Sources of law
In the Hungarian legal system the highest ranking sources of law are the laws, and as Hungary’s form of state changed throughout the centuries various bodies were empowered to adopt them. On several instances laws were collected and an outstanding example was Corpus Juris Hungarici, published for the millennium of statehood at the end of the 19th century. It comprises all Hungarian laws from those issued by King Saint Stephen I to the end of 1898, all the laws of Transylvania between 1540 and 1848 and the Tripartitum by István Werbőczy. An electronic version was issued in 1999, which covered laws down to 1945.
The DPD portal includes a link to the Corpus Juris Hungarici site. From there the laws passed since 1945 can be accessed in their original version (as promulgated in a gazette). Click here for a major study on the history of Corpus Juris Hungarici only in Hungarian.
The Collection of Decrees of Hungary was an official collection of royal and government decrees between 1867 and 1945. From that period it contains a selection of decrees by kings, (and by the regent), by prime ministers, governments (meaning all the ministries or all the ministers), ministerial decrees and other provisions uncovered by statutes (for instance, written notes, requests, circular letters, announcements and royal letters of invitation). The decrees were not promulgated in this collection; they were arranged into volumes subsequently.
Thanks to an earlier stage of digitization, a link on the DPD portal takes you to the Collection of Decrees of Hungary, where a selection of decrees issued in 1867–1945 can be read in an edited form. Click here for a major study about the history of the Collection of Decrees of Hungary in Hungarian language.
Rule-of-law democracies cannot do without official gazettes. Ever since 1848 in Hungary statutes that are binding to all citizens have been promulgated in national gazettes. Of the national gazettes, we have so far digitized the Gazette of Councils. Click here for information about the other national gazettes in Hungarian. We provide for you a one-stop access to information on all national gazettes in Hungary since 1848.
Edited and issued by the ministries, these gazettes carry the sector’s major laws and decrees and instructions (orders, guidelines, decisions, announcements, personnel news etc.) for authorities with national competence that operate under the supervision of the ministries concerned. The DPD portal offers gazettes of the following portfolios: home affairs, agriculture, defence, justice, trade, foreign affairs and religion and public education. Click here to read detailed descriptions of the ministerial gazettes in Hungarian. The digitized gazettes can also be accessed through the website of descriptions.
In this segment you can find digitized collections of law reports and of other publications that include judicial decisions. Published between 1872 and 1990, these publications can be found in a paper-based form in our library. Law reports that cover the judicial practice of individual branches of law and those (comprehensive ones) that cover multiple branches of law are covered.
The DPD includes, for instance, the first comprehensive Law Reports issued by editors of Jogtudományi Közlöny in the era of Austria–Hungary. Launched in 1870, it comprised judicial decisions passed between 1869 and 1906. Another item is the Grill Law Reports, whose first 19 volumes were published between 1904 and 1913. The so-called New Grill Law Reports followed them, and their volumes were issued between 1927 and 1943.
The database also consists of regularly published works that covered individual branches of law or specializations. They are monographs and law reports under the same cover. The series, entitled "Magyar törvények Grill-féle kiadása" (Hungarian Laws as Published by Grill) is a noteworthy example. Selected volumes of that series have been digitized.
We could not aspire to be exhaustive concerning law reports published after 1949. Only those series and individual volumes could be included in the DPD that the library received free of charge pursuant to earlier cooperation agreements from HVG-ORAC and CompLex (previously called: KJK Kerszöv) publishing houses. As for the law reports obtained from CompLex Publisher, the basis for selection was a list of documents that was compiled by our staff members bearing in mind works that this library had in physical form and were considered as important. The criterion for selection was that both comprehensive law reports and those only covering individual branches of law should be included.
Rare and precious works, considered as protected, written in Latin and published before 1848, have not been included in the DPD yet but in later stages of digitization they will also be covered.
As the bulk of the law reports digitized come from before 1949, the descriptive essays related to them explore the relevant literature and statutes for that period.