This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the rules of appointment and removal of Hungarian judges with special focus on constitutional controversies that got a wide national and international publicity. Besides providing an overview of the relevant legal provisions, I shed light on the constitutional difficulties the 2011 judicial reform faced. The independence of the judicial branch and the individual judge as basic constitutional principles require that judges are selected under high professional standards following the most transparent and adequate procedural rules. The 2011 judicial reform in Hungary with the implementation of two cardinal acts on the judiciary certainly aimed to guarantee more professionalism. The question rather was if it could observe the existing independence at the same time? Some elements of the reform provoked reaction from both national and international fora arguing the violation of basic rule of law standards. The national and international, scholarly, political and also judicial pressure was followed by the partial consolidation of the original text of the cardinal acts.