On July 19th, after a lengthy legal battle, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg ruled in favor of journalist Peter Uj, represented by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. The journalist criticized the state owned Tokaj Kereskedőház (Hungarian winery) and specifically characterized it’s wine as shit. Criminal charges (defamation and criminal libel) initiated by the Tokaj Kereskedőház were pressed against him.
The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) and the ARTICLE 19 Global Campaign For Free Expression prepared together an Information Note on the Hungarian Media Laws that enterted into force in January 2011.
On 1 June 2011, four special rapporteurs on freedom of speech issued a joint declaration on the freedom of expression and the internet in Budapest.
Leading Hungarian NGOs, Transparency International Hungary and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union besides expressing their criticism about the new Hungarian Constitution and the Constitution-writing process, wish to express their deep concern regarding the recent initiatives of the parliamentary majority to radically encroach upon the independence of the judiciary system.
In their current, third analysis on the legislative work of the Hungarian Parliament, the Eötvös Károly Policy Institute, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) examine whether the constitution-making process in Hungary meets the requirements deriving from the principle of the rule of law and compares the draft “Fundamental Law” (i.e. the draft of the new Constitution) submitted to the Parliament on 14 March 2011 with the present constitutional system.