Judicial independence has been under constant threat and has been systematically undermined by the governing majority in Hungary in the past seven years. How did they do it? A timeline prepared by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International Hungary outlines the major steps.
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.
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negative impact on judicial independence, however, in a much more covert and technical way than the earlier, withdrawn plan to put administrative courts under the Minister of Justice.
The Acting President of the Budapest-Capital Regional Court (Fővárosi Törvényszék) initiated disciplinary proceedings against Judge Csaba Vasvári for referring questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) under Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The motion, which argues that the content of the questions violates the “dignity of the judiciary”, is unprecedented in Hungary.
Following a judgment concluding that the removal of the Supreme Court President in 2012 was prompted by the criticism he voiced, the CoE called on Hungary to protect the freedom of expression of judges, but to no avail: today, judges are facing retaliatory measures and media attacks once again for voicing professional criticism.
The HHC assessed the activities and independence of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary with a view to its upcoming re-accreditation as a “national human rights institution”. The analysis shows that even though the Ombudsperson was active in a number of areas, he repeatedly failed to address adequately pressing human rights issues that are politically sensitive and high-profile.
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.