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

HHC wins lawsuit against the National and Budapest Police Headquarters

Translation is available for this content

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. Since the Police originally claimed that it is the National Police Headquarters which is processing the data requested, the HHC has launched a lawsuit against the National Police Headquarters as well. The Metropolitan Court reached a decision in the latter case on 11 January 2010, obliging the National Police Headquarters to provide the data requested by the HHC.



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Hungarian Helsinki Committee