Submission to the Ombudsman on the “three strikes” rule

The HHC requested the Ombudsman of Hungary to initiate the constitutional review of the “three strikes” rule of the new Criminal Code of Hungary.

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Váltás magyarra

The “three strikes rule” was first introduced into the Criminal Code of Hungary in 2009. The HHC challenged the rule before the Constitutional Court, arguing that the “three strikes” rule excludes the individualization of the sanctions by making it mandatory for the courts to sentence suspects to life imprisonment if certain conditions are met. The HHC claimed that the rule infringed the constitutional principle that criminal sanctions shall be individualized in accordance with the specific circumstances of the case and the perpetrator, because this is the only way in which the requirement of the sanction’s proportionality can be guaranteed. The Constitutional Court has never reached a decision in the matter, and the procedure was terminated in 2012 due to procedural reasons.

The new Criminal Code of Hungary (in force since 1 July 2013) upholds the “three strikes” rule. Since the possibility to submit actio popularis motions to the Constitutional Court was abolished, the HHC submitted a request to the Ombudsman of Hungary (the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights) on 18 July 2013 in which the NGO asked the Ombudsman to initiate the constitutional review of the “three strikes” rule by the Constitutional Court on the basis of the Fundamental Law (the new constitution of Hungary, in force since 1 January 2012).

The motion is available only in Hungarian.

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Hungarian Helsinki Committee