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Communication to the Committee of Ministers on prison overcrowding pilot judgment, November 2022

The HHC submitted a communication to the Committee of Ministers on the execution of a 2015 pilot judgment on inadequate detention conditions in Hungarian prisons and the remaining issues of the related compensation system. The HHC is of the view that the Hungarian Government should be under strict scrutiny for not having found a sustainable solution to control overcrowding, in particular not having found a way to promote the use of alternatives to detention.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee has been closely following the execution of the pilot judgment issued in the Varga and Others v. Hungary case by the European Court of Human Rights, in which the ECtHR concluded that the overcrowding of penitentiaries in Hungary constituted a structural problem.

As part of these efforts, the HHC submitted a communication in November 2022 to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the execution of the judgment, with a view to summarise the most recent information and related recommendations on:

  • the sharp increase in the number of persons detained resulted in an unprecedentedly large prison population;
  • access further reduced to early release from imprisonment;
  • the detrimental effect of recent austerity regulations on material conditions and staff shortages negatively affecting reintegration activities and staff-detainee relationships;
  • the unresolved issues related to the preventive and compensatory remedies such as detainees not having access to their compensation money even in cases of trying to provide support for their families;
  • the inadequate treatment of detainees with disabilities;
  • the restrictive policies on detainee’s contact with the outside world that were maintained during and after the pandemic.


The full communication of the HHC is available here:

Communication of the HHC to the Committee of Ministers in the István Gábor Kovács v. Hungary (15707/10) and Varga and Others v. Hungary (14097/12) cases (November 2022)



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Hungarian Helsinki Committee