Archive item

Title: Summary of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Hungary on the Media Laws in 2011 by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union
Other/original title:
Publisher: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)
Files: Summary of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Hungary on the Media Laws in 2011.pdf
Abstract: The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union created this summary of the ruling of the Constitutional Court of Hungary of 19 December 2011, which struck down significant parts of the controversial media laws that had been adopted the year before as unconstitutional. The summary highlights five main elements of the ruling. First, the court ruled the application of several content regulations, such as those banning content deemed to offend human dignity or violate the constitutional order, to the print and online media unconstitutional, though it left them in place for broadcast media and did not strike down other, similar provisions. Second, the court annulled provisions governing the journalistic protection of sources and ordered parliament to enact further guarantees for this right. Third, the court also annulled an article that provided the new media authority with an intrusive inspection right which could force media to reveal sources and legal secrets. Fourth, the court annulled the rights of the Press Complaint Commissioner "to muddle with the editorial lines of the press in case of complaints" even if the complaint did not reveal any violation of the law. Fifth, however, the court declared the new compulsory registration system for all media service providers constitutional. The summary also notes that "the Court did not address large structural parts of the new media regulation system," such as the new, centralised media authority and its disputed independence; the sanctions it is entitled to use; and the lack of structural independence of the public broadcasters.
Publication/ adoption date: 2013-03-04
Language: English
Rights: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU). Permission for reproducing HCLU documents in this digital archive granted by email.