Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice minister: Hungary at forefront in justice system’s digitalisation

Hungary is at the forefront in terms of the digitalisation of its justice system and the duration of lawsuits in Europe, the justice minister said in her annual hearing by parliament's judicial committee on Tuesday.

It is highly important for Hungary to be able to take advantage of the opportunities stemming from the justice system’s digitalisation, she said.

Varga noted plans to introduce a uniform registration system using artificial intelligence. “The aim is to reduce the administrative burden on businesses and citizens. Major upgrades are taking place,” she said.

Varga called it a positive effect of the coronavirus pandemic that “it had forced the judiciary to put into use without delay technical equipment that had already been in place for later installation”.

Statistics show that the number of completed lawsuits has not dropped, Varga said, noting that the courts had been able to work with unchanged efficiency.

The coronavirus pandemic has, however, put more pressure on legislation, Varga said, noting that the pandemic had forced Europe to face and respond to a new challenge, a threat unknown for the continent before.

“We had to protect human life and health, as well as the economy. There have been 541 decrees adopted during the time of the pandemic-related special legal order, half of which are still in force,” she said.

Speaking about public safety, Varga noted a 50 percent drop in crimes over the past ten years. In Hungary’s justice system the victim has become the focus, excluding the chance of any perpetrator having more rights than the victim, the minister said. She noted the network of victim support centres set up and legislation passed to enshrine the right to self-defence in the constitution.

“Hungary is one of the safest countries not only in the European Union, but in the whole world, too,” she said.

Varga said the salaries of judges had been increased by 68-70 percent over the past two years and will, in a third phase, be further increased as of January 1 next year.

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