U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Prosecution Service Function within the Hungarian Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 14 Issue: 2-3 Dated: August 2008 Pages: 289-309
Erika Roth
Date Published
August 2008
21 pages
This article describes the Prosecution Service function within the Hungarian criminal justice system and its relationship to police and courts and upcoming reforms and changes to the Prosecution Service.
The Hungarian law of criminal procedure belongs to a so-called continental “mixed” system of law. The convergence of two traditional law systems in the field of criminal justice did not avoid the rules of criminal procedure. Basic principles of criminal procedure have a constitutional background. Although the public prosecutor has more and more discretionary power, the basic principles of criminal procedure are legality and mandatory prosecution. According to Hungarian law, criminal procedure consists of three main stages: investigation, prosecutorial phase, and court procedure. The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and the public prosecutor play a key role in the Hungarian criminal justice system, as well as in international cooperation in criminal matters. In the stage of prosecution, the prosecutor has a wide range of possibilities to make the most adequate decision, such as the seriousness of the offense committed, circumstances of commission of the crime, and the personality of the offender. The new Code of Criminal Procedure changed, strengthened the role of the public prosecutor in the investigation making him the “head of the investigation.” Particular issues are addressed in relation to victim participation and particularities in relation to juveniles. This article offers an overview of the national criminal justice system of Hungary with special attention given to the Prosecution Service function within this framework and its relationship to police and courts. The article refers to both legal provisions and to the factual handling of criminal cases as well. Figure, table, and references