Rule Of Law | Magyar Helsinki Bizottság
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TAX NUMBER: 19013983-1-42

Related activities of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee between 1 September 2011 and 30 August 2012 were supported by the Open Society Institute Emergency Fund.

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The Hungarian Parliament adopted the so-called”Authorization Act”,  allowing indefinite government rule by decree. The role of free media and a strong civil society is now more vital than ever to ensure government accountability. Fully aware of its increased responsibility, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee is reorganising its activities and intensifying its efforts to counter the destruction of the rule of law.

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Assessment of the proposed law to extend the state of emergency and its constitutional preconditions A carte blanche mandate for the Hungarian government with no sunset clause is not the panacea to the emergency caused by the  COVID-19 virus in Hungary. We need strong rule of law safeguards and proportional and necessary emergency measures, not unlimited government rule by decree that can last beyond the actual epidemic crisis.

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A new law adopted on 17 December 2019 seems to be yet another attempt to make sure that politically sensitive court cases are decided in a way that is favourable for the executive power. It does not only make it possible to channel politically sensitive cases out of the ordinary court system, but also makes it harder in practice for individuals to enforce their rights vis a vis the state.

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According to the Court of Justice Advocate General’s opinion, the fact that under the Hungarian 2017 Lex NGO, civil society organisations receiving foreign donations are subject to restrictions violates the right to the protection of private life and the right to freedom of association and infringes the principle of free movement of capital. This is not justified by the general interest objectives relied on by the government of Hungary.

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Judicial independence is being systematically undermined in Hungary. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International Hungary recommend specific steps that would remedy the long-standing systemic deficiencies of the system, thus restoring and safeguarding judicial independence.

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On 12 November 2019, the Hungarian Government submitted a Bill to the Parliament which, if adopted, will have a significant negative impact on judicial independence, however, in a much more covert and technical way than the earlier, withdrawn plan to put administrative courts under the Minister of Justice.

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