The Hungarian government may very well face firmer measures by the Council of Europe if it continues to fail to fully execute the judgment issued by the European Court of Human Rights in the Baka v. Hungary case. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe calls on Hungary to present the guarantees of the independence and freedom of expression of judges.
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.
Peers of the Hungarian Ombudsperson, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, recommend that the Commissioner’s national human rights institution status is downgraded from “A” to “B”. According to their report, the reason for the downgrading is that the Commissioner has not effectively engaged on and publicly addressed all human rights issues, including in relation to vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, LGBTI, refugees and migrants as well as constitutional court cases deemed political and institutional. This also demonstrates a lack of sufficient independence. The report echoes concerns voiced by the HHC earlier.
The Hungarian government has for many years been reluctant to take any meaningful action to safeguard the freedom of expression and independence of Hungarian judges. The execution of the Baka v. Hungary judgment is going on since 2016, but the Hungarian state has not lifted a hand yet.
The European Commission’s Rule of Law Report shows severe deficiencies in all the areas examined, confirming the concerns of Hungarian civil society organisations. The Commission has not been able to identify any substantial improvement in any of these areas, which is especially worrying in the light of the fact that Hungary may lose EU funds due to rule of law deficiencies. Eight Hungarian civil society organisations assess the report’s findings regarding Hungary.
Today, there will be a hearing in the framework of the Article 7(1) procedure on Hungary in the General Affairs Council of the European Union. Eighteen months have passed since the last hearing, and during … Read more
18 months have passed since the last hearing was held in the Article 7 procedure. During this time qualitative changes have occurred in the nature of the Hungarian illiberal regime. We look at some of the key issues today’s Article 7 hearing in the General Affairs Council should take into account.
Although thousands protested, and a petition against the law was signed by more than 100,000 people, Parliament showed that is not interested in what Hungarians think. Parliament passed the Propaganda Law, banning LGBTQI-themed educational programmes, products, and advertising seen by those under 18 years of age.
The Hungarian ruling party, Fidesz, introduced an amendment that would severely restrict freedom of speech and children’s rights by banning LGBTQI-themed educational programs and public service advertisements. Out of Hungarian LGBTQI people, 42% have thought about suicide and 30% have attempted it. This new amendment – which eerily mimics the Russian propaganda law – would further poison public opinion.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers considered the election of Justice András Zs. Varga as President of the Kúria as a measure hampering judicial independence.
The Advocate General of the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) made it abundantly clear that only one forum can legally decide whether a Hungarian judge’s request for a preliminary ruling from the CJEU is inadmissible, and that is the CJEU itself. The opinion of the Advocate General directly affects both the applicability of EU law in Hungary and the independence of Hungarian judges.
András Patyi has become a Vice President of the Kúria (Supreme Court of Hungary) based on recommendation of the new Chief Justice recently elected against clear objection of judicial representatives. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s loyal … Read more
A recently adopted Act and a Bill being debated in the Parliament aim at transforming existing supervisory bodies and mechanisms over which currently the government has control in order to cement their new management, appointed … Read more
In an attempt to privatise immense public wealth and public universities, the governing majority adopted legislation that establishes the concept of “public trust funds performing a public function” and designated 32 entities as such. Most … Read more
No consultation, hasty changes, “reforms” that fail to address Council recommendations: our assessment of certain reforms proposed in Hungary’s national plan under the EU’s recovery and resilience facility (RFF) Hungary was allocated almost 5 900 … Read more
We have not been able to use public spaces to fulfill their important public function for 175 days, and counting. Dog walking, coming and going, shopping, queuing, sitting out on a restaurant terrace, drinking a beer – all of these activities are now permitted again in public spaces. However, if we want to hold an assembly, a protest march or a standing demonstration – that is still completely forbidden. We continue to be totally deprived of our fundamental right to assembly. We protest! Total prohibition is not the answer.
Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, was invited to the expert panel of the Monitoring Group’s session on 29 April 2021 to exchange views on civil society space in the EU, in particular … Read more
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee submitted its statement, including recommendations, on issues related to law-making in Hungary to the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Democratic Law-Making: Ensuring Participation. In our statement, we drew the attention … Read more
Press release of the Civilisation Coalition
Ten months after the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Hungarian government finally moves to repeal the Lex NGO. This is an important development for affected civil society organisations (CSOs) as it ends 4 years of unnecessary and damaging stigmatisation.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves the review of the human rights record of all 192 UN Member States once every four-and-half year. It was created by the UN General … Read more