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Digitalization of Court Procedures Became Even Faster During the Pandemic

Digitalization of Court Procedures Became Even Faster During the Pandemic

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The Hungarian judiciary system was facing with harsh critics in the past few years, especially in the field of digitalisation. However, the widespread of online meetings during the pandemic gave a boost to the digitalisation also in the courtroom. Even though the New Civil Procedure (entered into force 1 January 2018) and the New Criminal Procedure (entered into force 1 July 2018) provide for a long time the necessary institutional and technical conditions for online hearings, as well as for online witness testimonies, judges were reluctant to use them until last year, as it required more preparations and openness from their side.

Digitalization efforts are not new to the legal procedures, as the National Judicial Authority (i.e. a governmental administrative body next to the judiciary) urges courts to change their paper-based system to a digital one. In the last years there were several developments reached, as submissions became available online for the judges (E-Akta system); any document created during the procedure shall be made electronically and rules require mandatory electronic communication in many cases. 

The president of the National Judicial Authority outlined in his speech in late September 2021 that “the COVID pandemic boosted the digitalisation of the courts, without the pandemic it would have taken 5-10 years to reach this level”. Judges became used to the new system, as they were forced to use it, and they realised that on the long run it makes the procedures easier as well as more cost efficient. Court hearings and witness testimonies held online became frequent, for example in 2020 in criminal cases 82% of the hearings were held online. The goal regarding the digitalization of the court procedures is that any party should be able to participate in the hearing via telecommunication devices and to abolish (in almost all of the cases, except for specific necessary situations) the mandatory personal presence that is extensively present at the moment in the procedures.

By Rita Parkanyi, Partner, KCG Partners Law Firm

Hungary Knowledge Partner

Nagy és Trócsányi was founded in 1991, turned into limited professional partnership (in Hungarian: ügyvédi iroda) in 1992, with the aim of offering sophisticated legal services. The firm continues to seek excellence in a comprehensive and modern practice, which spans international commercial and business law. 

The firm’s lawyers provide clients with advice and representation in an active, thoughtful and ethical manner, with a real understanding of clients‘ business needs and the markets in which they operate.

The firm is one of the largest home-grown independent law firms in Hungary. Currently Nagy és Trócsányi has 26 lawyers out of which there are 8 active partners. All partners are equity partners.

Nagy és Trócsányi is a legal entity and registered with the Budapest Bar Association. All lawyers of the Budapest office are either members of, or registered as clerks with, the Budapest Bar Association. Several of the firm’s lawyers are admitted attorneys or registered as legal consultants in New York.

The firm advises a broad range of clients, including numerous multinational corporations. 

Our activity focuses on the following practice areas: M&A, company law, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate law, banking and finance, project financing, insolvency and restructuring, venture capital investment, taxation, competition, utilities, energy, media and telecommunication.

Nagy és Trócsányi is the exclusive member firm in Hungary for Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+countries worldwide.

The firm advises a broad range of clients, including numerous multinational corporations. Among our key clients are: OTP Bank, Sberbank, Erste Bank, Scania, KS ORKA, Mannvit, DAF Trucks, Booking.com, Museum of Fine Arts of Budapest, Hungarian Post Pte Ltd, Hiventures, Strabag, CPI Hungary, Givaudan, Marks & Spencer, CBA.

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