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Petra Bard: A Nation (Un)Dignified

“The recent jurisprudence of Hungarian apex courts based on changes inserted into the Hungarian Fundamental Law of 2011 and the provisions of the 2013 Civil Code on “violating the dignity of the Hungarian nation” set a dangerous precedent that could be broadly applied against critics of the government, aka the EU’s first electoral autocracy,” our Research Affiliate, Petra Bard writes in her post on Verfassungsblog.

The post covers the ruling of the Hungarian Supreme Court against journalist Arpad W. Tota, who in 2018 wrote an opinion piece entitled  “Hungarians don’t steal, they go on adventures,” and criticized the prosecutor’s office for halting the criminal procedure in a corruption case against Prime Minister Orban’s son-in-law and his company. He compared today’s Hungary to Hungarian troops ransacking across Europe some 1,100 years ago, but a lawsuit was filed against him for having published a piece violating the “dignity of the Hungarian nation.” The Supreme Court obliged him to remove the “hurtful words,” publish an apology and the plaintiffs (two Hungarian citizens) were awarded with 400,000 HUF (1,100 EUR) for a violation of their personality rights.

Read Petra Bard’s take on the ruling here.

Photo: Kuria
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