A communication by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International shows that due to the legal and institutional structures created by the governing majority, the chilling effect on the freedom of expression of judges is encoded in the Hungarian court system, and Hungary has failed to adopt guarantees to avoid retaliation against judges voicing criticism in relation to the independence of the judiciary.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled yesterday that the 2017 Hungarian law requiring non-governmental organizations receiving at least HUF 9 million in grants from outside Hungary to register in a special registry and label themselves as a “foreign-funded organization” on their website and publications are stigmatizing, harmful and in breach of EU law.
Rapid analysis of the Bill on Terminating the State of Danger (T/10747) & the Bill on Transitional Provisions related to the Termination of the State of Danger (T/10748) Shortly before midnight on 26 May, Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén submitted to parliament the Bill on Terminating the State of Danger (T/10747) and the Bill on Transitional Provisions related to the Termination of the State of Danger (T/10748).
Eight Hungarian NGOs, participating in the stakeholder consultation launched by the European Commission for its first annual Rule of Law Report, trust that the EC will make concrete, enforceable recommendations to EU Member States, hence also for Hungary on how to advance rule of law in the EU. In 2020, the European Commission will issue its first Rule of Law Report, covering all EU Member States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.