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The Fundamental Law of Hungary -- Part II Index Page Document Table of Contents

 

[Part] II [Freedom and Responsibility]

 
Article I  [Protection and Limitations of Fundamental Rights]
(1) The inviolable and inalienable fundamental rights of Man must be respected. It is the primary obligation of the State to protect these rights.
(2) Hungary recognizes the fundamental individual and collective rights of man.
(3) The rules for fundamental rights and obligations must be laid down in an Act. A fundamental right may only be restricted to allow the effective use of another fundamental right or to protect a constitutional value, to the extent absolutely necessary, proportionate to the objective pursued and with full respect for the essential content of such fundamental right.
(4) Fundamental rights and obligations, which by their nature apply not only to Man, are to be guaranteed also for legal entities established by an Act.
 
Article II  [Human Dignity and Life, Protection of the unborn life]
Human dignity is inviolable. Every human being has the right to life and to human dignity; the life of the fetus is protected from the moment of conception.
 
Article III  [Prohibition of torture]
(1) No one may be subject to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or held in servitude. Trafficking in human beings is prohibited.
(2) It is prohibited to perform medical or scientific experiment on human beings without their informed and voluntary consent.
(3) Practices aimed at eugenics, the use of the human body or its parts for financial gain, as well as human cloning are prohibited.
 
Article IV  [Right to life, Criminal procedure]
(1) Everyone has the right to liberty and security of the person.
(2) No one is to be deprived of liberty except for reasons specified in an Act and in accordance with the procedure laid down in an Act. Life imprisonment without parole may only be imposed for the commission of intentional and violent criminal offences.
(3) Any person suspected of having committed a criminal offence and taken into detention is, as soon as possible, to be released or brought before a court. The court is obliged to hear the person brought before it and forthwith takes a decision with a written reasoning to release or to arrest that person.
(4) Everyone whose liberty has been restricted without a well-founded reason or unlawfully has the right to compensation.
 
Article V  [Right to self-defense]
Everyone has the right to repel any unlawful attack against his or her person and/or property, or one that poses a direct threat to the same, as provided for by an Act.
 
Article VI  [Right to respect private and family life]
(1) Everyone has the right to have his or her private and family life, home, communications and good reputation respected.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of his or her personal data, as well as to access and disseminate data of public interest.
(3) The application of the right to the protection of personal data and to access data of public interest is to be supervised by an independent authority established by a cardinal Act.
 
Article VII  [Freedom of thought and conscience, Church and State]
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes the freedom to choose or change one's religion or other belief, and the freedom of everyone to manifest, abstain from manifesting, practice or teach his or her religion or other belief through religious acts, rites or otherwise, either individually or jointly with others, either in public or in private life.
(2) People sharing the same principles of faith may, for the practice of their religion, establish religious communities operating in the organizational form specified in a cardinal Act.
(3) The State and religious communities operate separately. Religious communities are autonomous.
(4) The State and religious communities may cooperate to achieve community goals. At the request of a religious community, the National Assembly decides on such cooperation. The religious communities participating in such cooperation operate as established churches. The State provides specific privileges to established churches with regard to their participation in the fulfillment of tasks that serve to achieve community goals.
(5) The common rules relating to religious communities, as well as the conditions of cooperation, the established churches and the detailed rules relating to established churches are to be laid down in a cardinal Act.
 
Article VIII  [Freedom of Association]
(1) Everyone has the right to peaceful assembly.
(2) Everyone has the right to establish and join organizations.
(3) Political parties may be formed and may operate freely on the basis of the right to association. Political parties participate in the formation and expression of the will of the people. Political parties may not exercise public power directly.
(4) The detailed rules for the operation and management of political parties must be laid down in a cardinal Act.
(5) Trade unions and other interest representation organizations may be formed and may operate freely on the basis of the right to association.
 
