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Court ruled for HHC: police are obliged to provide data on ex officio appointed defence counsels

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Váltás magyarra

In June 2008 the HHC sent a public interest information request to all Budapest-based police stations to find out in how many cases the police had appointed ex officio defense counsels in mandatory defense cases in 2007, who were the individual appointed attorneys and how many cases were given to each attorney. Although only 6 police stations complied with the HHC’s request (7 stations refused and 12 failed to answer) the responses corroborated the HHC’s experience: police stations assign the vast majority of cases to only a small handful of attorneys. In order to obtain more accurate data regarding the practice of Budapest police stations, the HHC brought legal action under the Freedom of Information Act against all non-responding police stations in the framework of a public interest information lawsuit. The first instance court judgment was delivered in early January 2009, and obliged the police to provide the requested public interest data to the HHC. However, the police – arguing that the compilation of the request data requires excessively resources – appealed the judgment and the second instance procedure will continue in 2009.



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Hungarian Helsinki Committee