Home » About us » Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What are the tasks and responsibilities of the Prosecution Service?

The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce is part of the judi­ca­to­ry.

The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce super­vi­ses the lega­lity of the investiga­tions, and has the exc­lu­sive right to file indict­ments to the court. It is the right and res­pon­si­bi­lity of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce to deci­de which cri­mi­nal cases sho­uld be bro­ught befo­re the court. The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce rep­re­sents the State, and the demand of the State that per­pet­ra­tors shell rece­ive punish­ment.

Pro­tec­ting the pub­lic inte­rest is one of the func­tions of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce. For this rea­son, Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce plays an una­vo­i­da­b­le role out­si­de of cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­res as well. The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce super­vi­ses the lega­lity of the enfor­ce­ment of punish­ments and also acts in case of mis­de­mean­ors, admi­nistra­tive and civil law infrin­ge­ments, espe­ci­ally if the rights of child­ren and juve­ni­les, con­su­mers and the envi­ron­ment were vio­la­ted.

Click for more about the tasks of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce!

In which kind of cases does the Prosecution Service take action?

The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce pri­ma­rily deals with cri­mi­nal cases, so cri­mes can be repor­ted to the com­pe­tent pro­se­cu­ti­on offi­ce.

The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce can also be noti­fi­ed about regu­la­ti­on bre­a­ches from aut­ho­ri­ti­es in admi­nistra­tive and mis­de­me­ano­ur cases.

What is the difference between the work of a prosecutor and a police officer?

Pro­se­cu­tors work clos­ely with poli­ce offi­cers and investiga­tors, howe­ver, their task and dut­i­es are not the same. Pro­se­cu­tors over­lo­ok the investiga­ti­on, and super­vi­se the work of the investiga­tors to ensure all regu­la­tions are met. In cert­ain cases the per­mis­si­on of a pro­se­cu­tor is requ­i­red if cert­ain infor­ma­ti­on has to be obta­ined or cert­ain investiga­tive actions need to be car­ried out. Poli­ce can only ini­tia­te pre-trial detent­ion and cri­mi­nal super­vi­si­on at the court thro­ugh the com­pe­tent pro­se­cu­ti­on offi­ce.

After the per­pet­ra­tor was inter­ro­gat­ed as a suspect, the pro­se­cu­tor and the investiga­tor deci­de toget­her what kind of investiga­tive mea­sures still need to be exe­cu­ted. The pro­se­cu­tor has the right to order the investiga­tor to coll­ect furt­her evi­den­ce, est­ab­lish furt­her data or to con­duct more hea­rings.

At the end of the investiga­ti­on, the poli­ce sends the docu­ments of the case to the com­pe­tent pro­se­cu­ti­on offi­ce which will deci­de whet­her the investiga­ti­on shall be ter­mi­na­ted or the cri­mi­nal lia­bi­lity of the suspect can be est­ab­lis­hed, thus indict­ment could be filed or divers­ion could be app­li­ed.

What is the difference between the work of a prosecutor and an attorney?

The role of the attor­ney in a cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re is to defend the accu­s­ed and to give legal advi­se to them. The main task of the attor­ney is to emp­ha­si­se the mit­igat­ing cir­cum­stan­ces and thus, to achi­eve the ter­mi­na­ti­on of the pro­ce­du­re aga­inst the accu­s­ed, or if pos­sib­le, the acqu­it­tal of the accu­s­ed or a leni­ent sen­ten­ce.

Pro­se­cu­tors shall take into account all ava­i­lab­le evi­den­ce during the enti­rety of the cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re (during the investiga­ti­on and at the trial). Pro­se­cu­tors rep­re­sent the State, not per­sons. The demand of the State is that the real per­pet­ra­tor of the crime would be punis­hed, and the legal gua­ran­te­es would be met during the pro­ce­du­re. Thus, pro­se­cu­tors have to coll­ect both mit­igat­ing and agg­ra­vat­ing evi­den­ce, and they have to ter­mi­na­te the investiga­ti­on or have to ini­tia­te the acqu­it­tal of the accu­s­ed if the ava­i­lab­le evi­den­ce does not sup­port that the accu­s­ed is guilty. The prosecutor’s mis­si­on is to achi­eve a just result.

