Blurring the Boundaries: New Laws on Administrative Courts Undermine Judicial Independence If you are interested in our detailed analysis of the proposed draft Bill, click HERE. Judicial independence is now in jeopardy in Hungary.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee gave oral and written statements on the situation in Hungary at the 2018 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). On 12 September 2018, the HHC provided a statement on the independence of the judiciary, the right to fair trial, and on democratic lawmaking in Hungary.
The Hungarian Government proposes to establish a new administrative court system. There are no professional reasons behind setting up a new administrative court system and the government has also failed to provide any professional arguments. The decisions on the new court system are made behind closed doors which violates the public’s right to know. Stakes are high.
Last night at Human Rights First’s annual awards dinner in New York City, the organization honoured Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, with its 2018 William D. Zabel Human Rights Award. Ms Pardavi was presented the award in honour of her work fighting for the rights of refugees, migrants, and other marginalized groups in Hungary and across Europe.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee was granted leave to submit a third party intervention in the case of M.H. and Others v. Croatia, app. no. 15670/18. The case concerns an Afghan family that crossed to Croatia in 2017 to apply for asylum. They were denied to do so and were immediately pushed back to Serbia by the Croatian authorities. One of the children was hit by a train and died during the push-back.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) filed a complaint with the Hungarian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against the new criminal provision threatening with imprisonment those assisting asylum seekers. As for the so-called ‘special tax on immigration’ this law can only be challenged in Strasbourg, as the ruling majority deprived the Constitutional Court of its right to review tax laws years ago.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee is not involved in any activity which would fall under the scope of the new law. As a first step the new law affects donors and our supporters are the European Union and the United Nations, which are exempt from paying tax in Hungary.