Freedom of Expression

Misleading translation and serious problems with the Hungarian draft Constitution

 Three Hungarian NGOs, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, the Eotvos Karoly Institute and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee sent a public letter to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and the leaders of European Parliament groups to draw their attention to the fallacious translation of the draft Constitution. Moreover, we informed them about our analysis of the Constitution framing process and some dangerous points of the draft.

Comments on the Process of Framing the New Constitution of Hungary

 The adoption of the new Hungarian Constitution will be, in all likelihood, the most influential domestic legislative act in the field of public law in the first half of 2011. The constitution writing process would be deemed a success if it would result in a substantial fundamental law providing a solid basis for the political community. However, when one takes into consideration the manner in which the new Constitution is being framed, it becomes increasingly difficult to conclude that it will be a success. The minimum requirement for creating a stable Constitution is that the fundamental law is adopted in a process which entails the possibility of the law being accepted by the overwhelming majority of society.

The current,  highly unusual way of designing the Constitution makes one doubt whether this document  will be worthy of being called the Constitution of Hungary. You can download our critical assessment (from here pdf) regarding the process of framing the new Constitution of Hungary. 

Letter to Neelie Kroes, European Digital Agenda Commissioner

 The HCLU wrote a letter to Neelie Kroes to express our grave concern about the amendment proposed to the Hungarian Press and Media Act and the Media Services and Mass Media Act by the Hungarian government which it has been said is supported by Commissioner Kroes. 

Concerns about media legislation in Hungary (part I)

The HCLU recaps the concerns about the Act CIV of 2010 on Freedom of the Press and on the Basic Rules Relating to Media Content

The Hungarian Parliament approved the draft bill on the so-called media-constitution, with the official title: Act CIV of 2010 on Freedom of the Press and on the Basic Rules Relating to Media Content, which was passed in November 2010 and entered into force on 1st January 2011.

The Second Wave of Legislation in Hungary – Violating the Rule of Law

The Eötvös Károly Institute, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee focus on the elements of the system of checks and balances which were eliminated or significantly weakened by the decisions of the Government. Unconstitutional legislative changes, adopted since September, are also addressed.

Download (doc) (pdf)

Five NGOs’ Joint Letter to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Transparency International Hungary, K-Monitor, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Eötvös Károly Institute turned to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe to obtain its position regarding the amendment of the Constitution which would rectrict the Constitutional Court’s power.