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  • Assessment of Hungary’s judicial reforms

    On 3 May 2023, the Hungarian Parliament adopted Act X of 2023 on the Amendment of Certain Laws on Justice related to the Hungarian Recovery and Resilience Plan. The Hungarian government now claims to have met all four of the so-called super milestones aimed at restoring the independence of the judiciary set by the Council of the European Union as a precondition for accessing frozen EU funds under Hungary’s Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF).

  • Q&A – why Super Milestone 215 is not achieved

    On 12 December 2022, the European Council adopted Hungary’s Recovery and Resilience Plan after the European Commission finally approved it. Compared to the original plan, the adopted version includes a new set of benchmarks on governance and public administration, totaling 38 measures with 111 milestones and targets. 27 of these milestones are ‘super milestones’; if not met, no payment under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) will be allowed. Four of the 27 super milestones concern the Hungarian judiciary.
    One benchmark requires the Hungarian government to remove all obstacles to the preliminary reference procedure set out in Article 267 TFEU. This is Super Milestone 215.

  • The government is yet to comply with conditions to access EU funds

    As of the end of the first quarter of 2023, the Hungarian government is yet to comply with most of the conditions established by European Union institutions to access EU funds. According to Hungarian civil society organisations, the Government had not yet taken adequate steps in order to fully address the rule of law and human rights concerns raised by the EU, and so numerous issues related to the anti-corruption framework, judicial independence, law-making, the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers, academic freedom and the rights of LGBTQI+ persons remain unresolved. Swift measures are necessary in all of these areas to ensure that the country and its citizens are granted access to EU funds.

  • Unlawfully fencing off Hungarian PM’s office from Telex journalists: court rules in favour of press freedom

    Journalists from the independent Hungarian news portal Telex were blocked from interviewing government officials arriving at a government meeting because the building of the Prime Minister’s office was fenced off by a police cordon. After an unsuccessful complaint to the police, the journalists secured a court victory today with the help of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s lawyer. In today’s ruling, the Metropolitan Regional Court in Budapest confirmed that the measure was unnecessary, disproportionate, and violated the journalists’ right to freedom of expression.

  • The non-execution of the Baka-judgment is becoming all the more embarrassing for Hungary

    The Council of Europe has been waiting for Hungary to take steps to execute the Baka case that also concerns the freedom of expression of judges. The inactivity and the telling silence of the Hungarian government is becoming all the more embarrassing, especially because Hungary is expected to give account of important guarantees of the judicial system. During the latest supervision effected in March, the Committee of Ministers also took note of the fact that the President of the Kúria requested the annulment of the Code of Ethics of Judges before the Constitutional Court.

  • Renewed smear campaigns against judges show lack of guarantees

    Safeguards against abuses when it comes to the restriction of the freedom of expression of Hungarian judges are still missing. This is also evidenced by new, intense smear campaigns launched in 2022 against critical judges, with government politicians joining the propaganda media. In their submission to the Council of Europe, Amnesty International Hungary and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee argue that this goes against the judgment delivered by the European Court of Human Rights over six years ago in the Baka v. Hungary case.

  • The Hungarian government must recover the trust it had squandered

    Reacting to the decision of the Council of the EU to suspend EU funds to Hungary for systemic rule of law breaches, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, K-Monitor and Transparency International Hungary call on the Hungarian government to ensure full compliance with rule of law standards to enable the entire Hungarian society to benefit from EU funds.

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Hungarian Helsinki Committee