The Historic Origins of the National Assembly in Hungary
Historia Constitucional, No 8 (2007)
The article examines the roots of Hungarian national assemblies. To discuss the changes of structure and functions from the establishment of the first deliberative assemblies up to the fully-developed feudal Diet, it suggests a conceptual framework for the ‘historic’ national assemblies. It argues that the roots of the modern Parliament can be traced back to those national assemblies which were no longer simply the occasional meetings of the ecclesiastic and secular aristocracy, but were instead assemblies summoned annually by the king in order to discuss and decide on public affairs of nationwide interest. Although some differences can be discovered between the functions of the earlier, the fully-developed feudal Diets and the modern representative Parliaments, there was an inherent logic in their development, namely, the gradual strengthening of the legislative function as well as the controlling of the Executive.