Human Rights Organizations’ Petition to the Constitutional Court to Annul the “Nullity Act“

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) request the Constitutional Court to annul Act XVI of 2011 on the redress of the verdicts in connection with the crowd controls in the autumn of 2006 in a joint petition. According to the human rights organizations the act severely violates the rule of law and juridical independence.

1. The human rights organizations consider unacceptable that the act suggests that the police gave false evidence in each case when their evidence confirmed the commission of the act, in these cases the prosecutors brought charges wrongly, and that the judgments of the first and second instance were wrong. Such an act does not restore but undermines the social trust in the professionalism and transparency of jurisdiction. The rule of law is severely endangered if the members of parliament, due to political reasons, overwrite the judgments made by the independent jurisdiction.

2. The act on nullity violates legal certainty. The institution of validity secures the realization of the requirements of legal certainty, which can only be broken exceptionally. We call the attention to the fact that there is legal possibility within the frames of the rule of law to redress the grievances of those sentenced based on false evidence by reopening a case.

3. The act on nullity is an indelicate intervention of the legislating power into the work of jurisdiction and the evidence in the course of criminal procedures. Based on our Constitution, only courts can do the evaluation of evidence, the legislator cannot interfere in establishing the facts and guilt or innocence.

4. In connection with the demonstrations of 2006, the HHC and the HCLU protested against police violations several times. Following the events, the lawyers of the two organizations represented several people who were prosecuted in criminal or offence procedures. No client have been charged in the criminal procedures, thus in our direct experience the prosecutor did not consider the evidence, solely based on reports and evidence containing generalities by police witnesses, sufficient and stopped the investigation.

 

“With passing the act on nullity the legislator declared that the juridical system was neither independent nor unbiased in the autumn of 2006. This severely undermines the legitimacy of jurisdiction and legal certainty.” – said dr. Andrea Pelle, member of the Executive Committee of HCLU.

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