Hungary: ICJ intervenes in case of dismissal of Supreme Court President

The ICJ submitted today a third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Baka v. Hungary, regarding the dismissal of the former Supreme Court President of Hungary.

In these submissions, the ICJ addressed:

(1) the scope of application of article 6.1 ECHR in cases relating to judicial appointments, the judicial career, and security of tenure including removal from office, in light of the Convention jurisprudence and of principles of the rule of law and of the role and independence of the judiciary;

(2) international standards on security of judicial tenure, freedom of expression of judges, and the role of judges in contributing to debate on questions of judicial independence, which are relevant to protection of article 10 ECHR rights of judges.

The ICJ argued in its third party intervention that the special and fundamental role of the judiciary as an independent branch of State power, in accordance with principles of the separation of powers and the rule of law, is recognised within the ECHR, both explicitly and implicitly.

This special role must accordingly be given significant weight in assessing any restrictions imposed by the executive (and legislative) branches on Convention rights applicable to judges.

Therefore, in order to preserve the special role of the judiciary the ECHR should be interpreted in a manner that limits the scope for the executive- or legislative branch to justify the imposition of restrictions on article 6.1 ECHR rights of judges in employment disputes on grounds of legitimate interest.

Second, for the same reasons, the ECHR should be interpreted to preclude restrictions of freedom of expression applicable to judges and civil servants that would impair the right and the duty of the judiciary to speak out in protection of judicial independence.

ECtHR-AmicusBrief-Baka v Hungary-Advocacy-Legal Submission-2015-ENG (download the third party intervention)

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