The­re­fo­re, pro­se­cu­tors have to cons­tantly weigh the coll­ec­ted evi­den­ce and have to deci­de whet­her the guilt of the accu­s­ed can be est­ab­lis­hed. They also have to super­vi­se the lega­lity of the pro­ce­du­re.

Howe­ver, in some cases, pro­se­cu­tors and attor­neys can be on the same side of the pro­ce­du­re. The vic­tim has the right to ent­rust an attor­ney to rep­re­sent their inte­rests, and one of the key roles of the pro­se­cu­tor is to ensure that vic­tims of crime rece­ive some form of pro­tec­ti­on and remedy. So in such cases, the pro­se­cu­tor sup­ports, wit­hin the legal fra­me­work, the work of the victim's rep­re­s­en­ta­tive.

What is the difference between the work of a prosecutor and a judge?

The aim of the pro­se­cu­tor and the judge is to deter­mi­ne who com­mit­ted what, when, why, and how, so the work of the pro­se­cu­tor and the judge is simil­ar in many ways.

Objec­ti­vity and impar­ti­a­lity are fun­da­men­tal requ­i­re­ments in the work of both judi­ci­al actors. Both the pro­se­cu­tor and the judge are requ­i­red to cons­ider all ava­i­lab­le evi­den­ce, be mit­igat­ing, exten­uat­ing, inc­ri­mi­nat­ing or agg­ra­vat­ing for the accu­s­ed.

Howe­ver, the court does not par­ti­ci­pa­te acti­vely in the investiga­ti­on phase of the cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re, the main tasks of the court start after the investiga­ti­on was comp­le­ted and the pro­se­cu­ti­on offi­ce filed an indict­ment.

In Hun­gary, it is not only the court’s exc­lu­sive right to est­ab­lish if som­eo­ne is guilty of a crime and to impo­se a punish­ment, in some cases the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce also has the right to do so. In less seri­o­us cases, the pro­se­cu­tor may apply divers­ion which means the case will be hand­led out of court juris­dic­ti­on and the perpetrator’s cri­mi­nal lia­bi­lity is est­ab­lis­hed by the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce.

An impor­tant dif­fe­ren­ce, howe­ver, is that the deci­sions of the pro­se­cu­ti­on offi­ces can always be chal­len­ged in front of a court. Only the deci­sions of the court are final. The legal con­se­qu­en­ces of “Res judi­ca­ta” are atta­ched only to the final jud­ge­ment of the court: no furt­her pro­ce­e­dings can be ins­ti­tu­ted in the same case.

Furt­her dif­fe­ren­ce bet­ween the aut­ho­rity of the court and the Pro­se­cu­tions Ser­vi­ce is that only the court can order pre-trial detent­ion or pre-trial super­vi­si­on during the investiga­ti­on phase on the pro­pos­al of the pro­se­cu­ti­on offi­ce.

What are the requirements for becoming a prosecutor?
To beco­me a pro­se­cu­tor one needs
  1. to be a Hun­ga­ri­an citi­zen,
  2. to have a clean record,
  3. to be leg­ally com­pe­tent,
  4. to have a law deg­ree,
  5. to pass the bar exam,
  6. to have wor­ked for at least one year:
    • as a deputy pro­se­cu­tor, a court clerk, a notary, an attor­ney, a legal adviser, a rese­ar­cher at the Nati­o­nal Ins­ti­tu­te of Cri­mi­no­logy, as an investiga­tor at an investiga­tive aut­ho­rity,
    • at the State Audit Offi­ce, at the cent­ral, regi­o­nal and local body of the poli­ce, the peni­ten­ti­ary and the pro­fes­si­o­nal rescue ser­vi­ces, in posit­ions rela­ted to admi­nistra­tive and legal bar exam,
    • at an inter­na­ti­o­nal orga­ni­za­ti­on, or at a body of the Euro­pe­an Union in the field of jus­ti­ce,


    • has pre­vi­o­usly wor­ked as a judge, as a pro­se­cu­tor or as a judge at an inter­na­ti­o­nal orga­ni­za­ti­on or at a body of the Euro­pe­an Union.

Click for more about the co-workers of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce!

How many years does it take to become a prosecutor?

