105 judges turn to Strasbourg court over “forced retirement” | Magyar Helsinki Bizottság
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25 June 2012

HHC assists 105 judges to file complaints at European Court of Human Rights over mandatory retirement.

The 105 judges submitted their complaints with the assistance of the HHC on Thursday, 21 June, seeking a ruling to establish that Hungary’s legislation, which has lowered judges’ retirement age, violates the European Human Rights Convention, as well as compensation from the Hungarian state.

The retirement age for Hungarian judges had been 70 years ever since 1869. But under recent changes to the law, judges turning 62 in 2012 must retire before the end of the year.

Judges had had good reason to expect that they could continue in their positions until they reached the age of 70, an “expectation protected by the right to proterty". The Hungarian rules, therefore, violate property rights.

Sending judges to retirement early is also a discriminative measure, since it does not apply in a mandatory manner to public notaries, liquidators, constitutional judges, university teachers, lawyers or other professionals, the HHC added.

Under the new Hungarian constitution, the retirement age for judges is 62 this year; however, it will be gradually increased to 65, in line with the general age of retirement. By the end of 2012, almost ten percent of all judges will have been forced to retire in Hungary.

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