New freedom of assembly law planned for autumn

July 26, 2016

Minister of the Interior László Trocsányi
Minister of Justice László Trocsányi

The interior ministry says the best time to start five-party talks about Hungary’s new freedom of assembly bill will be in November, reports Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet. Far-right Jobbik and Politics Can Be Different (LMP) claim to have not received any information from the government regarding future consultations on the ministry’s proposal.

The government announced two weeks ago it would propose a new law governing the freedom to assemble after the Constitutional Court ordered a new law written after hearing a case in which a group of protestors were prohibited by police from holding a demonstration in front of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s house in Buda.

The Constitutional Court’s underlying argument was that the protestors’ right to freedom of assembly was lawfully curtailed by the police because holding the demonstration would have interfered with the rights and freedoms of others (in this case, the rights and freedoms of Orbán).

According to the Court’s decision, the protestors’ constitutional right to freedom of assembly was not violated, but the existence of contradictory laws on the subject is in itself unconstitutional.

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union says the Constitutional Court’s decision carries with it implications far beyond the curtailing of the right to freedom of assembly in front of the prime minister’s house.