In Hungary the codification of the civil law is just now progressing; the National Assembly is currently debating the Proposition for the new Civil Code replacing the Code of 1959. The Bill also affects the Hungarian notariat, which proudly looks back to a past of 700 years, and is conferring several new powers on the organisation.In the medieval Hungary the activities requiring public authenticity were performed by two types of institutions, the locus authenticus operated by the Church and the secular civil law notary. The loci authentici were succeeded by the Latin type of notariat in 1875. Following the 1948 Communist takeover, the Latin type of notariat fell victim to the transformation of the justice system after the Soviet model. It was not until after 1991 that the private type of notariat in harmony with the Hungarian traditions could resume its operation in the end.At present two main groups of cases fall within the competence of the civil law notaries: conducting certain non-litigious proceedings, and preparing notarial deeds. The new Civil Code would refer several new non-litigious proceedings to the competence of the civil law notaries, for example keeping the register of the matrimonial and conjugal property contracts, conducting divorce upon the agreed request of the parties, as well as the dissolution of common law marriage upon the agreed request of the parties. In conclusion the codification enlarges the sphere of tasks of the notariat in the territory of non-litigious proceedings, thus wishing to strengthen the Hungarian Notariat’s official character.
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