#Ukraine Temporary protection card extended until 2025

A Sauron’s eye in the Hungarian judicial system

Less than a year after taking remarkable steps to strengthen the independence of courts to gain access to frozen union funds, the Hungarian government is back again on its decade-long agenda to dismantle the system of checks and balances and undermine the independence of the justice system. A new law passed by the Hungarian Parliament in April 2024 eradicates the organisational independence of courts and the prosecution service at a crucial point, granting the Minister of Justice (MoJ) unlimited access to decisions delivered by the judiciary, the prosecution service and other autonomous state bodies and government agencies mandated to limit and independently review the exercise of public powers. 

This possibility – like Sauron’s eye – allows the government to acquire protected information to which it would not have access otherwise, interfere in ongoing court proceedings and influence their outcome.

Our legal analysis available here explains

  • why the new law is unnecessary for its declared legislative purpose;
  • why the unlimited access granted to the MoJ to decisions of courts and the prosecution service is disproportionate;
  • how the new provisions de facto merge the government with the judiciary in an institutional manner, liquidating the institutional independence of the judiciary and allowing severe interference with the exercise of judicial functions by the government;
  • how the new provisions open the door to abusive application of the provision;
  • why the new law is in breach of the non-regression principle established by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) under Article 19 (1) of TEU which precludes the adoption of laws on the organisation of justice which constitute a reduction of the protection of the rule of law and guarantees of judicial independence.


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Hungarian Helsinki Committee