The execution of European Arrest Warrants in Hungary

This article is to provide basic information about the execution of European Arrest Warrants (EAW) in Hungary . For the sake of easy understanding the legal provisions are a slightly  simplified so it must be stressed that in order to get  adequate and precise advise you should consult a counsel or the original text of the relevant act.

In Hungary all EAW requests are handled by NEBEK which is the Interpol Unit of the Hungarian Police.

This Interpol Unit makes the necessary checks to locate the requested person and sends the relevant information to the local police force with a view to arrest.

In Hungary arrest of the requested person may take place simply on the basis of an Interpol alert (sometimes referred to as ‘Red Notice’). In this case the formal European Arrest Warrant is needed only for the second court hearing (if there is any due to lack of consent of the requested person to the surrender)

When a wanted person is found, he will be arrested, taken into custody and transferred to the Metropolitan Court in Budapest where a hearing must take place within the time limit of seventy-two hours.

The Interpol Unit sends the content of the Interpol Alert or the European Arrest Warrant to the Metropolitan Court which is the competent court for the executions of all EAW’s within the whole territory of Hungary.

On the court hearing the attendance by the public prosecutor and the defence counsel is mandatory. In case the requested person or his /her family does not nominate a defence counsel, the court appoints one ex officio. Unfortunately the ex officio lawyers do not usually speak Foreign languages and sometimes they are not able to pay enough attention to case. The other problematic issue is the dependence of the ex officio counsels to the court which appoints them. This dependence may result in problems of loyalty.

At the hearing the court must identify the wanted person and inform him of the reasons of the arrest. Then he is asked if he consents to the surrender and whether he renounces entitlement to the application of the speciality rule.

In case the requested person expresses his consent to the surrender the court must order the arrest for surrender. In case the person opposes to the surrender the court must order the provisional arrest for surrender.

It must be stressed that since 2004 the arrest for surrender may not be replaced by other coercive measures or be waived by bail.

In case the requested person expresses his consent to the surrender the court must order the execution of the EAW and no appeal is possible against the decision. In case of consent the process is called ’simplified surrender’ and in this case the surrender shall take place within 10 days counted from the expression of the consent.

In case the requested person does not consent to surrender a second court hearing is held on receipt of the EAW. The final decision of the court must take place in 40 days  counted from the arrest.

The court brings out a decision on the basis of the European Arrest Warrant translated to Hungarian. An appeal is possible against this decision of the court. The appeal is considered by the Regional Court of Appeal of Budapest.


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