Amnesty International Hungary not allowed to attend conference on judicial independence, citing lack of space

March 23. 2023. – 02:10 PM



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The Hungarian Supreme Court is holding an international conference on the institutional guarantees of judicial independence on Thursday, but neither the National Judicial Council (Országos Bírói Tanács – OBT), the self-governing body of judges, nor the members of MABIE, the biggest association of judges, nor professional NGOs dealing with the issue were invited, Amnesty International Hungary said in a statement.

According to the NGO, the event, which was opened by András Varga Zs., President of the Supreme Court, and Judit Varga, Minister of Justice, is important for three reasons. The first is to present the results of the Curia's research on judicial independence, which has been ongoing since April last year and is mentioned in the invitation. The second is that the government has committed itself to implementing the biggest judicial reform in recent years by the end of March which should be in line with EU standards, but there is no sign of this yet. The original plan was for the package of laws to go before parliament at the end of February, and the government would have to not only pass the amendments by the end of March, but also enact them in exchange for EU funds. The third reason is that two organisations have so far refused to share their opinion on the judicial reform with the public: the National Office for the Judiciary and the Curia. Unlike them, the National Judicial Council and the NGOs have made their views public.

As an organisation working towards the independence of the judiciary, Amnesty International Hungary would have liked to participate in the professional conference, but in spite of having previously registered, their request was refused citing lack of space. Other organizations received the same explanation.

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