Article IX  [Freedom of Speech and of the Media]
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of speech.
(2) Hungary recognizes and protects the freedom and diversity of the press, and ensures the conditions for free dissemination of information necessary for the formation of democratic public opinion.
(3) In the interest of the appropriate provision of information as necessary during the electoral campaign period for the formation of democratic public opinion, political advertisements may only be published in media services free of charge, under conditions guaranteeing equal opportunities, laid down in a cardinal Act.
(4) The right to freedom of speech may not be exercised with the aim of violating the human dignity of others.
(5) The right to freedom of speech may not be exercised with the aim of violating the dignity of the Hungarian nation or of any national, ethnic, racial or religious community. Persons belonging to such communities are entitled to enforce their claims in court against the expression of an opinion which violates the community, invoking the violation of their human dignity, as provided for by an Act.
(6) The detailed rules relating to the freedom of the press and the organ supervising media services, press products and the communications market are to be laid down in a cardinal Act.
 
Article X  [Freedom of Science]
(1) Hungary ensures the freedom of scientific research and artistic creation, the freedom of learning for the acquisition of the highest possible level of knowledge and, within the framework laid down in an Act, the freedom of teaching.
(2) The State has no right to decide on questions of scientific truth; only scientists have the right to evaluate scientific research.
(3) Hungary protects the scientific and artistic freedom of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Academy of Arts. Higher education institutions are autonomous in terms of the content and the methods of research and teaching; their organization is to be regulated by an Act. The Government lays down, within the framework of an Act, the rules governing the management of public higher education institutions and supervises their management.
 
Article XI  [Right to Education]
(1) Every Hungarian citizen has the right to education.
(2) Hungary ensures this right by extending and generalizing public education, by providing free and compulsory primary education, free and generally accessible secondary education, and higher education accessible to everyone according to his or her abilities, and by providing financial support as provided for by an Act to those receiving education.
(3) An Act may provide that financial support of higher education studies must be subject to participation for a definite period in employment and/or to exercising for a definite period of entrepreneurial activities, regulated by Hungarian law.
 
Article XII  [Economic Freedom]
(1) Everyone has the right to freely choose his or her work, occupation and to engage in entrepreneurial activities. Everyone is obliged to contribute to the enrichment of the community through his or her work, in accordance with his or her abilities and possibilities.
(2) Hungary strives to create the conditions ensuring that everyone who is able and willing to work has the opportunity to do so.
 
Article XIII  [Guarantee to property]
(1) Everyone has the right to property and inheritance. Property entails social responsibility.
(2) Property may only be expropriated exceptionally, in the public interest and in the cases and ways provided for by an Act, subject to full, unconditional and immediate compensation.
 
Article XIV  [Protection against Expulsion, Right to asylum]
(1) Hungarian citizens must not be expelled from the territory of Hungary and may return from abroad at any time. Foreigners staying in the territory of Hungary may only be expelled under a lawful decision. Collective expulsion is prohibited.
(2) No one is to be expelled or extradited to a State where he or she would be in danger of being sentenced to death, being tortured or being subjected to other inhuman treatment or punishment.
(3) Hungary, upon request, grants asylum to non-Hungarian citizens being persecuted or having a well-founded fear of persecution in their native country or in the country of their usual residence for reasons of race, nationality, membership of a particular social group, religious or political belief, if they do not receive protection from their country of origin or from any other country.
 
Article XV  [Equality]
(1) Everyone is equal before the law. Every human being has legal capacity.
(2) Hungary guarantees the fundamental rights to everyone without discrimination and in particular without discrimination on grounds of race, color, sex, disability, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or any other status.
(3) Women and men have equal rights.
(4) By means of separate measures, Hungary promotes the achievement of equality of opportunity and social inclusion.
(5) By means of separate measures, Hungary protects families, children, women, the elderly and persons living with disabilities.
 
Article XVI  [Children' rights]
(1) Every child has the right to the protection and care necessary for his or her proper physical, mental and moral development.
(2) Parents have the right to choose the upbringing to be given to their children.
(3) Parents are obliged to take care of their minor children. This obligation includes the provision of schooling for their children.
(4) Adult children are obliged to take care of their parents if they are in need.
 
