The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights is the ombudsman, national human rights institution and equality body of Hungary with multiple mandates and corresponding powers. Its’s fully independent in its conduct, and his/her proceedings may be requested by anyone. The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall himself/herself investigate – or have others investigate – any improprieties related to fundamental rights that have come to his/her knowledge, and shall initiate general or specific measures for their remedy.
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, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Rights of National and Ethnic Minorities, Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations, Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information worked independently in a joint office until 2012.
With the adoption of the new Fundamental 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 Act CXI of 2011 on the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights provided for an explicit emphasis on the rights on vulnerable groups. The Commissioner 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.
Since the establishment of the institution of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in 2012, its powers and competences continuously expanded:
The basic description of the tasks and competences of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights is defined in the first chapter of our founding law:
(1)The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall – in addition to his/her tasks and competences specified in the Fundamental Law – perform the tasks and exercise the competences laid down in this Act.
(2) In the course of his/her activities the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall pay special attention, especially by conducting proceedings ex officio, to the protection of
(3) In the course of his/her activities the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall – especially by conducting proceedings ex officio – pay special attention to assisting, protecting and supervising the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, promulgated by Act XCII of 2007.
(1)The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall survey and analyse the situation of fundamental rights in Hungary, and shall prepare statistics on those infringements of rights in Hungary which are related to fundamental rights. At the request of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, and the Commissioner for Educational Rights shall supply aggregate data not containing personal data for the purpose of statistical reports.
(2) The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall give an opinion on the draft legislation affecting his/her tasks and competences, on long-term development and spatial planning plans and concepts, and on plans and concepts otherwise directly affecting the quality of life of future generations, and may make proposals for the amendment and drafting of legislation affecting fundamental rights, and the expression of consent to be bound by an international treaty.
(3) The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may initiate at the Constitutional Court the review of legislation as to their conformity with the Fundamental Law, the interpretation of the Fundamental Law and, within thirty day after their promulgation, the review of the adherence to the procedural requirements stipulated by the Fundamental Law as regards the adoption and promulgation of the Fundamental Law and its amendments.
(4) The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall participate in the preparation of national reports based on international treaties relating to his/her tasks and competences, and shall monitor and evaluate the enforcement of these treaties under Hungarian jurisdiction.
(5) The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall promote the enforcement and protection of fundamental rights. In doing so, he/she shall engage in social awareness raising and information activities and cooperate with organisations and national institutions aiming at the promotion of the protection of fundamental rights.
(6) The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall perform 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, promulgated by Act CXLIII of 2011.
(7)With a view to the adherence to fundamental rights and a more efficient protection thereof, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may propose that the national police chief of Hungary, the director general of the organ in charge of internal crime prevention and criminal investigation, the director general of the counter-terrorism unit, and the director general of the Hungarian immigration office issue, amend or repeal an instruction.
(8) The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall perform the tasks laid down in Act CXXV of 2003 on equal treatment and the promotion of equal opportunities.
Please find the full account of the legal provisions defining our mandates and competences at the relevant section of our homepage.
Combined tribunal-type and promotion-type
|Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )|
|Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)|
|Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)|
|Recommendations on discrimination issues|
|Publications and reports|
|Research projects (including surveys)|
|Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)||14902||14060||7473||14134||11807||8996|
|Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)||8240||8399||6058||4990||5693||7190|
|Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media||5144||6215||4209||2448||1703|
The overall head of the institution is the Commissioner, who has two deputies with thematic areas (protection of the rights of national minorities, interest of future generations). Two mandate-focused units are also headed by high level managers (General Director for Equal Treatment, Director of Police Complaints). Please see our organizational chart here.
Please see our organizational chart here.
Pursuant to Section (3), Article 30 of the Fundamental Law, the CFR and his/her deputies shall be elected for six years with the votes of two-thirds of the Members of Parliament. Nomination for the post of the CFR shall be put forward by the President (Article 9, Paragraph (3)j) of the Fundamental Law).
In accordance with Section 4(1) of the CFR Act, Parliament shall elect the DCFR-FG and the DCFR-NM upon the CFR’s proposal. Section 7(4) of the same act provides that the CFR shall – before making his/her proposal on the person of the DCFR-NM – request an opinion from the nationality self-governments. The person proposed for DCFR shall be heard by a parliamentary committee competent in the tasks of the DCFR. DCFRs may be re-elected once.
|Grounds / Fields||Employment||Education||Housing||Social Protection & Healthcare||Goods and Services||Other|
|Race and Ethnic Origin|
|Religion & Belief|
The Fundamental Law provides an open-ended list of grounds.