in Europe

Procedural Rights of Juveniles Suspected or Accused in the European Union

National Research Report / Hungary

Réka Balázs, Szilvia Gyurkó (ed.), Barbara Németh | Terre des hommes | 48 pages
File language:
Hungarian English

This report has been developed within the framework of “Procedural Rights of Juveniles Suspected or Accused in the EU (PRO-JUS)”, a regional project implemented in 5 EU Member States (Belgium, France, Hungary, Spain and The Netherlands) under the coordination of the Terre des hommes Regional Office for Central and South East Europe based in Hungary in partnership with Defence for Children International (Belgium), Hors La Rue (France), Rights International Spain and Defence for Children International (The Netherlands).

The PRO-JUS project aims to examine the situation of foreign children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings since their extra vulnerability may hamper their enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the three procedural directives of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU directives 2010/641, 2012/132, 2013/483).

This report covers Hungary and constitutes one of the 5 national reports developed as part of the PRO-JUS project. The report is the result of a research that has combined desk research, analysis and semi-structured interviews with adult stakeholders and children. Developed according to a common research methodology that was employed in all of the 5 project countries, the report presents the research findings and identifies noteworthy practices as well as recommendations. In line with the aims of the research, the report also discusses the factors that affect and hamper the effective enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the 3 EU directives.

Reserach findings:

The transposition of the 3 Directives was realized essentially and primarily at the level of legislation. In some cases, the Hungarian legislation specifies more stringent requirements; in other cases partial deficiencies can be observed.

The implementation of the Directives into practice faces serious challenges if the suspected or accused person is a foreign citizen under the age of 18.

The most serious factors impeding the enforcement of the rights granted in the 3 Directives identified in the research:

  • The suspected or accused child is not considered vulnerable;
  • The foreign child not speaking the language of the procedure is not considered highly vulnerable;
  • The provisions are applied only formally and not in the spirit of the law, or according to the content of law;
  • The quality/ensuring quality of the enforcement of law (interpretation/translation, information, representation by a lawyer) does not appear as a requirement;
  • The access to interpreter/translation, information, legal representation of a proper quality is not ensured;
  • Lack of adequate operational and professional standards;
  • The authorities do not provide equal conditions for foreign defendant minors;
  • Lack of registers (list of legal interpreters, list of lawyers speaking foreign languages, register of other professionals trained and prepared for communication with children);


  • The „best interest” of the suspected, accused foreign child shall be a primary consideration (UNCRC Art. 3) – Implementing a child rights approach both in the criminal procedure and in the multi-sectoral cooperation of all competent actors (immigration, juvenile justice, child protection, etc.);
  • Providing multicultural and sensitizational training for judicial (and other) professionals working with accused, suspected foreign children to understand more their special, vulnerable situation and the cultural issues;
  • Conducting core empirical research / valid statistical database about the operation of the juvenile justice system in case of foreign children;
  • Close and continuous monitoring of the implementation of the 3 Directives.