Article XVII  [Freedom to Unionize, Workers' Rights]
(1) Employees and employers cooperate with each other with a view to ensuring jobs and the sustainability of the national economy, and to other community goals.
(2) Employees, employers and their organizations have the right, as provided for by an Act, to negotiate with each other and conclude collective agreements, and to take collective action to defend their interests, including the right of workers to discontinue work.
(3) Every employee has the right to working conditions, which respect his or her health, safety and dignity.
(4) Every employee has the right to daily and weekly rest periods and to an annual period of paid leave.
 
Article XVIII  [Child Employment]
(1) The employment of children is prohibited, except for cases specified in an Act where there is no risk to their physical, mental or moral development.
(2) By means of separate measures, Hungary ensures the protection of young people and parents at work.
 
Article XIX  [Social Welfare and Security for the Elderly, Survivors and Disabled Persons]
(1) Hungary strives to provide social security to all of its citizens. Every Hungarian citizen is be entitled to assistance in the case of maternity, illness, disability, handicap, widowhood, orphanage and unemployment for reasons outside of his or her control, as provided for by an Act.
(2) Hungary implements social security for the persons referred to in Paragraph (1) and for other persons in need through a system of social institutions and measures.
(3) The nature and extent of social measures may be determined in an Act in accordance with the usefulness to the community of the beneficiary's activity.
(4) Hungary contributes to ensuring the livelihood for the elderly by maintaining a general state pension system based on social solidarity and by allowing for the operation of voluntarily established social institutions. The conditions of entitlement to state pension may be laid down in an Act with regard to the requirement for stronger protection for women.
 
Article XX  [Right to Health]
(1) Everyone has the right to physical and mental health.
(2) Hungary promotes the effective application of the right referred to in Paragraph (1) by an agriculture free of genetically modified organisms, by ensuring access to healthy food and drinking water, by organizing safety at work and healthcare provision, by supporting sports and regular physical exercise, as well as by ensuring the protection of the environment.
 
Article XXI  [Right to a Healthy Environment]
(1) Hungary recognizes and give effect to the right of everyone to a healthy environment.
(2) Anyone who causes damage to the environment is obliged to restore it or to bear the costs of restoration, as provided for by an Act.
(3) The transport of pollutant waste into the territory of Hungary for the purpose of disposal is prohibited.
 
Article XXII  [Housing Conditions]
(1) Hungary strives to ensure decent housing conditions and access to public services for everyone.
(2) The State and local governments also contribute in creating decent housing conditions by striving to ensure accommodation for all persons without a dwelling.
(3) In order to protect public order, public security, public health and cultural values, an Act or a local government decree may, with respect to a specific part of public space, provide that staying in public space as a habitual dwelling is illegal.
 
Article XXIII  [Political Rights]
(1) Every adult Hungarian citizen has the right to vote and to be voted for in elections of Members of the National Assembly, local government representatives and mayors, and of Members of the European Parliament.
(2) Every adult citizen of another Member State of the European Union with residence in Hungary has the right to vote and to be voted for in elections of local government representatives and mayors, and of Members of the European Parliament.
(3) Every adult person recognized as a refugee, immigrant or resident in Hungary has the right to vote in elections of local government representatives and mayors.
(4) A cardinal Act may provide that the right to vote and to be voted for, or its completeness are subject to residence in Hungary, and the eligibility to be voted for is subject to additional criteria.
(5) In elections of local government representatives and mayors voters may vote at their place of residence or registered place of stay. Voters may exercise their right to vote at their place of residence or registered place of stay.
(6) Those disenfranchised by a court for a criminal offence or with limited mental capacities do not have the right to vote and to be voted for. Citizens of another Member State of the European Union with residence in Hungary do not have the right to be voted for if they have been excluded from the exercise of this right in their country pursuant to a legal regulation, a court decision or an authority decision of their State of citizenship.
(7) Everyone having the right to vote in elections of Members of the National Assembly has the right to participate in national referendums. Everyone having the right to vote in elections of local government representatives and mayors has the right to participate in local referendums.
(8) Every Hungarian citizen has the right to hold public office according to his or her aptitude, qualifications and professional competence. Public offices that may not be held by members or officials of political parties are to be specified in an Act.
 
Article XXIV  [Judicial Proceedings]
(1) Everyone has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the authorities. Authorities are obliged to give reasons for their decisions, as provided for by an Act.
(2) Everyone has the right to compensation for any damage unlawfully caused to him or her by the authorities in the performance of their duties, as provided for by an Act.
 
