Article XIII

1551. Every person shall have the right to property and inheritance. Property shall entail social responsibility.

1562. Property may only be expropriated in exceptional cases and in the public interest, in legally defined cases and ways, and subject to full, unconditional and immediate indemnity.

157Article XIV

1581. No Hungarian citizen may be expelled from the territory of Hungary and every Hungarian citizen may return from abroad at any time. Any foreign citizen staying in the territory of Hungary may only be expelled by a lawful decision. Collective expulsion shall be prohibited.

1592. No person may be expelled or extradited to a state where he or she faces the danger of a death sentence, torture or any other inhuman treatment or punishment.

1603. Hungary shall grant asylum to all non-Hungarian citizens as requested if they are being persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution in their native countries or in the countries of their usual residence due to their racial or national identities, affiliation to a particular social group, or to their religious or political persuasions, unless they receive protection from their countries of origin or any other country.

161Article XV

1621. Every person shall be equal before the law. Every human being shall have legal capacity.

1632. Hungary shall ensure fundamental rights to every person without any discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, gender, disability, language, religion, political or other views, national or social origin, financial, birth or other circumstances whatsoever.

1643. Women and men shall have equal rights.

1654. Hungary shall adopt special measures to promote the implementation of legal equality.

1665. Hungary shall adopt special measures to protect children, women, the elderly and persons living with disabilities.

167Article XVI

1681. Every child shall have the right to the protection and care required for his or her proper physical, mental and moral development.

1692. Parents shall have the right to choose the type of upbringing they deem fit for their children.

1703. Parents shall be obliged to look after their children. This obligation shall include the provision of schooling for their children.

1714. Adult children shall be obliged to look after their parents if they are in need.

172Article XVII

1731. Employees and employers shall cooperate with each other in order to ensure jobs, make the national economy sustainable and for other community goals.

1742. Employees, employers and their representative bodies shall have a statutory right to bargain and conclude collective agreements, and to take any joint action or hold strikes in defence of their interests.

1753. Every employee shall have the right to working conditions which respect his or her health, safety and dignity.

1764. Every employee shall have the right to daily and weekly rest times and annual paid leave.

177Article XVIII

1781. The employment of children shall be prohibited except for cases laid down in an Act posing no risk to the child’s physical, mental or moral development.

1792. Hungary shall adopt special measures to protect young people and parents in the workplace.

180Article XIX

1811. Hungary shall strive to provide social security to all of its citizens. Every Hungarian citizen shall be entitled to statutory subsidies for maternity, illness, disability, widowhood, orphanage and unemployment not caused by his or her own actions.

1822. Hungary shall implement social security for the persons listed in Paragraph (1) and other people in need through a system of social institutions and measures.

1833. The nature and extent of social measures may be determined by law in accordance with the usefulness to the community of the beneficiary’s activity.

1844. Hungary shall promote the livelihood of the elderly by maintaining a general state pension system based on social solidarity and by allowing for the operation of voluntarily established social institutions. Eligibility for a state pension may include statutory criteria in consideration of the requirement for special protection to women.

185Article XX

1861. Every person shall have the right to physical and mental health.

1872. Hungary shall promote the exercise of the right set out in Paragraph (1) by ensuring that its agriculture remains free from any genetically modified organism, by providing access to healthy food and drinking water, by managing industrial safety and healthcare, by supporting sports and regular physical exercise, and by ensuring environmental protection.

188Article XXI

1891. Hungary shall recognise and enforce the right of every person to a healthy environment.

1902. A person who causes any damage to the environment shall be obliged to restore it or to bear all costs of restoration as defined by law.

1913. No pollutant waste shall be brought into Hungary for the purpose of dumping.

192Article XXII

193Hungary shall strive to provide every person with decent housing and access to public services.

194Article XXIII

1951. Every adult Hungarian citizen shall have the right to be a voter as well as a candidate in the elections of Members of Parliament, local representatives and mayors, and of members of the European Parliament.

1962. Every adult citizen of any other member state of the European Union who is a resident of Hungary shall have the right to be a voter as well as a candidate in the elections of local representatives and mayors, and of members of the European Parliament.

1973. Every adult person who is recognised as a refugee, immigrant or resident of Hungary shall have the right to be a voter in the elections of local representatives and mayors.

1984. The exercise or completeness of active suffrage may be subject to the requirement of residence in Hungary, and passive suffrage may be subject to further criteria under a cardinal Act.

1995. Every elector may participate in the election of local representatives and mayors in the locality of his or her residence or registered address. Every elector may exercise his or her right to vote in the locality of his or her residence or registered address.

2006. A person disenfranchised by a court for committing an offence or due to his or her limited mental capacity shall have no suffrage. No citizen of any other member state of the European Union who is a resident of Hungary shall have passive suffrage if he or she has been disenfranchised in his or her native country under any law, court or official decision of his or her state of citizenship.

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