Emergency regimes in Hungary under the pandemic

Our briefing paper provides an overview of the emergency regimes introduced in Hungary due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 until the present day and explains the consequences in terms of the executive’s powers.

In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted countries to resort to emergency laws. An emergency regime was introduced in Hungary as well. However, the ruling majority in the Hungarian Parliament adopted a regime that granted excessive regulatory powers to the Government and was at odds with international standards.

Referring to the pandemic, in March 2020 the Government first declared a “state of danger”, and then acquired a carte blanche mandate without any sunset clause to override any Act of Parliament. Certain government decrees issued using this power raised rule of law and/or human rights concerns, and some were even in breach of EU law. Although the state of danger was terminated in June 2020, amendments introduced parallel to that provided the Government with excessive powers that can be applied with a reference to an epidemic with significantly weakened constitutional safeguards. These new provisions have been put to use during the second wave of the pandemic in Hungary in the autumn of 2020, and remain in force.

In our briefing paper, we provide an overview of the emergency regimes introduced in Hungary due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 until the present day and explain the consequences in terms of the executive’s powers. The briefing paper is available here in English:

Overview of Hungary’s emergency regimes introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic (24 February 2021)

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A previous version of the briefing paper, describing the situation as on 27 January 2021, is available here:

Overview of Hungary’s emergency regimes introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic

 

 

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Hungarian Helsinki Committee