Hungary’s Asylum Criminal Law Violates European Union Law, According to EU Court

The EU’s Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recently ruled that Hungary’s law that criminalizes organization support for asylum seekers violated European Union law.

Hungary’s Law

The law at issue is Hungary’s asylum law. The law restricts asylum admissibility, permits restrictions on freedom of movement for offending suspects, and criminalizes activities that aids the lodging of asylum applications for applicants that do not qualify for the status. Additionally, Hungary’s law mandates asylum denials for asylum-seekers that are not from the EU who arrive in the country after traveling through safe third countries and safe countries of origin. These safe nations include Serbia and other Balkan nations.

Consequently, the European Commission (EC) pointed out Hungary to the CJEU and claimed that the nation failed to adhere with a 2020 Court of Justice order requiring Hungary to reform its restrictive asylum law. The EC asked the CJEU to institute a lump sum fine as well as daily penalty against Hungary until its law is amended. The Hungarian legislature, on the other hand, justified the law stating it prevents a misuse of the country’s asylum procedure and illegal immigration based on falsehoods.

The CJEU’s Decision

The CJEU made two important findings, agreeing with the EC. First, the CJEU determined that Hungary’s asylum law violated EU law by denying asylum to applicants who arrived in Hungary by way of countries in which the applicant was not at risk of serious harm or exposed to persecution. Second, the CJEU determined that Hungary’s asylum law violated EU law by criminalizing assistance for applicants seeking asylum, despite knowing that those applications would be rejected. As a result, the CJEU found that Hungary’s asylum law violated the rights expressed in its directives and restricted applicant’s access to asylum and the effectiveness of the asylum seeker’s right and ability to consult an attorney or other advisor at their own expense.
To read more about the case and the EC and CJEU’s decisions, click here.

International Human Rights

According to the United Nations, human rights are those rights that are inherent to all human beings regardless of sex, nationality, race, language, ethnicity, religion, or any other status. Basic human rights includes freedom of opinion and expression, the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, and the right to work and education, among others. All individuals are entitled to these rights without discrimination. International human rights law lays the basis of the legal obligations countries’ governments have to act in ways that do not violate human rights.


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