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Jun 19, 2018

Parliament to vote tomorrow on the “Stop Soros” legislative package and constitutional amendment

The package includes changes to administrative courts, inserting defense against illegal migration into the fundamental law and protecting Hungary’s sovereignty

Hungary’s Parliament is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the “Stop Soros” legislative package and the constitutional amendment.

The package includes changes to administrative courts, inserting defense against illegal migration into the fundamental law and protecting Hungary’s sovereignty.

The proposed amendment to the Fundamental Law covers five major topics.

Firstly, it extends the National Creed with an obligation for state bodies to protect Hungary’s constitutional identity and to preserve the country’s sovereignty. In particular, that concerns Hungary’s identity – our nation’s Christian identity – and sovereignty in Europe.

The second point focuses on illegal immigration. The amendment here inserts a clause that would prohibit the resettlement of foreigners to Hungary and therefore reinforces the common standard in international law that the state has the right to decide who can reside within its borders.

The modification also declares that no asylum claim will be granted to those non-Hungarian individuals who arrived at the Hungarian border through a country where they were no longer subject to persecution or the direct threat of persecution.

The third topic covered by the proposal concerns the establishment of an Administrative High Court. The government of Hungary is preparing to establish independent, administrative courts that would have the authority to adjudicate disputes in matters of public administration. While independent administrative courts are common to many EU countries, the move to create these courts in Hungary has raised questions about judicial reform and independence.

Furthermore, the amendment creates additional protection of the privacy of Hungarian people in response to recent developments (digitalization, new technologies, drones, etc.). This modification of Article 6 of the Fundamental Law includes enhanced protection for the privacy of homes.

Finally, Article 22 of the constitution would be changed to oblige state bodies and municipalities to guarantee decent accommodation for all, while protecting public spaces. To that end, the proposal bans loitering or extended presence in public spaces. As we revealed earlier this week, a ban on sleeping rough has been hailed as a welcomed step by resident of Budapest who are faced with the homelessness problem on a daily basis.