The Hungarian government has filled the Constitutional Court with loyal judges to create a judicial rubber stamp for government interests, according to a study by Hungarian NGOs of recent Constitutional Court decisions.
According to the Eötvös Károly Institute, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, the Constitutional Court’s decision to hear the President of the National Judicial Office behind closed doors undermines the transparency of decision-making by a public office, the right to freedom of information and the principle of fair trial.
The new media-press regulation plan is unfounded, and fails to meet established European freedom of press standards. Moreover, the so-called “media package” sponsored by two right-wing MPs from the governing party (Antal Rogán, András Cser-Palkovics), contains bills with several unconstitutional clauses. The bills would bring about significant changes to the functioning of printed press, television, radio and part of the internet as well. The HCLU disapproves of the process by which the new parliamentary majority has gone about building a completely new regulation plan without any previous consultation, open debate with stakeholders, experts or journalists. This is foolhardy at best, since the bills represent an attempt at a far-reaching overhaul in media regulation.