Archive item

Title: Main concerns regarding the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary
Other/original title:
Publisher: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)
Files: Main_concerns_regarding_the_Fourth_Amendment_to_the_Fundamental_Law_of_Hungary.pdf
Abstract: In February 2013, the Hungarian government party submitted the so-called "Fourth Amendment" to the country's new constitution, which covered a wide range of subjects and provisions. In this 12-page briefing, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, the Eötvös Károly Public Policy Institute and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee laid out their argument that the amendment would undermine the rule of law in Hungary, i.a. by "inserting provisions into the Fundamental Law which had been previously found unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court; including provisions in the Fundamental Law which violate international standards; and further weakening the control exercised by the Constitutional Court over the Parliament". The report specifies concerns about 11 parts of the Fourth Amendment, from provisions that would undermine judicial independence to ones that would abolish the autonomy of universities in financial matters, and one of the parts it highlights is how the amendment would allow the banning of certain political advertisements. Article 5 of the Fourth Amendment would provide "nation-widely supported political parties" (but not smaller ones) with "free and equal access [..] to political advertising in public media outlets" before elections, but also provides that a "Cardinal Act may limit the publication of other forms of political advertisements." This provision "would create the constitutional basis for banning the publishing of political advertisements in the commercial media," the organizations argue, and in fact a proposal to do so was already submitted in the same month. This provision also violates Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the organizations argue.
Publication/ adoption date: 2013-02-26
Language: English
Rights: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU). Permission for reproducing HCLU documents in this digital archive granted by email.