Law Enforcement And Criminal Justice | Magyar Helsinki Bizottság

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People often feel vulnerable to law enforcement agencies. The HHC offers help in this inbalanced power relationship: we provide legal advice, legal representation, regularly monitor places of detention as well as make recommendations to improve people’s capacities to enforce their rights when they come into contact with the police and the prison service. Through our activities, closed institutions become more transparent and citizens’ vulnerability decreases.


In a judgment published this week, the Constitutional Court of Hungary ruled that the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure that allows for unlimited pre-trial detention pending a first instance judgment is unconstitutional. The decision comes six years after the Ombudsperson asked for a constitutional review based on a request by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Eötvös Károly Institute.

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The Hungarian Helsinki Committee conducted a research project together with lawyers of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union on the application of the new assembly law of Hungary, adopted in 2018. The objective of the research was to look into the case-law of courts and decisions taken by the police as assembly authority in order to reveal the impact of the new legislation on the right to peaceful assembly.

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The European Court of Human Rights established in 2015 that overcrowding in penitentiaries in Hungary constitutes a structural problem. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe examines the Varga and Others v. Hungary under the enhanced procedure.

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After the Hungarian government declared a state of danger due to the pandemic in March 2020, one of the first extraordinary measures adopted was a blanket ban of all kinds of gatherings, demonstrations and assemblies, excluding the possibility of considering the individual circumstances of each case.

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The Hungarian Helsinki Committee contributed to the project “Fighting unconscious bias and discrimination of Roma people in the criminal justice system”, which started in 2018, as a partner. The transnational project was coordinated by the Fair Trials and was funded by the European Union.

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