European law: Age discrimination by judges

With the lowering of the retirement age of Hungarian judges, they have become a victim of age discrimination.There is an application filed by the Commission of the European Union infringement proceedings against Hungary. Was in Hungary to 31 December 2011 judges, prosecutors and notaries remain until the age of 70 years in the service. In 2011, the Hungarian laws have been changed so that from 1 January 2012 judges and prosecutors who have reached the general retirement age of 62, must retire from office.

For judges and prosecutors, the first of this age before January have reached 2012, provide for the Hungarian legislation, that service on her 30th June 2012 ends. If they reach this age between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2012, they have 31 December 2012 termination of duties. From 1 January 2014, also have notaries on the day on which they reach the general retirement age, termination of duties.An infringement action that is directed against a Member State which has failed to fulfil its obligations under European Union law may be brought by the Commission payable to the European Union or in another Member State.

The Member State concerned must comply with the judgment immediately.Social policy objectives, such as employment policy, labour market or vocational training, justifying derogation from the principle of the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of age. To this end, the Court of the European Union that the criteria applied by Hungary objectives need to standardize the retirement age in the public sector and creating a more balanced age structure, which facilitates access of lawyers to the professions from social-political in nature.Under these circumstances, the Court of the European Union concludes that the strong reduction of the retirement age to retire eight years in the professions is not to achieve the goal of unification of the retirement age in the public service required action.

Since the national rules induces a difference in treatment that is necessary to attain the objectives pursued neither appropriate nor necessary, and therefore not comply with the principle of proportionality, Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Directive. Hungary has to comply immediately with this judgment as a member state.

If the Commission of the European Union considers that the Member State has not complied with the judgment, they can sue again seeking financial penalties.

The best lawyers in Europe

There was a research that was conducted in 2007 that covered the whole of Europe and its purpose was to find out in which country the best lawyers are . Originally it was thought that the countries with the most traditions in the higher education in law will have the best specialists, but the results of the research were rather surprising. Countries like France and England were indeed in the top five in Europe but they are only at the third and the fifth place. Italy is also there, positioned at the fourth place. This was predicted by most people because this country is famous for their law universities that gather ambitious students from all around the world. This on the other hand generates not only highly educated lawyers, but also very professional judges, as well.

A huge surprise was the country positioned at the second place – Switzerland. For such a small country as it is, it is indeed a very high achievement to get the second place especially in such a hard area as law. Despite its small size, Switzerland is a very well organized country that covers perfectly all the areas of our lives – economy, education, social policy, security and defense, law regulations, etc.

Another unexpected country that managed to get the 7th place is Bulgaria. This country started investing a lot in higher education several years ago and these are the results of these actions. Greece comes right after it, which is a little astonishing since in this country there are very old law traditions. But those changes can be explained by the crisis that started arising back in the years 2006-2007. Poland and Holland also managed to hit the top 10 countries unlike others like Estonia, Serbia and Montenegro, that did not even manage to get in the top 20.

Still, a lot of people think that this research was not very correct since it only evaluates the professionalism of the lawyers and not the law system in the country itself. If this was the main factor then probably the chart will look totally different.