Law Enforcement And Criminal Justice | Magyar Helsinki Bizottság
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People often feel vulnerable to law enforcement agencies. The HHC offers help in this inbalanced power relationship: we provide legal advice, legal representation, regularly monitor places of detention as well as make recommendations to improve people’s capacities to enforce their rights when they come into contact with the police and the prison service. Through our activities, closed institutions become more transparent and citizens’ vulnerability decreases.

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Authorities terminated cooperation agreements with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and denied access to police detention, prisons and immigration detention after two decades of cooperation and 2000+ visits. The HHC can no longer monitor human rights in closed institutions, even though NGOs' access to police, prison and immigration detention reduces the risk of torture and ill-treatment and contributes to improving detention conditions.

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Promoting access to case materials of defendants and their defense counsels in criminal proceedings has been a long-standing priority of the HHC, and is related to activities involving a series of successful applications submitted to the ECtHR. The implementation of the Right to Information Directive by Hungary in 2014–2015 constituted a major step in ensuring the right to access of case materials.

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In its March 2015 pilot judgment issued in the Varga and Others v. Hungary case (in which three of the applicants were represented by the HHC), the European Court of Human Rights concluded that the overcrowding of penitentiaries in Hungary constitutes a structural problem, and Hungary should produce a plan to reduce overcrowding.

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Know Your Rights!    Short movie on the rights of suspects in Hungary   What happens to me if I am suspected with committing a criminal offence in Hungary? May I ask the police officer what the suspicion is against me? May I ask the police officer to explain my rights to me? Do I have to answer to all questions of the police officers? Do I always have the right to a lawyer? What happens if I do not have enough money to pay for a la

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Currently, it is difficult for the perpetrator and the victim in petty offence procedures to conclude a settlement, even though settling would often be better for both of them. The HHC turned to the Ombudsperson regarding the issue, who agreed with the HHC and asked the Ministry of Interior to amend the rules.

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For the rule of law and human rights in Hungary – our 25 main achievements in 2016   We gave 832 clients free legal advice about police measures, ill-treatment and their rights in detention.   2800 asylum-seekers received free legal advice about the asylum procedure, their rights in detention and family reunification.

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