HCLU wins case against the Ministry of Finance

The case was started against the Ministry of Finance after it denied access to data on public spending deficit of a hundred billion HUF.

The plaint was submitted on 4 Sept, 2006. The Ministry’s lawyer argued that the data requested by HCLU was only an estimate regarding an indefinite future figure that is not a data, therefore does not fall within the jurisdiction of Act LXIII of 1992 (on data protection and freedom of information).

According to HCLU’s attorney on that argument any kind of information or knowledge posessed by a state institution is a public interest data according to the Hungarian Freedom of Information Act. And also referring to the press conference where the deficit was announced it was clear that the estimate was based on relevant information. And also there was a precedent court decision saying the definition of data cannot be strictly interpreted as it is defined in the dictionary but in a broader context.

The court has dismissed the defendant’s argument and obliged the Ministry to publish the requested data within 15 days from receiving the verdict.

Learn more about the case

 

 

Share

Related articles

Proposed constitution is serious threat to right to information

In yet another assault on freedom of expression and information, the Hungarian government adopted a new Constitution on Monday 18 April which will abolish independent oversight of the public’s right to know.

There is No Effective Control Over National Security - Three Civil Organizations File Complaints with the Constitutional Court

The Eötvös Károly Institute, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, and Transparency International Hungary seek to jointly challenge the new Act on the protection of classified information, promulgated on April 1st, and several provisions of the Act on national security before the Constitutional Court.

HCLU Wins Landmark Freedom of Information Case

The Hungarian Ministry of Development and Economics is ordered to disclose data, which reveal what investments worth 200 billion Hungarian forints – nearly 800 million euros - were carried out by Swedish companies in exchange for the purchase of Gripen fighter-jets by the Hungarian Air Force. The journalist of on-line newspaper, origo.hu – with legal representation provided by the HCLU - has initiated a Freedom of Information lawsuit in December, 2007, because the Ministry has previously rejected to provide information to the journalist’s FOI request. According to the September 8th ruling of the Regional Court of Appeals, the defendant Ministry acted unlawfully.