With a view to deportation, alien policing authorities may take into custody for up to 30 days foreign nationality children together with their adult family members for illegally crossing the state borders of Hungary. According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights this is unnecessary on the other hand, and, on the other, there is no legal basis and there are no legal guarantees for the detention of minors.
According to the rules of law in force, the disaster management authority and the environment protection inspectorate do not participate in each other's proceedings; they make their decisions in isolation, unaware of the activity of the other authority. The current cooperation system of specialised authorities does not adequately take into consideration difficult licensing cases of a complex nature which require the joint decision of several authorities. This is the conclusion Máté Szabó arrived at after he inquired into the background of the red sludge disaster.
On the 5th July 2012 in the Ground Floor Event Hall of the Office, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Prof. Dr. Máté Szabó presented the Annual Report on the Activities of Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights of Hungary in the Year 2011. The annual report was introduced by Dr. Péter Darák, the President of the Hungarian Curia, the event was open to the press. The presentation of the President of the Curia can be reached by clicking here.
The Ombudsman has presented the Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum Awards
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights presented the Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum Awards on 15 June 2012, in Budapest. This year the following persons were recognised for their activities: university professor Csilla Kollonay-Lehoczky, environment protection lawyer György Kalas, and Judit Berki, expert in social policy, jointly with the After School Centre of Bátonyterenye directed by her.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has asked the Constitutional Court to examine certain provisions of the ministerial decree on social security subsidies for registered pharmaceutical products. According to Máté Szabó Ombudsman the provisions regulating access of diabetic patients to analogous insulin violate their right to health and the prohibition of discrimination; moreover, they are contrary to the Fundamental Law from a formal point of view.
In 2011 the activities of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights had to be carried out under the circumstances of crisis tendencies, where crisis management often generated debates on the interpretation of fundamental rights. Issues of social and labour law became major concerns, and the realisation of the rights of assembly and of the free expression of opinions became topical again. The crisis extended to such areas as health care or disaster management as well. All this often made it difficult for society to solve its conflicts, the fundamental rights aspects of which gave a special meaning to the rights protection function of the Ombudsman.
Certain provisions of the Act on Nationalities, which entered into force on 1 January 2012, are contrary to the Fundamental Law and restrict the fundamental rights of nationalities – the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has requested the Constitutional Court to establish this and to annul the text parts indicated in his petition.
After the presentation of the Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum Awards (The Ombudsman Award) on 15th June, 2012, an exhibition of human rights posters, organised jointly with the UN Association of Hungary, was opened in the building of the Ombudsman's office in Nádor Street. Numerous international organisations contributed to the success of the exhibition, among others the European Ombudsman, EOI, the Council of Europe, FENTSA, UNHCR and UNICEF.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has filed two inter-connected applications with the Constitutional Court on the new Acts on Family Protection and on Family Support. The Ombudsman underlines in both petitions that the law-maker may not exclude existing, functioning and recognised partnership relations from the concept of family because it constitutes an infringement of the rights of the persons concerned, and at times even of the rights of their children.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights requested the Constitutional Court to examine the provision of the Act on Electoral Procedure which limits in HUF 1 million per candidate the amount that can be used during the electoral campaign for Members of Parliament. The Ombudsman has invited the Constitutional Court to examine also a possible failure to act by the law-maker in connection with the control of the utilisation of campaign funds.
Prof. Máté Szabó has requested the Constitutional Court to annul several provisions of rules of law because in his view they violate the right to the protection of personal data or the right to access data of public interest.
The felling licences for the trees and bushes in the northern part of Kossuth Square in Budapest were issued without regard to the guarantees of publicity, transparency and legal certainty. On the initiative of the Deputy Commissioner responsible for the interests of future generations Ombudsman Máté Szabó has inquired into the circumstances.