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Apr 29, 2019

POLITICO publishes correction over false justice figures

"Friday's Playbook has been updated to correct a reference to figures released by the European Commission on trust in countries’ justice systems," read POLITICO's apology

Politico has published a correction following false allegations made that three in four Hungarians say they would rate the independence of the courts in their country as bad, or very bad.

The lead item in POLITICO Brussels Playbook, “Worrying Numbers,” reported that the European Commission’s justice scoreboard would soon be released and showed the incorrect figure.

The Eurobarometer chart cited in the lead clearly shows that, according to the Commission’s study, only 33 percent of Hungarians rate the independence of the courts as bad or very bad (compared to 31 among the French), and 43 percent rate them as good or very good. That’s a far cry from what was reported.

"Friday's Playbook has been updated to correct a reference to figures released by the European Commission on trust in countries’ justice systems. Three-quarters of Croatians rate the independence of the courts in their country as bad, or very bad. Apologies to Playbook readers for the original erroneous mention of Hungary having the least-trusted judiciary," POLITICO's apology read.

International Spokesman Zoltán Kovács criticized the European Commission for having “the temerity to attach a ‘score’ to the independence of the justice systems of each member state based on public perception.”

“The independence of the judiciary is not a question that can be seriously evaluated through public opinion research and, secondly, the notion that you can use those subjective numbers as a basis for a ‘scoreboard’ — including comparisons of member states — is problematic, to say the least," he added.