The new Civil Code that enters into force on 15 March 2014 stated that public figures can be criticised upon "legitimate public interest" only. According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, such a regulation may result in disproportionate restriction of freedom of expression. Therefore the Commissioner turned to the Constitutional Court by submitting a petition.
Despite the complaint backed by 22 000 signatures and claiming to turn to the Constitu-tional Court, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights will not turn to the Constitu-tional Court concerning tobacco retail tenders. Nevertheless, Máté Szabó has examined various irregularities of the tender process.
The information on the possibility to get support from the state does not reach all victims of crime. There are but a few specialists, no way to hire psychologists, system management is not efficient enough. The Ombudsman has published a report on the situation of the victims of crime.
A complaint has been lodged with the Ombudsman against the environmental authority of a country town about a procedure not meeting the requirements of precaution and prevention as stipulated by the law and about having infringed the right to a healthy environment. Máté Szabó has also raised the problem of pollution that is still within the limits but intolerable for the population.
Early mother-child relationship, breastfeeding is essential for both the infant and the mother. It is their common interest to stay together as long as possible. For this reason, Ombudsman Máté Szabó turned to the Minister of Public Administration and Justice proposing the joint placement of the infant up to the age of 12 months and the detained mother in the penitentiary institution even if the child was born prior to the commencement of the mother's detention.
It may violate children's right to protection and care if their access to safe drinking wa-ter is denied - commented Ombudsman Máté Szabó in his report published as part of a series of inquiries concerning children and the right to a healthy environment. The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights urged for further measures to ensure safe water supply at least for children.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, it infringes the equal dignity of those concerned that the new Civil Code has left out domestic partners from the definition of both "close relative" and "relative". Therefore, Ombudsman Máté Szabó has requested the Constitutional Court to review and annul the disconcerting definition in the already adopted new Civil Code that is to enter into force as of 15 March 2014.
An integrating society, equal opportunity may be reached only through consistently ap-plying the instruments of nurturing tolerance – stressed the Commissioner for Funda-mental Rights in his report investigating alternative methods of fighting hate speech. Máté Szabó has made several recommendations in order to make state institutions more efficient in their fight against prejudice, for strengthening tolerance.
The deadlines for certain enforcement procedures should be set by the law. It should be made possible to establish the assessed value of real properties on the basis of their true market value. The efficiency and effectiveness of enforcement, and the remuneration and interest of bailiffs should be intertwined. Commissioner Máté Szabó, who repeatedly and vainly asked for the amendment of the legal terms of enforcement in the past, has proposed changes in his two new reports.
The legal regulation of the communication between the bailiff and the participants of the proceeding and, as a consequence, the practice of the judicial enforcement based on the legal rules are deficient and inaccurate. In the course of his project investigating enforcement, Ombudsman Máté Szabó has established that the judicial oversight control over the Bailiffs Association is not efficient enough, the method of handling complaints is not suitable. The Commissioner has asked the competent Minister for amending the legal rule.
Taking a proactive stance, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has been challenging the view that the Ombudsman should only investigate complaints – stressed Attila Péterfalvi, President of the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH), presenting to the public the English version of the Annual Report on the activities of the Ombudsman in the year 2012.
The prison in Sopronkőhida is extremely crowded, inmates spend their lengthy imprisonment in cramped cells, there are fewer psychologists than needed; on the other hand, inmates can attend family consultations before being released. It was for the first time in the history of the Prison and Penitentiary of Sopronkőhida, built in 1886, that the Ombudsman conducted an investigation.