'Semi-Consolidated Democracy': Freedom House Downgrades Hungary

Freedom House published this year's evaluation examining post-socialist countries on Tuesday. The report, Nations in Transit 2015, reclassifies Hungary from the category "Consolidated Democracies" to "Semi-Consolidated Democracies." The Washington-based international watchdog organization examined 29 countries (in Central Europe, the Balkans and the member states of the former Soviet Union) during last year. In the report, Hungary ranked 8th among 29 countries, finishing behind Slovakia and ahead of Bulgaria.

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Five NGOs’ Joint Letter to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Transparency International Hungary, K-Monitor, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Eötvös Károly Institute turned to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe to obtain its position regarding the amendment of the Constitution which would rectrict the Constitutional Court’s power.

Gay Dating Site Gets Legal Help From Hungarian NGO

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union is representing the gay dating site melegrandi.hu in proceedings before the Equal Treatment Authority. The site was going to place ads on buses managed by the Budapest Transport Company (BKV), but was denied by the company responsible for BKV's advertisements, claiming that advertising regulations prohibit ads that threaten the moral development of children and minors. HCLU says this interpretation is totally missing the point of the concerned paragraph of Hungary's advertisement law, and the denial constitutes an infringement of equal treatment rights.

Abolishing the age limit regarding Constitutional Court judges

The Eötvös Károly Institute, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union criticize the abolishing of the upper age limit of 70 years in case of elected Constitutional Court judges, including current serving judges.