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A Short History of the Hungarian Floating Security

Black glass skyscrapers and grey sky
Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

The Department of Legal Studies cordially invites you to the upcoming Brown Bag seminar with Prof. Tibor Tajti on Tuesday, June 14, 1 – 2 pm. Prof. Tajti will present his book chapter “A Short History of the Hungarian Floating Security” to be published in an edited volume by Routledge in Spring 2024. You can find an abstract below.


The seminar will be held in hybrid format.

Zoom details:

Join Zoom Meeting

Zoom link

Meeting ID: 919 8504 6579

Passcode: 186612

Room: QS B-319



The Hungarian floating security, metaphrased as the ‘property encumbering charge,’ was introduced with the reforms assisted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 1996, through the amendment of the Civil Code which had been enacted during the communist period in 1959. Notwithstanding its quickly-acquired popularity, the drafters of the new Civil Code passed in 2013 discarded the device based on hardly substantiated grounds. What one can ascertain from the laconic Hungarian semi-official comments are no more than scanty hints at the possible reasons. Hungarian-language scholarship has remained silent as well. Since no English-language study has seen daylight on this topic either, this writing is the first holistic account of these, so far systematically not analyzed and largely untold, developments in either language.

The unhappy fate and the scholarly vacuum notwithstanding, the study of the Hungarian floating charge provides a valuable contribution to comparative law and the understanding of not only blanket securities as the most complex types of proprietary security devices but also of secured transactions law more broadly. This is so as the Hungarian approach, not followed by other similarly situated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, might figure as such a peculiar reform path that countries planning to modernize their secured transactions systems could learn a lot from it. Its analysis is, in other words, a valuable addendum to legal reform studies as well. Time will tell whether the Hungarian path can be considered an example of inevitable refinement or instead a backpedaled reform, if not legal engineering gone wrong.