Article XXV  [Right of Petition]
Everyone has the right to submit, either individually or jointly with others, written applications, complaints or proposals to any organ exercising public power.
 
Article XXVI  [Principles for the Fulfillment of State Functions]
The State strives to use the latest technical solutions and the achievements of science to make its operation efficient, raise the standard of public services, improve the transparency of public affairs, and promote equality of opportunity.
 
Article XXVII  [Free Movement, Protection of Hungarians Staying Abroad]
(1) Everyone staying lawfully in the territory of Hungary has the right to move freely and to freely choose his or her place of stay.
(2) Every Hungarian citizen has the right to enjoy the protection of Hungary during his or her stay abroad.
 
Article XXVIII  [Criminal Procedure]
(1) Everyone has the right to have any charge against him or her, or his or her rights and obligations in any litigation, adjudicated within a reasonable time in a fair and public trial by an independent and impartial court established by an Act.
(2) No one is to be considered guilty until his or her criminal liability has been established by the final decision of a court.
(3) Persons subject to criminal proceedings have the right to defense at all stages of the proceedings. Defense counsels must not be held liable for their opinion expressed while providing legal defense.
(4) No one is to be held guilty of or to be punished for an act which at the time when it was committed did not constitute a criminal offence under Hungarian law or, within the scope specified in an international treaty or a legal act of the European Union, under the law of another State.
(5) Paragraph (4) does not prejudice the prosecution or conviction of any person for any act which, at the time when it was committed, was a criminal offence according to the generally recognized rules of international law.
(6) With the exception of extraordinary cases of legal remedy laid down in an Act, no one is to be prosecuted or convicted for a criminal offence for which he or she has already been finally acquitted or convicted in Hungary or, within the scope specified in an international treaty or a legal act of the European Union, in another State, as provided for by an Act.
(7) Everyone has the right to seek legal remedy against any court, authority or other administrative decision, which violates his or her rights or legitimate interests.
 
Article XXIX  [Nationalities]
(1) Nationalities living in Hungary are constituent parts of the State. Every Hungarian citizen belonging to a nationality has the right to freely express and preserve his or her identity. Nationalities living in Hungary have the right to use their mother tongue, to use names in their own languages individually and collectively, to nurture their own cultures, and to receive education in their mother tongues.
(2) Nationalities living in Hungary have the right to establish their self-government at both local and national level.
(3) The detailed rules relating to the rights of nationalities living in Hungary, the nationalities, the requirements for recognition as a nationality, and the rules for the election of the self-governments of nationalities at local and national level are to be laid down in a cardinal Act. A cardinal Act may provide that recognition as a nationality is subject to a certain length of time of presence and to the initiative of a certain number of persons declaring to be members of the nationality concerned.
 
Article XXX  [Social Responsibilities]
(1) Everyone contributes to covering common needs according to his or her capabilities and/or to his or her participation in the economy.
(2) For persons raising children, the extent of contribution to covering common needs is to be determined by taking into consideration the costs of raising children.
 
Article XXXI  [Military and Alternative Service]
(1) All Hungarian citizens are obliged to defend the country.
(2) Hungary maintains a volunteer reserve system for national defense purposes.
(3) During a state of national crisis, or if the National Assembly decides so in a state of preventive defense, adult male Hungarian citizens with residence in Hungary must perform military service. If military service involving the use of arms cannot be reconciled with the conscientious belief of the person obliged to perform military service, he performs unarmed service. The forms and detailed rules of the performance of military service are to be laid down in a cardinal Act.
(4) For the duration of a state of national crisis, adult Hungarian citizens with residence in Hungary may be ordered to perform work for national defense purposes, as provided for by a cardinal Act.
(5) For adult Hungarian citizens with residence in Hungary civil protection obligation may be prescribed in the interest of performing national defense and disaster management tasks, as provided for by a cardinal Act.
(6) In the interest of performing national defense and disaster management tasks every one may be ordered to provide economic and material services, as provided for by a cardinal Act.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - March 24th, 2014 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.