Viktor Zoltán Kazai - Central European University, Budapest


Osservatorio sulle fonti / Observatory on Sources of Law


Section: Sources of Law in the EU member States


By Viktor Zoltán Kazai, Central European University, Budapest

Name of the Act/s

Act no. XXXVI of 2019 on the amendment of certain acts in relation with Act CCVI of 2010 on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion and the Legal Status of Churches, Denominations and Religious Communities / 2019. évi XXXVI. törvény a lelkiismereti és vallásszabadság jogáról, valamint az egyházak, vallásfelekezetek és vallási közösségek jogállásáról szóló 2011. évi CCVI. törvény módosításához kapcsolódóan egyes törvények módosításáról

Date of entry into force of original text

15 April 2019

Date of Text (Adopted)

1 April 2019

Type of text

(name in English / name in the official language)

parliamentary act / törvény

If federal State

If Regional State

Enacted by

Hungarian National Assembly

Reference to the Constitution (art)

Article VII. (freedom of thought, conscience and religion)

Articles 6 (1), 43 (4) and 24 (9) (qualified majority requirements)

Subject area

freedom of thought, conscience and religion

If the act implements a source of EU Law: cite the relevant EU legal source



The law is another step in the ongoing reform of the regulation on freedom of religion and the status of churches started not long after the entry into office of the Fidesz-KDNP government in 2010. Many European bodies expressed concerns about the church reform:

1)     Venice Commission, Opinion on Act CCVI of 2011 on the right to freedom of conscience and religion and the legal status of churches, denominations and religious communities of Hungary, CDL-AD(2012)004-e

2)     Magyar Keresztény Mennonita Egyház and Others v. Hungary, Applications nos. 70945/11, 23611/12, 26998/12, 41150/12, 41155/12, 41463/12, 41553/12, 54977/12 and 56581/12, judgement of 8 April 2014

3)     Report on a proposal calling on the Council to determine, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union, the existence of a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded (2017/2131(INL)) (“Sargentini Report) paras. 36 - 38

The overall aim of the present act is to extend the privileges enjoyed by the “incorporated churches” (recognized by the National Assembly as such) to a broader range of religious organizations which requires the simultaneous amendment to many relevant acts in the field of social care, tax benefits, state aid, protection of cultural heritage, health care, education etc.

Secondary sources/ doctrinal works (if any)

About the reform of the regulation on freedom of religion and the status of churches:

Uitz, Renáta: sid=87818cd8-4e8a-4ecb-80fc-15987f6eb2e1@sdc-v-sessmgr03">Hungary's New Constitution and Its New Law on Freedom of Religion and Churches: The Return of the Sovereign, Brigham Young University Law Review, Vol. 2012, Issue 3 (2012), pp. 931-968

Schanda, Balázs : sid=87818cd8-4e8a-4ecb-80fc-15987f6eb2e1@sdc-v-sessmgr03">The Freedom of Religious Association in Hungary: Recent Developments, Religion & Human Rights, Vol. 8 Issue 1 (2013), pp. 65-75

Uitz, Renáta : sid=87818cd8-4e8a-4ecb-80fc-15987f6eb2e1@sdc-v-sessmgr03">Lessons on Access to Legal Entity Status for Religious Communities for Europe: Hungary's New Religion Law Faces Repeated Challenges, Religion & Human Rights, Vol. 8 Issue 1 (2013), pp. 43-63

Mink, Júlia : sid=87818cd8-4e8a-4ecb-80fc-15987f6eb2e1@sdc-v-sessmgr03">The Hungarian Act CCVI of 2011 on Freedom of Conscience and Religion and on the Legal Status of Churches, Religious Denominations and Religious Associations in Light of the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, Religion & Human Rights, Vol. 8 Issue 1 (2013), pp. 3-22

Koltay, András : sid=87818cd8-4e8a-4ecb-80fc-15987f6eb2e1@sdc-v-sessmgr03">The Freedom of Speech of Religious Communities and their Protection from Freedom of Speech in the Hungarian Legal System, Religion & Human Rights, Vol. 8 Issue 1 (2013), pp. 23-42

Available Text

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Osservatorio sulle fonti

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