Curia forum recommends banning protests near courthouse

March 31, 2017

The Public Administration and Labor Division, a judges forum of Hungary’s highest court the Curia, has issued an opinion which would prohibit protests from taking place in the vicinity of the courthouse if the demonstrators express specific opinions about a case being heard by the court. The forum determined that such expressions of opinion could influence the decisions of judges hearing a case.

The opinion declares that the court building is “not a public space,” which according to seems to contradict the basic character of court hearings as public proceedings. The online daily also points out that the decision seems to suggest the judges on the country’s highest judicial authority are so easily impressionable that protests in the vicinity could influence their decisions. The head of the public administration college, Tibor Kalas, told pro-government paper Magyar Idők that, “the independence of the court could become questionable in circumstances like these.”

The forum’s opinion was issued merely as a recommendation to the court, and it will be up to the Curia’s judges to decide whether they will enforce the prohibition of protests.