After gra­duat­ing from a five-year law scho­ol, usu­ally a three-year interns­hip as a tra­inee pro­se­cu­tor needs to fol­low at one of the pro­se­cu­ti­on offi­ces. After the interns­hip, bar exam must be taken. The exam con­sists of three parts and can be comp­le­ted wit­hin app­ro­xi­ma­tely a year. After the succ­ess­ful bar exam, one has to work as a deputy pro­se­cu­tor for at least one year to be able to apply to a posit­i­on of a pro­se­cu­tor.

Thus, it takes at least ten years after high scho­ol to beco­me a pro­se­cu­tor.

The Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral appoints the can­di­da­te to the posit­i­on of a pro­se­cu­tor at first for three years. After three years, the pro­se­cu­tor may be appoin­ted for an inde­fi­ni­te time-period.

One does not need to start as a tra­inee pro­se­cu­tor to beco­me a pro­se­cu­tor later. In Hun­gary, the bar exam is uni­fi­ed, all law pro­fes­si­o­nals take the same exam, thus, they are eli­gib­le to all legal posit­ions.

What are the requirements for becoming Prosecutor General?

The posit­i­on of the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral fells under the same rules as the posit­i­on of all pro­se­cu­tors: the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral must meet the same requ­i­re­ments as any pro­se­cu­tors has to when they beco­me a pro­se­cu­tor.

The Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral is elec­ted by the Nati­o­nal Assemb­ly for nine-years and can be re-elected.

Rules on conflict of interest for prosecutors
The pro­se­cu­tor may not:
  • be mem­ber of poli­ti­cal par­ti­es,
  • be a mem­ber of the Nati­o­nal Assemb­ly, the Euro­pe­an Par­lia­ment, or the local govern­ment,
  • be an eth­nic advo­ca­te, a mayor or the Head of State.
  • be the CEO or be a mem­ber of the super­vi­sory board of busi­ness enti­ti­es.


Pro­se­cu­tors may not engage in poli­ti­cal acti­vity.

Independence and accountability of the prosecutors

The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce is an inde­pen­dent actor of the admi­nistra­ti­on of jus­ti­ce.

The Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral is elec­ted by the Nati­o­nal Assemb­ly (Par­lia­ment). Howe­ver, the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral and the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce are not subor­di­na­ted to the Par­lia­ment.

The Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral bears no poli­ti­cal res­pon­si­bi­lity to the Par­lia­ment for their indi­vi­du­al deci­sions, and they shall be instruc­ted neit­her directly nor indi­rectly to make or amend deci­sions with spe­ci­fi­ed substance in indi­vi­du­al cases.

The Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral is obli­ged to report annu­ally to the Par­lia­ment on the acti­vi­ti­es of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce.

Mem­bers of the Par­lia­ment may also add­ress quest­ions to the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral in ple­nary ses­sions or in writ­ten form, even regard­ing indi­vi­du­al cases, to which the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral is obli­ged to pro­vi­de expla­na­ti­on and infor­ma­ti­on. Howe­ver, even if the ans­wer is not accep­ted by the Par­lia­ment, it won’t affect the posit­i­on of the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral, the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral can­not be held liab­le by the Par­lia­ment for deci­si­on in indi­vi­du­al cases.

On the pro­pos­al of the Pres­ident of Hun­gary, the Par­lia­ment may dec­la­re the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral not fit for offi­ce, if they fail to per­form their dut­i­es due to rea­sons att­ri­bu­t­ab­le to them, if they com­mit a cri­mi­nal offen­se or if they beco­me unwor­thy of their posit­i­on for other rea­sons.

Pro­se­cu­tors can be held accoun­tab­le in dis­cip­li­nary, pri­vate and cri­mi­nal law pro­ce­du­res in rela­ti­on to their work.

The Day of the Prosecution Service

On June 10, 1871, the Act XXXIII of 1871 on the Crown Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce was leg­i­sla­ted, and the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce as an inde­pen­dent orga­ni­za­ti­on was born in Hun­gary.

Thus, the day of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce is June 10, which is a rest day for those wor­king in the orga­ni­sa­ti­on.

Pro­fes­si­o­nal hono­urs of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce are awar­ded in cent­ral and local cere­mo­ni­es during this day.