15 February 2016

In the first part of this article we shared some useful information about civil and commercial litigation in Hungary, such as how to find the competent courts, what are the main costs of litigation and what are the types of evidences in the procedure. In this part we sum up what kind of judicial remedies are available in Hungary if the decision of the court is not favourable. Besides presenting the situations in which the remedies are available, we summarise the costs and deadline for lodging these complaints.

litigation rights appeal review Supreme Court

  • The right to appeal

In the Hungarian civil procedure the right to appeal is the basic type of remedies which is broadly guaranteed: basically all the judgements and a wide area of other court decisions are subject to appeal. The party unsatisfied with the first instance decision may invoke matters of fact and matters of law when challenging the judgment.

New allegations of facts or evidence can be presented in the appeal only if the party becomes aware of such facts or evidence after the judgement of first instance was issued, or if the new facts or evidence are aimed to illustrate that the first instance judgment is violating the law (e.g. the first instance court disregarded a motion to present evidence).

The evidentiary procedure is limited in the appeal procedure, the main basis of the second instance court’s decision are the facts that the first instance court has clarified.

The second instance court may maintain the judgement if the resolution of the first instance court has been correct on the merits, otherwise the court may modify the judgement. The judgement of the second instance court is final and enforceable.

If certain requirements are met the court may annul the first instance judgements and orders the first instance court to deliver a new judgment.

Costs: the court duty is 8% of the litigated amount, up to max HUF 2.500.000

Time limit: 15 days

  • Review procedure before the Supreme Court

There is a right to judicial review before the Supreme Court (recently called: Curia) against the final and enforceable judgement of the second instance court which violates the law.

The scope of review of the Supreme court is limited to matters of law. New evidence cannot be introduced in the review procedure, and the decision of the Supreme Court is based on the available facts and evidence. It must be noted that the false deliberation of facts by the court second instance can be challenged only if the deliberation was manifestly unfounded.

The right to judicial review is limited for cases where the disputed amount exceeds HUF 3 million. In addition, in some cases it is not possible to start review procedure, if the court of second instance maintained the first instance decision.

The legal representation by an attorney is mandatory in the judicial review procedure and the Supreme Court can holds a hearing only if requested by one of the parties.

If the resolution of the second instance court has been correct on the merits or the procedural error has not been essential, the Supreme Court maintains the judgement. If the second instance judgement violates the law, the Supreme Court annuls the judgement and adopts a new decision; otherwise it orders the first or second instance court to pass a new resolution.

Costs:  the court duty is 10% of up to max. HUF 3.500.000.

Time limit: 60 days

  • Re-trial of the case

The motion for re-trial is an extraordinary remedy against the final and enforceable judgement that may be lodged if some new fact, evidence or final judgement arises that, if it had been known by the court, it might have resulted in a favourable outcome for the party.

Further, the motion is available if a criminal act has influenced the court in rendering its judgement and the party has lost his case. The party can also file a motion for re-trial if the decision has been made in a case which was already decided by another court or if the statement of claim was delivered to the party via service by publication although the conditions for such service were not met.

Costs: the same as in the first instance litigation

Time limit: 6 months

  • Constitutional complaint

The party may submit a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court if due to the application of a legal regulation contrary to Fundamental Law, the judgement violates his fundamental rights and the legal remedies have already been exhausted or there is no possibility for use a legal remedy.

Costs: there is no court duty

Time limit: 60 days

  • Procedure before the European Court of Human Rights

Last, but not least, in case that all domestic remedies were exhausted, or there were no effective domestic remedies available, the party may file an application to the European Court of Human Rights, if his human rights, guaranteed by the European Convention of Human Rights were infringed.

Costs: there is no court duty

Time limit: 6 months