Rethinking the Principles of Legality and Officiality
in Criminal Procedure
PhD Student at the University of Szeged Doctoral School of Law and Political Sciences
It results from ius puniendi that today’s criminal procedure is governed by the principle of legality (or in other words: the principle of mandatory prosecution) in most EU Member States. On the one hand, it shall ensure that the state’s punitive authority is being enforced, on the other, it can also be seen as a manifestation of the equality before the law in criminal matters. However significant it is, there are many different - both academic and practical - interpretations of the principle of legality regarding its addressee and substance, and the topic is widely discussed. By the example of the Hungarian Codes of Criminal Procedure and the case-law of the Constitutional Court of Hungary, some of these views are shown, with particular attention to the strong statutory connection of the principle of legality and the ex officio principle in Hungarian criminal procedure. This paper aims to resolve the above-mentioned contradictions with the introduction of a new systematic approach, which takes all prior opinions into account.
* Supported by the UNKP-17-3 New National Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities.