Final judgement of Capital Court in favor of Freedom of Information

The HCLU was contacted by a representative of Zöld Rádió Kht. (Green Radio) after failing to gain access to data on ad hoc winning tenders from the Radio and Television Commission. Previously, the Court in its first instance decison has ordered the Broadcasting Fund to issue the requested documentation, but since the defendant was not present at the reading of the verdict, the ruling did not come into effect.

The lawsuit was initiated against the Radio and Television Commission, but on the first day of hearings had to be changed to the Broadcasting Fund. According to the Act on Data Protection, the lawsuit has to be initiated against whoever denies access to the requested data. In this case, the Broadcasting Fund.

The Broadcasting Fund defense was build on the opinion, that since the 1996. Act I. 77.§ (1) paragraph on the tasks of the Broadcasting Fund does not mention that the Fund is a public service body, therefore the Fund does not fall into the Act on Data Protection’s jurisdiction.

In contrast to this, the HCLU’s opinion is that even though the Act does not specify the tasks to be of public interest, it does not eliminate it either. The task of the Fund is public service broadcasting and part of the funding of these public programs is from the state budget, therefore the activity of the Fund is undisputedly public service.

Considering, that according to the Act on Data Protection, any data handled by a public service body qualifies as public interest data, the HCLU’s opinion is that data handled by the Broadcasting Fund is also of public interest. Thus, denial of access to the requested data also falls under the jurisdiction of the strict orders of the Act on Data Protection.

 

Share

Related articles

Farmsubsidy.org is holding a conference in Budapest- publicity of farm subsidies in focus

The European Union spends 43.5 billion Euros yearly on farm subsidies, which is 40% of the budget. From this amount 100 Euros per year could be alluded to each European Union citizen. Would you like to know who receives this money?

Nuclear case - still no access to details of the damage reduction process in the Paks Nuclear Plant

The Capital Court of Appeal has made a decision on 20 April about the lawsuit of Energy Club and National Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Safety Directorate (NAEA-NSD) in the second instance court. The judiciary overruled the judgement of the first instance court and ordered to initiate a new proceeding. In the lawsuit HCLU represents the suitor. The appeal does not lie against this decision which is, though favourable, still does not result the access to the demanded data.

Half the Battle Won in the “Nuclear” Lawsuit

The Court of Appeals sent the case back to the Metropolitan Court because the court of first instance was wrong in defining the expert opinions regarding the re-start of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant’s 2nd block were not public data. The Court of Appeals ruled that indeed they were public data, but it was possible that they were to be considered as trade secrets or fell under copyright laws. This however needed to be decided by the court of first instance in a re-trial.