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.
The Ombudsman has re-investigated four children's homes providing special care and found infringements on several fundamental rights on this occasion, too. Commissioner Máté Szabó has requested the intervention of the competent minister.
He had been having a toothache for months, could hardly eat and, yet, he had not received any medical treatment but painkillers – a prisoner complained to the ombudsman. Ombudsman Máté Szabó finds it unacceptable that the penitentiary institution did not ensure dental treatment to a prisoner in pain.
As of 1 July 2013, pensioners working in the public sector will stop receiving their pension as long as they remain employed. According to the Ombudsman, this alteration of pension regulations infringes on the right to property, on the protection of rights representing pecuniary values, therefore he requested the Constitutional Court to annul this amendment.
During one of his earlier, comprehensive investigations the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights concluded that various institutions of higher education and their faculties, in particular, did not have a uniform practice as far as the enforcement of the rights of students living with disability was concerned. Therefore, he requested the Minister of Human Resources to take the necessary measures in order to create an unambiguous legal environment. The State Secretary in charge of higher education partly concurred with and partly disputed the findings of Máté Szabó.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, it is contrary to the requirement of the rule of law and infringes on the right to due process that the Media Act, in addition to imposing fines on organizations impeding the proceedings of the Media Authority, also stipulates, in case of repeated offence, imposing fines on the executive officer of the infringer. Therefore, Máté Szabó has requested the Constitutional Court to annul the provision concerned.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, certain parts of the Fourth Amendment may not fulfil the formal and procedural criteria that are stipulated in the Basic Law. Therefore, upon the authorisation of the Basic Law, the ombudsman challenges the regulations in question at the Constitutional Court.
The authorities participating in handling the extreme snow situation, together with the voluntary rescue teams and civilians, carried out their rescue activities with the best possible utilization of both personnel and equipment. There were, however, some serious shortcomings in the course of preparing, alerting and informing the population, and in communications, too – concluded Ombudsman Máté Szabó summing up his ex officio investigation.