The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Office:
The work and the mandate of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Office aredetermined by the Article 30 of the Fundamental Law of Hungary adopted in 2011 and based on the Act CXI of 2011 on the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, both which enter into force 1st January 2012. Following the relevant regulations, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights is the legal successor of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights, who ensures the effective, coherent and most comprehensive protection of fundamental rights and in order to implement the Fundamental Law of Hungary.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights…
pays special attention to the protection of
- the rights of children,
- the rights of nationalities living in Hungary,
- the rights of the most vulnerable social groups,
- the values determined as ‘the interests of future generations'.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights gives an opinion on the draft rules of law affecting his/her tasks and competences; on long-term development and land management plans and concepts, and on plans and concepts otherwise directly affecting the quality of life of future generations; and he/she may make proposals for the amendment or making of rules of law affecting fundamental rights and/or the recognition of the binding nature of an international treaty.
The Commissioner surveys and analyses the situation of fundamental rights in Hungary, and prepares statistics on those infringements of rights in Hungary which are related to fundamental rights. Therefore, the Commissioner submits his/her annual report to the Parliament, in which he/shegives information on his/her fundamental rights activities and gives recommendations and proposals for regulations or any amendments. The Parliament shall debate the report during the year of its submission.
In the course of his/her activities, the Commissioner cooperates with organisations aiming at the promotion of the protection fundamental rights.
As a new mandate, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may initiate the review of rules of law at the Constitutional Court as to their conformity with the Fundamental Law.
Furthermore, the Commissioner participates in the preparation of national reports based on international treaties relating to his/her tasks and competences, and monitors and evaluates the enforcement of these treaties under Hungarian jurisdiction.
The Deputy-Commissioners for Fundamental Rights…
The provisions of the Act strongly affect the organizational structure of the ombudsman system. Since the Parliament elects only one ombudsman, this person is assigned to choose his/her own deputies whom are also elected by the Hungarian Parliament. There is one Deputy-Commissioner who is responsible for the protection of the interests of future generations and there is one other Deputy-Commissioner who is responsible for the protection of the interests of nationalities living in Hungary.
- monitor the enforcement of the interests of future generations,
- regularly inform the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights on his/her experience regarding the enforcement of the interests of future generations or minorities living in Hungary,
- draw the attention of the Commissioner to the danger of infringement of the rights of a larger group of natural persons,
- participate in the inquiries of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights,
- may propose the Commissioner to institute proceedings ex officio,
- may propose the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to turn to the Constitutional Court.
The mandate of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and the Deputies:
The Parliament elects the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights (by the proposal of the President of the Republic) and his/her Deputies for 6 years term. Any Hungarian citizen can be elected as Commissioner for Fundamental Rights or the Deputy-Commissioner, if he/she holds a law degree, has the right to stand as a candidate in elections of Members of Parliament and who also has outstanding theoretical knowledge or at least ten years of professional experience; furthermore he/she has reached the age of thirty-five years and has considerable experience in conducting or supervising proceedings concerning fundamental rights.
The mandate of the Commissioner and his/her Deputies is incompatible with any other state, local government, social or political office or mandate or any other gainful occupation, with the exception of scientific, educational, artistic activities.
The Commissioner and his/her Deputies have the right to immunity identical to that of Members of Parliament.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may be re-elected once.
The mandate of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his/her Deputies' terminates
- upon expiry of his or her mandate,
- upon his/her death,
- upon his/her resignation,
- if the conditions necessary for his/her election no longer exist,
- upon the declaration of a conflict of interests,
- upon his/her dismissal, or
- upon removal from office.
Proceedings of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights:
Anyone may turn to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, if in his/her judgement, the activity or omission of the public and/or other organs performing public duties (see: the exhaustive list below) infringes a fundamental right of the person submitting the petition or presents an imminent danger. When the person reporting has exhausted the available administrative legal remedies, not including the judicial review of an administrative decision, or if no legal remedy is available to him or her.
The list of organs:
- a public administration organ,
- a local government,
- a nationality self-government,
- a public body with mandatory membership,
- the Hungarian Defence Forces,
- a law-enforcement organ,
- any other organ acting in its public administration competence, in this competence,
- an investigation authority or an investigation organ of the Prosecution Service,
- a notary public,
- a bailiff at a county court,
- an independent bailiff, or
- an organ performing public services.
