István Balsai

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István Balsai
Minister of Justice of Hungary
In office
23 May 1990 – 15 July 1994
Preceded by Kálmán Kulcsár
Succeeded by Pál Vastagh
Personal details
Born (1947-04-05)5 April 1947
Miskolc, Second Hungarian Republic
Political party MDF, Fidesz
Profession politician, jurist

István Ákos Balsai (born 5 April 1947) is a Hungarian politician and jurist, who served as Minister of Justice between 1990 and 1994. He joined to the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) in 1988 and became a member of the National Assembly of Hungary in 1990. He was appointed justice minister in the first democratic Hungarian government. During his term as minister the first democratic fundamental laws were made.

He was a member of the leadership of the MDF in 1994 and between 1996-2003. He served as chairman of the party's Committee of Ethics from 1996 to 2005. He was the leader of the parliamentary group between 1998 and 2002. He became a member of the Lakitelek working group which criticized the activity of the presidency and president Ibolya Dávid. Later this group transformed as National Forum. Balsai was excluded from the MDF in 2005.

Balsai joined to the Fidesz parliamentary group after six months. He was commissioned to examining the 2006 protests in Hungary by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in 2010. Balsai said in the report dated 15 March 2011 that the investigation had also uncovered possible grounds for raising the charge of the perpetration of an act of terror. The author said that it is necessary to investigate whether Gyurcsány should take political and legal responsibility for the police’s behaviour. “In the course of my investigation I came to the conclusion that October 23 [was] the symbol of the most grievous offenses … [and a symbol of] the Gyurcsány government’s violent and paranoid exercise of power,” Balsai wrote in the document.

He was elected to a member of the Constitutional Court of Hungary in 2011. As a result, he resigned from his parliamentary seat and other political positions.


Political offices
Preceded by
Kálmán Kulcsár
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Pál Vastagh
National Assembly of Hungary
Preceded by
Ervin Demeter
Leader of the MDF parliamentary group
Succeeded by
Károly Herényi