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Trends of Criminal Procedure Law

NCJ Number
Acta Juridica Volume: 29 Issue: 3-4 Dated: (1987) Pages: 345-354
T Kiraly
Date Published
10 pages
The article surveys and evaluates Hungarian criminal procedural law under the Socialist regime.
Socialist legislation, which has been in effect since 1949, has not always maintained a desirable balance between the interests of society and the rights of the individual. Act III of 1951, which was passed when the number of sentenced offenders was at an all-time high, did not adequately protect the rights of the accused; in addition, court practice often violated both criminal law and procedural law. In 1973, Act I reconfirmed crucial elements of criminal procedure including public trials, the presumption of innocence, the right to defense, and the use of the accused's native language during the trial. However, the author maintains that loopholes in the protection of victims and offenders continue to exist. To remedy the situation, he suggests allowing victims to act as accessory prosecutors in a trial and to restrict the still common practice of having a single judge without jury preside over major criminal trials.