Rule of Law

SAO procedures: no guarantee for independence and neutrality

The State Audit Office (SAO) is again in action: this year the Democratic Coalition (DK), Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik), Momentum and Parbeszed were put on the stand. It is dangerous and illegal what the SAO does. Prior to the EP Elections, the SAO again used procedures on opposition parties, during which the general public is not informed about the background of the cases and which do not provide legal remedies against the sanctions.

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS DO NOT GIVE THE GOVERNMENT AN EXCUSE TO SHUT OUT OPPOSING OPINIONS!

The government has submitted an amendment proposal that would exclude protests from the most important, symbolic public squares of Budapest during national holidays. Furthermore, it would empower local governments to remove further areas a no-protest zone.

HCLU’s analysis on the proposal T/706 on the protection of private life

The Government filed on 26 June a proposal that concerns the protection of private life according to its title. The proposal is odd, since it rarely has any new normative content. Therefore, it is questionable, what the legislator intends with it.

Orban's government heads towards arbitrary rule

After Fidesz’ overwhelming electoral victory in April 2018, many observers believed Prime Minister Orbán would curb his voracious appetite for turning Hungary into an illiberal state. These expectations were grievously miscalculated.

Hungary’s new immigration tax: you have to pay if have a different opinion

After the third two-thirds mandate won by the governing party Fidesz, the Hungarian government adopted amendments to various laws, including the Fundmental Law. The amendements – the government argues – intend to tackle illegal migration, while the real intention is making operations overly burdensome for those who don’t share the government’s opinion on migration. Besides the changes to the Fundamental Law and the Penal Code under the name “Stop Soros” (analysed here), the government also adopted a new specal tax, under the name immigration special tax. It is nothing but a severe restriction of the freedom of speech: those that are supporting immigration in a professional way (doing so in an organized framework, as a calling, while using money from supporters) can, from now on, only do so if paying a special, 25% tax. The new “Stop Soros” provision to the Penal Code threatens human rights’ defenders and lobbyists with prison, while this regulation creates an existential threat for organizations active on immigation. The reality is that the immigration special tax puts limitations on the freedom of speech and on the work of NGOs. The new legislation was adopted by the Parliament, signed by the President of Hungary and came into force on the 25th of August.

HCLU's analysis of the seventh amendment of the Fundamental Law

The seven-year-old Fundamental Law of Hungary has been amended for the seventh time. Any amendment of the Fundamental Law should theoretically be based on a broad political consensus because a constitution does not reflect the majority’s will, but instead provides a legal framework for a government gaining majority via any democratic election to implement their political commitments. An ideal constitution provides for the possibility to govern according to different ideologies and defines the clear limits of governance that shall not be transgressed.