February 27th, 2013

Eight-volume new Civil Code made public for first time

Hungary’s new Civil Code, to take effect on March 15, 2014, was published in the official Hungarian Gazette on Tuesday.

The code, passed by parliament on Feb. 11 and then signed by President Janos Ader, includes major changes compared to the current code, which has been amended over a hundred times since its passage in 1959.

The code consists of nearly 1,600 articles, arranged in 8 books. It was passed with 245 votes of the ruling parties for, 43 Socialist and LMP votes against, and with 35 abstentions by radical nationalist Jobbik.

Among the new provisions, there is a separate section on family law and new inheritance rules.

Under the new code, partnerships will partially come under the subject-heading of family law if a child is born into it or the partnership has lasted at least a year.

Under the new rules on inheritance, both the widow or widower and the parents of the deceased will be entitled to divide the inheritance equally.

It also introduces a fine for anyone who harms privacy rights. Under an amendment submitted by the Justice Ministry, any member of a community will have the right to turn to the courts within 30 days of a serious public offence which harms any national, ethnic, racial of religious community.

The new rules stipulate that public figures should enjoy a lesser degree of privacy protection than others.

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