The European Court of Human Rights ruled in a Hungarian pre-trial detention case on 19 March 2013 that Hungary violated Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The applicant was represented by the HHC.
The applicant, X.Y., was arrested in November 2007 on charges of a series of car thefts and placed in pre-trial detention. He was released in May 2008 under house arrest. All restrictions on his liberty were lifted in November 2009; the proceedings against him are currently still pending.
Relying in particular on Article 5 (1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, he alleged that his pre-trial detention from 18 February to 11 March 2008 had been unlawful under the national law on account of an error committed in an order to extend his detention. Furthermore, relying on Article 5 (3) of the Convention (entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial), he also alleged that the length of his pre-trial detention had been excessive, and in particular that the decisions to extend his detention had not taken into account a deterioration in his psychological health. Lastly, the applicant alleged under Article 5 (4) (right to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court) that the proceedings in which he had challenged his continued detention had been unfair, as he had not had access to relevant documents in his case file.
The applicant was represented before the European Court of Human Rights by the co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, András Kádár.
The European Court of Human Rights, in line with the arguments of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, concluded that there has been a violation of Article 5 (1), (3) and (4) of the Convention.
The decision in the case X.Y. v. Hungary (Application no. 43888/08, Judgment of 19 March 2013) is available here.