Hungarian Civil Liberties Union

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union is a human rights NGO. Since our foundation in 1994, we have been working for everybody being informed about their fundamental human rights and empowered to enforce it against the undue interference by those in position of public power.

our focus areas & news

According to the Supreme Court of Hungary, it is not illegal to prohibit peaceful demonstrations therefore, HCLU appeals to the Constitutional Court

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) is appealing to the Constitutional Court to challenge the decision of the Supreme Court of Hungary, which upheld the police's decision to ban solidarity demonstrations in support of the victims of the Gaza conflict. The Curia deemed the police's decision to be lawful, despite evidence presented.

The Proposed Regime Defence Law is Bound to Fail

The leader of the Fidesz parliamentary group yesterday presented a package of laws that are called “defense of sovereignty” but are in fact designed to protect the arbitrary exercise of power. The bill is part of the government’s attempt to silence critical voices. This is nothing new, but the government’s means of doing so are increasingly crude. This law is in fact a regime defence law.

The state of danger would be extended again – with a one-sentence justification

The Hungarian government declared a state of danger for the first time in March 2020. Under a draft law recently put to public consultation, this would soon be extended again, until the end of May 2024. The Ministry of Justice which prepared the draft law “justified” the proposal with a single sentence. However, according to Amnesty International Hungary, the Eötvös Károly Institute, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the regulatory framework of the state of danger should be transformed and the Government’s unjustified, excessive regulatory powers should be put to an end.

Protest in Hungary: limited, burdensome and risky

In the last few years, the possibilities for protesting on public issues in Hungary have changed significantly. A number of changes have taken place that have significantly damaged the freedom of expression, the right to strike and the freedom of assembly that are relevant to protest. It is harder for anyone who wants to protest with others, make demands and gather supportive citizens today than it was a few years ago.

Three directors in the leadership of the HCLU

We are strengthening our leadership, with a Director of Strategy in addition to the Executive Director and the Director of Programs. Dalma Dojcsák will take over the position of Executive Director from Stefania Kapronczay, who will continue as Director of Strategy, while Máté Szabó will remain as Director of Programs. The change is primarily the result of our new strategy, which is more complex than the previous one: we decided to develop new types of activities as well as strengthen the role of strategic planning for greater impact. In addition, we have been able to continuously expand our team over the past years. In a challenging environment, it is of paramount importance to ensure that we have sufficient capacity for internal processes as well.

Analysis on the proposal on the legal status of public education employees; the "Status Law"

After a year-long protest of teachers, students and parents, instead of listening to their demands concerning the education system, the government plans to introduce a comprehensive amendment to the employment status of the educators, called the Status Law. The Status Law would further increase the obligations of teachers, while reducing their freedoms at the same time. The proposal was open for public consultation for 8 days altogether. This short time frame in itself violates the pledge the government made for the EU in exchange for a financial package of about 1.7 billion EUR for educational reform, but is currently jeopardised because of the government’s actions. The Draft Status Law must be withdrawn by the government. The government must call for a real and substantial public consultation before embarking on the inevitable reform of the educational system.