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European Union; Hungary: Criticism of Laws on the Judiciary, Data Protection, and the National Bank

(Jan. 23, 2012) On January 17, 2012, President Jose Manuel Barroso of the European Commission (EC) announced the initiation of legal action against Hungary by means of three Letters of Formal Notice, regarding three issues in new Hungarian legislation effective at the beginning of this year under the country's 2011 Constitution (Fundamental Law of Hungary […]

Hungary: New Constitution Signed into Law

(Apr. 29, 2011) On April 25, 2011, the President of Hungary, Pál Schmitt, signed into law the country's new Constitution, the Fundamental Law of Hungary. Hungary is the last jurisdiction in Eastern Europe to effect the change to a post-communist constitution. Passage of the law was secured by the two-thirds majority held in the National […]

Hungary: Hamburger Tax Under Consideration

(Mar. 17, 2011) Matolcsy added that the specifics of which products would be taxed and how the revenue so raised would be used have not yet been determined. (Id.) It was reported in February, however, that the tax might apply to sodas, coffee, and sweets, as well as fast-food meals (Veronika Gulyas, Hungary to Tax […]

European Union; Hungary: European Parliament Resolution on Hungary’s Media Law

(Mar. 16, 2011) Although the threat of the European Union taking legal action against Member State Hungary for its controversial new Media Law has subsided, the European Parliament passed a resolution on March 10, 2011, that criticizes the Law as well as certain aspects of the European Commission's role in helping Hungarian authorities ensure the […]

Hungary: Controversial New Media Law Defended by Government

(Jan. 7, 2011) Hungary's Parliament passed a new media law on December 20, 2010, that has been harshly criticized by members of the country's media, other European governments, and the intergovernmental Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The law entered into force on January 1, 2011, the same day on which Hungary assumed […]

Hungary: Initiation of Criminal Investigation of Chemical Spill Disaster

(Oct. 12, 2010) On October 6, 2010, police in Hungary launched a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the massive Ajka chemical spill, in which toxic red sludge from an alumina plant's storage reservoir spread through tributaries and ultimately reached the Danube River. The spill, which occurred on October 4, has resulted in four deaths […]

Hungary: Penal Code Amendment on Holocaust Denial Adopted

(Mar. 15, 2010) The Hungarian National Assembly (the 386-member unicameral parliament) passed an amendment to the Penal Code on February 22, 2010, criminalizing denial of the Holocaust. Those convicted of the offense of public Holocaust denial face up to three years of imprisonment. There were reportedly 197 votes in favor of the amendment, one opposed, […]

Hungary: Same-Sex Partnership Law Struck Down

(Dec. 31, 2008) On December 15, 2008, the Constitutional Court of Hungary ruled that a 2007 law, which would have recognized civil partnerships between same-sex couples and unmarried couples and given them related rights, “diminishes the importance of marriage,” and struck it down. (Jaclyn Belczyk, Hungary Court Strikes Down Same-Sex Partnership Law, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST, […]