Slowly, Steadily, Stealthily How Rule of Law Is Further Undermined in Hungary January – September 2019 On 12 September 2018, the European Parliament voted to trigger proceedings against Hungary under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union on account of the systemic threat to the core values of the EU.
New briefing paper by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International Hungary on the constitutional crisis in the Hungarian judiciary. The paper outlines key developments since January 2018, both regarding the ordinary court system and the prospect of the new administrative courts. We also make recommendations to resolve the crisis.
This June the Parliament will elect the President of the new Supreme Administrative Court, who will have extremely wide powers over judges and cases concerning a range of issues from taxation to human rights. But legislation allows that someone with zero days of judicial experience may be elected without any professional screening.
On Monday, the Hungarian Parliament finalised the laws on the country’s new administrative courts. In its current form, even after amendments, the laws do not comply with international standards and do not follow the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
On 12 September 2018, the European Parliament voted to trigger proceedings against Hungary under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union on account of the systemic threat to the core values of the EU. Five months later, the risk of a serious breach of core European values has increased as the Hungarian government and the ruling party further reduced the space for dissent and holding government accountable.
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.
A new draft legislative package that limits judicial independence and restricts the freedom of judges to interpret the law is a serious threat to the rule of law in Hungary and runs counter to values Hungary signed up to when it joined the European Union.
On 29 May 2018, the Hungarian government published two draft laws as the third version of LexNGO 2018, or of what it refers to as the 'Stop Soros' package. The drafts propose using criminal law sanctions and prison terms as weapons against human rights defenders, under the false pretext of tightening rules against irregular migration.
From emerging democracies in transition, illiberal governments have rapidly transformed Hungary and Poland into ill democracies, have attempted to do so in Croatia, and are slowly and carefully entertaining an illiberal platform in Serbia, according to the new case study Resisting Ill Democracies in Europe.