Inquiries into an organ performing public services may be carried out only in connection with its public service activities. Independently of its form of organisation, organs performing public services shall be the following:
- organs performing state or local government tasks and/or participating in the performance thereof,
- public utilities providers,
- universal providers,
- organisations participating in the granting or intermediation of state or European Union subsidies,
- organisations performing activities described in a rule of law as public service, and
- organisations performing a public service which is prescribed in a rule of law and the use of which is mandatory.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has other powers as well:
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may initiate at the Constitutional Court the review of legal rules as to their conformity with the Basic Law.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the interests of future generations and the Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the rights of nationalities living in Hungary shall monitor the enforcement of the interests of future generations and the rights of nationalities living in Hungary.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may not conduct inquiries into the activities of
b) the President of the Republic,
c) the Constitutional Court,
d) the State Audit Office,
e) the courts, or
f) the Prosecution Service, with the exception of the investigation organs of the Prosecution Service.
If, on the basis of the petition, it may be presumed that – with the exception of these organs – the activity or omission of the organisation not qualifying as authority gravely infringes the fundamental rights of a larger group of natural persons, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may proceed exceptionally.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may not proceed in cases where:
· more than a year has passed since the notification of a final administrative decision.
· the proceedings started after 23 October 1989.
· court proceedings have been started for the review of the decision or where a final court decision has been rendered.
· The identity of the person who has filed the petition has not been revealed by himself/herself and therefore the inquiry cannot be conducted. (No one shall suffer a disadvantage for turning to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.)
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall reject the petition if
a) it does not meet the abovementioned requirements
b) it is manifestly unfounded,
c) a repeatedly submitted petition does not contain new facts or data on the substance, or
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may reject the petition if
a) it has been submitted anonymously, or
b) in his or her judgement the impropriety referred to in the petition is of minor importance.
Public Interest Disclousure and Whistle-blower Protection
As of 1 January 2014, it is the duty of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to launch inquiries into the practice of the state organs regarding public interest disclosures and citizens may also directly turn to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. As one of the institutions with the greatest public trust, the Commissioner has been authorized to establish and operate an electronic system handling and registering public interest disclosures. In order to protect whistle-blowers, they may request that their personal data be accessible only to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. In this case, the public interest disclosure will be forwarded in an anonymous form.
New powers in connection with the review process of National Security Checks
As of 1 January 2015, in accordance with the stipulations of the Act on National Security Services, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has got new powers: he may inquire into ordering and conducting a review of national security checks from the aspects of fundamental rights related improprieties.
The person under review may request the Ombudsman to conduct an inquiry within six months after having learned about the review process. In addition, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may also conduct an ex officio investigation into the review process practices of the national security services. If the Commissioner discovers any fundamental rights related improprieties in connection with ordering and conducting such reviews, he shall inform the cabinet minister supervising the national security service concerned and request him to take the necessary measures; in case the Ombudsman does not find those measures appropriate, he shall inform thereof the Parliament’s Committee on National Security
Method of submitting a complaint:
The petition and the Commissioner's proceeding are free of stamp duty. The complaint can be submitted both orally and in writing (also via email or through the dedicated platform on our website). It is advisable to enclose the copies of the existing documents which can be relevant to the inquiry. If you want to submit a complaint via email, please use
Your attention is drawn to that complaints submitted via emailed shall be handled in compliance with the general rules of administration. Please indicate your permanent address and your postal address in your petition in order to help us handle your petition on the merit. In the absence of this, your complaint via email shall not be handled on the merit. If the person filing the petition requests it, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may not reveal his or her identity.
Alapvető Jogok Biztosának Hivatala
1387 Budapest PO Box 40
Should you make a complaint personally, please make an appointment in advance.
In order to make an appointment, call the phone number 06-1-475-71-00 or make an appointment electronically.
Opening hours of the Commissioner's Client Service Office:
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (in case of prior arrangement: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Tuesday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Address of the Client Service Office: 1055 Budapest Falk Miksa utca 9-11. >> map <<
Telephone of the Client Service Office: (06-1-) 475-7129; (06-1-) 475-7100
Important to know:
• The 30 day administrative time limit does not apply to the proceedings of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.
• In conducting his or her proceedings, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall be independent, subordinated only to Acts. If, on the basis of an inquiry conducted, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights comes to the conclusion that the impropriety in relation to a fundamental right does exist, in order to redress it he or she may address a recommendation to the authority to the supervisory organ of the authority subject to inquiry.
• No one shall suffer a disadvantage for turning to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.