Members’ section
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HUNGARY: Commissioner for Fundamental Rights

General Contact Information

Full name in English:

Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights

Full name in the national language(s):

Alapvető Jogok Biztosának Hivatala

Postal address:
H-1051 Budapest Nádor u. 22.
Website:

http://www.ajbh.hu

General email address:
hungarian.ombudsman@ajbh.hu
Telephone number:

(+36) (1) 475-7100

Other social media channels:

https://www.facebook.com/Alapvető-Jogok-Biztosának-Hivatala-530173840395350/?fref=ts; https://www.facebook.com/ombudsmanhelyettes/?fref=ts

Languages in which your institution can be contacted:

English, French, German

Person of contact for media enquiries:

György Bernát

Name of the Head of the equality body:

Dr. László Székely

Contact Person

Name:

Dr. Katalin Szajbély

Email:
katalin.szajbely@ajbh.hu

Main Informations

Overview

The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights is an ombudsman-type institution responsible for the protection of fundamental rights in Hungary, covering the whole spectrum of fundamental rights. It can proceed upon complaint or ex officio in the case of human rights infringements, and generally, it has soft powers to remedy violations. The recommendations of ombudsmen have an impact not only on the individual case: they often interpret human rights clauses of the Constitution in a complex way that may be useful in other cases and for other institutions (such as courts) as well. The ombudsman performs the tasks of a National Human Rights Institution.

Brief history

The Hungarian Ombudsman institution was set up in 1995, as a parliamentary institution, comprising three (from 2007 on four) independent ombudspersons responsible for the protection of specific fundamental rights.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Rights of National and Ethnic Minorities, the Data Protection Commissioner and later the Ombudsman for Future Generations (responsible for environmental issues) worked independently in a common office until 2012. The ombudsman’s mandates – with the exception of the Data Protection Commissioner and the Commissioner for Future Generations were based on the Constitution, their proceedings were generally covered by the old Ombudsman Act (Act LIX. of 1993. on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights).
With the adoption of the new Basic Law the Hungarian Ombudsman institution was merged. In January 2012, a unified ombudsman institution was set up. While the competences and the main proceedings of the institution remained unchanged, the new Ombudsman Act (Act CXI of 2011 on the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights) provided for an explicit emphasis on the rights on vulnerable groups. The Commissoner for Fundamental Rights now is responsible for the protection of all fundamental rights and all vulnerable groups. He has two deputies: the Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the rights of national minorities and the Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the interests of future generations.
The ombudsman may proceed upon complaints as well as ex officio, and may propose remedies to the relevant authority. The ombudsman does not have the power to bring legally binging decisions, nor can he initiate the proceedings of courts in individual cases.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights gives an opinion on the draft rules of law affecting their tasks and competences.
As of 2012, as mandate of growing importance, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may initiate the review of rules of law at the Constitutional Court and the Curia as to their conformity with the Fundamental Law.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights performs the tasks related to the national preventive mechanism pursuant to Article 3 of the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture and other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as of 1. January 2015. (OPCAT)
The Act on Complaints and Public Interest Disclosure as of 1 January 2014, provides a new task for the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, concerning public interest disclosures.
The Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights received the United Nations’ National Human Rights Institution Status B in May 2011, which has been upgraded to Status A in 2014.

Mandate type
  • Combined tribunal-type and promotion-type
Litigation powers
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding
  • initiating the review of legislation at the Constitutional Court/the Curia; amicus curiae
Activities
201020112012201320142015
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups (e.g. through trainings)noyesyesyesyesyes
Recommendations on discrimination issuesnoyesyesyesyesyes
Publications and reportsnoyesyesyesyesyes
Research projects (including surveys)noyesyesyesnono
Our institution has a mandate to deal with:
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Hate speech
  • Cases related to all human rights stipulated in the Basic Law
Other statistics
201020112012201320142015
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)no datano data7049697754718240
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)no datano data7861763154545440
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social mediano datano data49195602no datano data
Management
  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)
  • The Commissioner has two deputies: the Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the rights of national minorities and the Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the interests of future generations.
Management details

The Parliament elects one ombudsperson, who is assigned to choose their own deputies. There is one Deputy-Commissioner who is responsible for the protection of the interests of future generations and there is one other Deputy-Commissioner who is responsib

Additional details

The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights is an ombudsman-type institution responsible for the protection of fundamental rights in Hungary, covering the whole spectrum of fundamental rights, including the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination. The Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights received the United Nations’ National Human Rights Institution Status B in May 2011, which has been upgraded to Status A in 2014. The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights performs the tasks related to the national preventive mechanism pursuant to Article 3 of the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture and other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as of 1. January 2015. (OPCAT)

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Parliament elects the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights (by the proposal of the President of the Republic) and his/her Deputies for 6 years term. Any Hungarian citizen can be elected as Commissioner for Fundamental Rights or the Deputy-Commissioner, if they hold a law degree, have the right to stand as a candidate in elections of Members of Parliament and also have outstanding theoretical knowledge or at least ten years of professional experience; furthermore have reached the age of thirty-five years and has considerable experience in conducting or supervising proceedings concerning fundamental rights.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may be re-elected once.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues
201020112012201320142015
no datano datano datano datano datano data
Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body
GroundsFieldsEmploymentEducationHousingSocial Protection & HealthcareGoods & ServicesOther
Genderyesyesyesyesyesany human right or any field of life concerning the public sector
Gender Identityyesyesnoyesyesany human right or any field of life concerning the public sector
Race and Ethnic Originyesyesyesyesyesany human right or any field of life concerning the public sector
Ageyesyesyesyesyesany human right or any field of life concerning the public sector
Disabilityyesyesyesyesyesany human right or any field of life concerning the public sector
Sexual Orientationyesyesyesyesyesany human right or any field of life concerning the public sector
Religion & Beliefyesyesyesyesyesthe Basic Law provides for an open-ended list of grounds

Other grounds : the Basic Law provides for an open-ended list of grounds

Mandate covers:
  • Public sector
Operating budget in euros
201020112012201320142015
no datano data388300037940004051333no data
We are accountable to:
  • National Parliament
  • National audit institution (i.e. for financial reporting)