Judicial cooperation in criminal matters with other states is broadly ensured via bilateral and multilateral international agreements, the provisions of Act No XXXVIII of 1996 on International Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, and via the legal instruments adopted within the EU. In relation to EU Member States the provisions of Act No CLXXX of 2012 on Cooperation with the Member States of the European Union in Criminal Matters shall be applied unless otherwise stipulated by an international treaty or agreement. In lack of international instrument the cooperation in criminal matters may also be guaranteed on the basis of reciprocity. In lack of reciprocity decision on the execution of a foreign request for mutual legal assistance (extradition, transfer of criminal proceedings, acceptance and surrender of the enforcement of sentences for imprisonment and measures involving deprivation of liberty, procedural legal assistance) shall be made by the Minister of Justice or the Prosecutor General, in agreement with the Minister responsible for foreign affairs, when all the other conditions are satisfied.
According to the International Mutual Legal Assistance Act the forms of MLA in criminal matters are the followings: a) extradition, b) transfer of criminal proceedings, c) acceptance and surrender of the enforcement of sentences of imprisonment and measures involving deprivation of liberty, d) acceptance and surrender of the enforcement of confiscation or forfeiture, or of a penalty or measure having equivalent effect (henceforth: confiscation or forfeiture), e) acceptance and surrender of the enforcement of irreversibly rendering electronic data inaccessible, or of a penalty or measure having equivalent effect (henceforth: irreversibly rendering electronic data inaccessible) f) procedural legal assistance, g) laying of information before a foreign state. As a main rule, mutual legal assistance in criminal matters is provided by the central authorities, the Hungarian Ministry of Justice or the Prosecutor General's Office.
Requests for mutual legal assistance shall not be executed nor made if they impair the sovereignty, endanger the security, or violate the public order of Hungary. Unless otherwise provided for under the International Mutual Legal Assistance Act, requests for mutual legal assistance shall be executed or made where a) the act is punishable under both the law of Hungary and the law of the foreign state; b) mutual assistance is requested not in respect of a political offence or an offence connected with a political offence or a military offence.
Legal assistance shall be afforded under the conditions and rules set forth by the domestic law even if the case has international dimension. However, upon the requesting authority’s request other procedural rules may also be applied provided that they are not incompatible with the principles of the Hungarian legal system.
In conjunction with the cooperation to be carried out with the EU Member States’ judicial authorities direct transmission of requests shall be followed as a general rule specified in Article 6 of the 2000 EU MLA Convention and under the 2014/41/EU Directive regarding the European Invesitagtion Order. Thus, the competent judicial authorities – depending on the respective stage of the criminal proceedings – are entitled to directly issue and receive for execution requests for judicial cooperation, with few exceptions. In accordance with the declarations made by Hungary to the 2000 EU MLA Convention the Office of the Prosecutor General (as central authority) is entitled to receive and issue rogatory letters made under Article 3 (1) of the Convention and formal requests for setting up JITs. Requests for temporary transfer of persons held in custody shall be received and submitted by the Ministry of Justice as a central authority. Formal requests for transfer of criminal proceedings and for information concerning convictions shall also be addressed to the Office of Prosecutor General.
As a central authority the Hungarian Ministry of Justice is competent in all extradition and EAW related matters.