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Publication

Trial waiver systems in Hungary

Report produced through LEAP

May 13, 2019 - trial waiver systems, LEAP
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Since our 2017 report ‘The Disappearing Trial’, we have teamed up with local experts to better understand the practice of trial waiver systems in Hungary and Croatia, including their scope and potential implications for defence rights. While trial waiver systems certainly have their advantages, the shift away from the full guarantees of a trial also poses challenges to rights protection and the rule of law. This includes an erosion of procedural protections, such as the right to access a lawyer, the right to disclosure of evidence, and proper judicial review.

This report on trial waiver systems in Hungary provides an overview of the legislative framework, analyses how legal institutions designed to accelerate and simplify the criminal procedure function in practice, and discusses key human rights challenges by combining the perspectives and experiences of defence lawyers, judges and the prosecution. The report also assess the compliance of Hungary’s new criminal code, which entered into force in 2018, with EU legal standards.

Although Hungary’s new confession-based trial waiver systems include some important procedural safeguards to ensure that trial waivers are voluntarily and intelligently made, the report highlights that a more comprehensive approach is needed to protect fundamental rights and ensure transparency. 

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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