Diritto amministrativo europeo

Executive and Legislative Organs of Hungary Disobey Court Rulings


Questa settimana segnaliamo un articolo di Dániel G. Szabó, sugli sviluppi dell’ordinamento giuridico ungherese all’indomani dell’avvio della procedura prevista dall’art. 7 TUE da parte del Parlamento europeo.

Executive and Legislative Organs of Hungary Disobey Court Rulings


Dániel G. Szabó

October 2, 2018

After the historic triggering of Article 7 TEU by the European Parliament against Hungary, one aspect of the Hungarian rule of law deficiency remains surprisingly underreported: the failure of state organs to comply with and enforce binding domestic judgements in the area of freedom of information. Freedom of information, or the right to know, is a heavily used tool of journalists and NGOs in Hungary, where the government increasingly disregards questions from journalists and bars journalists from accessing the subjects of their inquiries (for illustration, see these two submissions, here and here, to the European Court of Human Rights). Unlike a journalistic question, freedom of information is a right protected by the courts and the Constitutional Court – but in some cases, even in very high profile cases, the process stops there. The judgement is not enforced, and the right to know remains theoretical and illusory, rather than practical or effective. As I will show below, enforcement is increasingly eroded, which demonstrates the weakness of the Hungarian rule of law state.

Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini’s report on the Hungarian rule of law situation mentions the problem of non-execution of judgements, but not on the domestic level. The report lists a number of not-yet-executed rulings of the European Court of Human Rights against Hungary on the systemic discrimination of Roma people, excessive length of civil procedures, the freedom of expression of the former President of the Supreme Court, unchecked state surveillance, freedom of religion, the detention of migrants et.al. That should not come as a surprise: according to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Hungary is among the states with “the highest number of non-implemented [ECtHR] judgments and still face(s) serious structural problems, some of which have not been resolved for over ten years”.

But the same is happening in the domestic level: There are several binding and final judgements not enforced by Ministries, state authorities, and, at least in one instance, even by a Committee of the Hungarian Parliament. Hungary, as it seems, leads the way of disregarding court judgements, too.

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