Active case management in the Hungarian civil procedure


Hungarian civil procedure
case management
judicial guidance
concentration of the proceedings
managerial judge
main hearing model


The Act CXXX of 2016 on the Code of Civil Procedure introduced the image of the managerial judge into the Hungarian civil litigation. This perception means that the judge has to take an active part in the litigation.  It is not just the notion of the Hungarian legislator, but it is also an international requirement. The new principle – so-called the court’s duty to manage the case – entitles and obligates the judge to offer some kind of support to the parties so that they can perform their procedural obligations properly. This means the judge has to guide the parties if their preparatory statements are incomplete, not sufficiently detailed or contradictory. However, this support is not equal to giving advice like a legal counsel does. The judge cannot overtake the functions and tasks of either the party or the legal counsel. The judicial guidance is meant to provide the parties an opportunity to enforce their claims and to get a proper level of legal protection. This image of an active and managerial judge originates from the Austrian social model of litigation, which goes back to 1895. But it is also not unfamiliar to the Hungarian litigation because the Act I of 1911 on the Civil Procedure was based on an active role of the judge too. My goal is to determine what the real essence and function of the active role of the judge is. I also examine that in what kind of situations and in what procedural phases the judge can offer support to the parties. Furthermore, I intend to define the limits of judicial management. In addition, I analyse how some interpretations view the issues that appeared in judicial practice.