Center for Fundamental Rights

Comedy of errors?

Following the recent country report of the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International (AI) also published a report on Hungarian public affairs. Several statements of the report are based on errors and misunderstandings. Contrary to the report of AI, separation of powers is guaranteed in Hungary as this principle is expressively declared by the Fundamental Law. Furthermore, contrary to the allegations of the report, the Hungarian electoral system has been a mixed electoral system since 1990, thus not only the results of party lists should be considered when talking about the proportion of parliamentary mandates. The applicable electoral laws, just like the Fundamental Law, were adopted within an open legislation procedure after months of debates. Moreover, the Fundamental Law provides a more efficient system of legal remedy for national minorities than the previous Constitution did. Persons belonging to such communities shall be entitled to enforce their claims in court against the expression of an opinion which violates the community, invoking the violation of their human dignity, as provided for by an Act. Previously, this right was not guaranteed for them. The report’s statements on the practice of asylum detention are also misleading as this legal institution was applied against only one out of ten refugees in 2014. Secondly, refugees may turn to court for an efficient legal remedy as well. Last but not least it also has to be highlighted, that in line with the previous decision of the European Court of Human Rights, the Hungarian legislator has amended the regulation on custodial life imprisonment. The regulation introduced the mandatory, reconsidering act of grace procedure that has to be applied in the case of every respective judicial decision.