The Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of ELTE University plays a pivotal role in research on law and political sciences in Hungary. Research conducted at the Faculty covers all the branches of jurisprudence. Some of the main issues are as follows: the transformation of the legal system in terms of institutions and norms over the past two decades; surviving effects of the period that preceded transition (in 1989–1990); the examination of present conditions; predictions about forthcoming tendencies and practical tasks, with special reference to the approximation of laws in the European Union. The number of instructors with academic degrees is very high by national standards and they are highly active in the field of publishing essays. The departments of the Faculty, the related scholarly workshops and individual instructors actively apply for research grants, which also helps them produce book-size works and essays that can also be used in education.
A healthy equilibrium has to be found between teaching and research for all instructors. This is far from being a theoretical question. As the number of students grows, so grows the workload of the instructors, which means they have less energy for research. The teaching duties influence the directions of research. In other words, they indirectly define the end-users’ demand for researchers. Besides, the ratio of education and research in the time budget of instructors changes from time to time; and ideally it is more or less balanced.
Numerous publishing houses have got out scholarly works written by instructors and researchers of the Faculty. Some of the departments and, as from the year 2000, the Faculty itself, have embarked on publishing works written by the teaching staff.
The changes in Hungary’s social and economic life have called for an unusual volume of new legislation and the reappraisal of the fundamental components of the legal system. A considerable body of research has been done to explore the interplay between the processes in the “real world” and in the legal system. Another important field of research is compliance with the European Union’s norms. Basic research and issues related to Hungary’s EU accession dominate in research done at the Faculty. These challenges require considerable research potentials and funds. For the promotion of research it is inevitable to modernize the Faculty’s library, to optimize the flow of electronic information, to foster relations and cooperation with renowned universities of Europe.
True to its traditions and in response to the challenges of the era, the Faculty intends to retain its eminent position in basic research, the elaboration of legal dogmatics and in ensuring the modern scholarly foundations for the university syllabuses. The Faculty’s departments regularly apply for research grants from various endowments, foundations and governmental agencies. Only scholarly research can ensure the required high standards of teaching.
The Faculty’s habilitation regulations make it clear that habilitation is only available for those applicants who have acquired profound knowledge and an impressive grasp of a branch of scholarship. The Faculty’s doctoral regulations lay down strict rules for obtaining a PhD title.