Biography

A mother of four and a devoted spouse of her husband more than 30 years. She obtained a degree in law in 1987. She served as a judge dealing with business law cases, later she worked at the Budapest Tribunal of Registration until the voluntary suspension of her career.

Her mother Melinda Petneházy and her father, the internationally renowned law scholar, the late Géza Herczegh gave her spiritual and intellectual upbringing that accompany her for life. Even during one-party times, this family of intellectuals living in modest circumstances continued to follow the traditions of civic values. Their adherence to firm values is shown by the story from the times when she began her law studies. She took home the letter that the school prepared about her to accompany the university application and, with a serene move, her father crossed out the line about the commitment to socialism and wrote in the place of the first sentence about the family: “brought up in a family of democrats”. The example her parents gave her about honesty, sense of duty, fidelity and a love of life have been defining for both Anita Herczegh and her brother, Károly.

She was attracted to the Law Faculty of Eötvös Loránd University – where she continued her studies after high school in Pécs – by her interest in humanities, history and culture. She was a first year law student when, on a university ski excursion, she met János Áder who was already graduating. She was not even 20 years old when they married in 1984. During her university years she supplemented the income of her young family by cultivating a piece of leased land near Csorna together with her husband who by then was a fellow at the Institute for Sociology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.  

Her first child was born after graduation. In 1993, when she received her appointment as a judge, she was already expecting her third child. After spending 16 years in her profession, when János Áder was elected a Member of the European Parliament, she suspended her work at the Budapest Tribunal of Registration in the interest of her family and moved to Brussels together with her husband. She joined the life of the local community in the capital of the EU with interest, which – beyond her cultural openness – was also supported by her love of bridge. In adapting to the new life style she could greatly rely on her skill in German and English, as well as the French that she picked up here. 

She respects the charitable activities of spouses of former Presidents and all that they have been doing and are doing to foster traditions. Besides carrying forward the activity they started, she also considers it important to have more attention directed in public life towards talented children and youth, as well as the organizations that support them.   

She considers the judge’s profession to be one for a lifetime; one of her most important objectives is to go back to the bench one day. However, nothing is more important for her then the calm and the safety of the family. Besides raising her children, the love of cooking, handicrafts and regular sports are all a natural part of her life. Regular winter ski and summer boating trips have been a necessary family program for decades. While those around her respect her righteousness, openness, intelligence and empathy, being a mother is what is most important for her. From among her children, Borbála the oldest daughter also became a lawyer, her son András is a college graduate in economics, her daughter Orsolya is interested in arts, whereas the smallest daughter Júlia is a highschool student.