Communication to the Committee of Ministers on prison overcrowding pilot judgment
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 related compensation system. The HHC is of the view that the Hungarian Government should be under strict scrutiny while carrying out its announced review of the system of compensations for prison overcrowding.
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 April 2020 to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the execution of the judgment, with a view to the case being on the agenda of the Committee of Ministers’ June 2020 meeting.
What makes the HHC’s submission especially topical and timely is that at the beginning of 2020, the Hungarian Government took alarming steps that threaten with hamstringing the compensation system aimed at remedying the violations of inmates’ rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (This compensation system was introduced after the pilot judgment in Varga and Others v. Hungary.) The HHC is of the strong view that the case should remain under enhanced supervision by the Committee of Ministers and the Hungarian Government should be under strict scrutiny while carrying out the announced review of the system of compensations for prison overcrowding.
The HHC recent submission provides information on the following topics, along with related recommendations:
- prison population and physical conditions,
- contacts with the outside world,
- preventive remedy for overcrowding,
- compensatory remedy for overcrowding,
- recent developments regarding the regulation of compensation procedures.
The full communication of the HHC is available here:
Communication of the HHC to the Committee of Ministers in the of István Gábor Kovács and Varga and Others v. Hungary cases (April 2020)
>>> A follow-up communication from June 2020 is available here and from August here.