EU funds Effective remedy for manipulated judicial appointments is necessary to restore independence of the judiciary

HHC wins lawsuit against Budapest Police Headquarters in a freedom of information case

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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.

Due to procedural mistakes, the court of second instance quashed the first instance decision and ordered a new first instance proceeding on 23 June 2009. In the new first instance decision brought on 19 January 2010, the Pest Central District Court ruled that the Budapest Police Headquarters and the 16 district police headquarters in Budapest shall provide the requested data. The decision became final on the second instance, since the Metropolitan Court ruled in its decision issued in June 2010 also that the data requested shall be provided.

 

 

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Hungarian Helsinki Committee