Why We Have Sued the Hungarian Parliament

The President of the Hungarian Parliament has restricted journalistic reporting on the premises of the Parliament to a point where it has become virtually impossible for journalists to do their job. Bea Bakó, chief editor of the news site azonnali.hu, on the limitations journalists have to face in Hungary, and why they are taking the President of Parliament to court.

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Supporting Wojciech Sadurski in a Warsaw Courtroom

Last week one of us, together with Gráinne de Burca, again put the spotlight on PiS and allies suing Wojciech Sadurski over some highly critical tweets. It led to a tremendous show of support. This support makes it a statement of the obvious that Sadurski’s trial is a blemish on the EU and every Member States that both so frequently pledge to take the rule of law seriously. And yet. His (first) trial took place yesterday, Wednesday 27 November, at the Warsaw district court. Here is an account of what we both witnessed, live and through live footage respectively.

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Stand with Wojciech Sadurski: his freedom of expression is (y)ours

Just days before the trial against Wojciech Sadurski in Warsaw, we write to seek renewal of your support, and for your help in keeping the PiS strategy of coordinated legal harassment against him, and the threat of a criminal conviction and an award of damages against him as well as hefty legal fees, in the public eye. The party believes that it can ride out the storm, and that by ignoring the protests they will eventually disappear. But they will not.

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France Criminalises Research on Judges

In March, France made a controversial move and became the first country in the world to explicitly ban research on individual judicial behaviour. It is now a criminal offence to ‘evaluate, analyse, compare or predict’ the behaviour of individual judges. The result is a flagrant violation of the freedom of expression, represents an affront to basic values of academic freedom, and disregards basic principles of the rule of law.

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Producing Legal History

Iustitia dilata est iustitia negata is a famous legal maxim meaning that “justice delayed is justice denied”. It goes without saying that it represents a universal truth. This truth is particularly relevant to the European Court of Human Rights which – on average – takes several years to deliver a judgment.

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Offence Intended – Virgin Mary With a Rainbow Halo as Freedom of Expression

The news that a 51-year-old activist, Ms Elżbieta Podleśna, was detained and interrogated by Polish authorities shocked the public in Poland. She is charged under Poland’s "blasphemy law" for allegedly putting up posters of the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo. This latest example of Polish authorities prosecuting cases of religious insults illustrates the incompatibility of Poland’s “blasphemy law” with European human rights guarantees, in particular the freedom of expression.

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A Ministry of Truth in Singapore? Reflections on the Anti-Fake News Bill

On 1 April, the government of Singapore introduced the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill. Often referred to as the Singaporean anti-fake news law, it is expected to be enacted with a few changes in the coming weeks or months. A closer look at the bill’s context, its most powerful elements and its possible regional impact as a model for legislation in other countries reveals that it is most likely to have a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

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Fundamental Rights as Bycatch – Russia’s Anti-Fake News Legislation

On 18 March, following approval by President Putin, Russia’s controversial anti-fake news legislation entered into force. While Russia is not the only state to address the issues of hate speech or fake news with legislative means, its new legislation raises serious constitutional concerns, particularly due to its imprecise and overly broad scope of application.

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Countering the Judicial Silencing of Critics: Novel Ways to Enforce European Values

The Polish government is stepping up its repression. The freedom of political speech is a main target. A national judge has not just the right but an outright duty to refer a case to the CJEU whenever the common value basis is in danger. Thus, a Polish judge faced with a case concerning the silencing of critics, must refer the matter to the CJEU and request an interpretation of Article 2 TEU in light of the rights at stake.

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