Last week’s dismal decisions of the Hungarian Constitutional Court (CC), the National Electoral Commission and the Data Protection Authority (DPA) have proved former concerns of human rights NGOs correct: institutions, which ought to be independent and have the duty to guard constitutionalism have failed. They serve the interest of the government, instead of limiting its power.
The Eötvös Károly Institute, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union criticize the abolishing of the upper age limit of 70 years in case of elected Constitutional Court judges, including current serving judges.
The Hungarian government provided detailed comments on the so-called Tavares Report regarding the situation of fundamental rights in Hungary, which will soon be discussed by Members of the European Parliament.
Three Hungarian NGOs, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the Eötvös Károly Institute and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union addressed the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the European Commission Vice-President, Commissioner in Charge of Justice, Human Rights and Citizenship in order to raise their attention to the planned Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary, threatening the rule of law.
Last year the Government introduced fundamental changes to the judicial system. Although 30 separate provisions of the relevant regulation were amended in response to the serious concerns raised by the Venice Commission (VC), the organization of the judicial system remains centralized and still endangers the independence of the judiciary and the fairness of court proceedings – according to the Eötvös Károly Institute, the HHC and the HCLU.
On 25/9/2012, NGO representatives shared their views with the delegation of the European Parliaments's LIBE committee concerning the Hungarian legal developments relevant from the perspective of fundamental European principles and values.
The Hungarian Government commented on the draft opinion of the Venice Commission regarding the new Hungarian Act on the Constitutional Court. The HHC, the HCLU, and the Eötvös Károly Institute outlined and assessed the reactions of the Government.