This issue is dedicated to the memory of Professor Andrea Kozáry, a prominent scholar and our valuable ally in the fight against bias criminality.
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, Balogh, L. Dinók, H. Pap, A. L. ‘A jog által láthatatlan? A gyűlölet-bűncselekmények szabályozási kérdései és gyakorlati problémái’ (Invisible through the Law? The questions and practical problems of regulating hate crimes) ( 2012) 4Fundamentum 91– 98.
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, Kirs, E. ‘Az Emberi Jogok Európai Bíróságának joggyakorlata a gyűlölet-bűncselekmények esetén folytatott büntetőeljárások tárgyában’ (Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights regarding criminal procedures in hate crime cases)( 2017) 58Állam- és Jogtudomány Különszám ( Special issue) 141– 51.
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Authors in this volume owe special thanks to Professors Károly Bárd, Andrea Kozáry, Veronika Nagy, András László Pap, Gábor Polyák and Zsuzsanna Vidra for their insightful reviews. The present paper was authored in the framework of the MTA-ELTE Lendület SPECTRA Research Group (Social prerequisites for the effective fight against bias-motivated crimes through criminal law and minority rights protection, contract number: LP2018-9/2018).
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Ministerial Council, Decision No. 9/09 Combatting Hate Crimes, MC(17) Journal No. 2, Agenda item 8, 2 December 2009.
This is the general rule. There is a minority of hate speech acts however, where the speech itself is a crime, regardless of the perpetrator’s motivation, such as for example incitement to violence. In this case the same crime committed with a bias motive, will qualify as a hate crime.
Perry-Alvi (2012) 57–71. See also Gordon Allport’s (1954) ‘Scale of Discrimination and Prejudice’, which differentiates between the following stages depending on the harm: the cause, starting with the least violent form: anti-locution, such as making jokes or expressing hateful opinions about a certain group and its members; avoidance leading to isolation and exclusion; discrimination. Allport later inserted at this point aggression, as an assumption of hierarchy of power; physical attacks, which are considered by law as hate crimes; and extermination. Allport also emphasized the importance of early intervention to prevent the escalation of hostility.
There is one human race only. We will however adhere to this outdated and scientifically dubious term, since this is what legal documents use.
Protocol 12 is in force in relation to the – at the time of writing the present paper – 20 states including 10 EU Member States that have ratified it. https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/treaty/177/signatures?p_auth=TAckiFzJ (all hyperlinks last accessed on 2 November 2020).
The presumption is increasingly being questioned. See European Commission Reasoned Proposal in Accordance with Article 7(1) of the Treaty 1162 on European Union Regarding the Rule of Law in Poland – Proposal for a Council Decision on 1163 the Determination of a Clear Risk of a Serious Breach by the Republic of Poland of the Rule of 1164 Law COM(2017)835 final; European Parliament resolution of 12 September 2018 on a proposal calling on the Council to determine, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union, the existence of a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded (2017/2131(INL)).
96/443/JHA: Joint Action of 15 July 1996 adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, concerning action to combat racism and xenophobia, OJ L 185, 24.7.1996. 5–7.
Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law, OJ L 328, 6.12.2008. 55–58.
Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA, OJ L 315, 14.11.2012. 57–73.
Id. at Article 22(3).
European Union Fundamental Rights Agency: FRA Opinion – 02/2013, Opinion of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights on the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia – with special attention to the rights of victims of crime, 15 October 2013, http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-opinion-2-2013-framework-decision-racism-xenophobia_en.pdf.
One such example in the Hungarian legislative material is base motive as a qualifying circumstance, which includes acts motivated by racist hatred. See manslaughter, physical harm, violation of personal liberty, libel, unlawful confinement and, in the list of military crimes, abuse of command authority.
For example, in Andorra and the United Kingdom, the Court can take into account a racist motive as a qualifying circumstance in the case of prosecuting any crime; on top of that, in Andorra, – a xenophobic motive, as well as attacks on one’s views, religion, nationality, race, sexual orientation, illness, physical or mental disability, are all taken into consideration. Andorra Criminal Code, Article 30. Paragraph (6); United Kingdom, Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, Section 153.
This is rather rare, see for example the Czech Criminal Code, Article 196 Paragraph (2) or the UK Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Sections 29–32. On the different models, see Novoszádek and Rácz (2009) 63–80.
In Italy, for example Article 604-ter ICC on ethnic, national, racial and religious hatred is applicable to all crimes punishable with a penalty other than life imprisonment (obviously penalty enhancement cannot be applied to the strictest form of criminal sanction). See also the aggravating circumstances in Act No.205/1993, the “Mancino Act”.
See Act C of 2012 on the Hungarian Criminal Code, Article 216.
See Article 130 of the German Criminal Code on incitement of masses; Article 185 on insult; Article 211 on murder under specific aggravating circumstances.
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948. The EU also protects certain groups based on past European experiences. See Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.
In order to ensure the internal coherence of the legal system, it is recommended to rely on already existing enumerations of protected group characteristics. In Hungary it is preferable to take the list of protected grounds in Article 8 of Act CXXV of 2003 on Equal Treatment and Promotion of Equal Opportunities as a starting point, since the Hungarian constitution, i.e. the respective Article XV of the Fundamental Law does not explicitly mention sexual orientation and gender identity as protected grounds, therefore they can only fall under the category ‘other status’ by way of interpretation.
See the judgment in the Hungarian Tavaszmező case. Kúria, Bfv.II.590/2012/18., 7 February 2013.
This closely resembles the opinion of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which believes that ‘The law cannot afford special protection to members of groups bound by ideas that violate human dignity and stand opposed to the constitution.’ Available at http://helsinkifigyelo.hvg.hu/2012/03/28/pofon/.
The Hungarian Working Group Against Hate Crimes can be regarded as a good practice. The Working Group also influenced the legislation, when the Hungarian Criminal Code of 2012 was adopted. For details see Pap (2018) 85–90.
https://hatecrime.osce.org/#participating-states, and against these numbers see hate crime victims’ surveys and findings of the EU MIDIS and EU MIDIS II projects: https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/663-fra-2011_eu_midis_en.pdf, https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2017-eu-minorities-survey-muslims-selected-findings_en.pdf, https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2017-eu-midis-ii-main-results_en.pdf. This was also the outcome of a legal comparison conducted for the European Parliament. See Bayer and Bárd (2020). https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/655135/IPOL_STU(2020)655135_EN.pdf.
In the meaning of Article 17 European Convention on Human Rights.
‘More countries declined than improved in overall rule of law performance for a third year in a row, continuing a negative slide toward weakening and stagnating rule of law around the world,’, https://worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/research-and-data/wjp-rule-law-index-2020. For the entire World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2020, https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/WJP-ROLI-2020-Online_0.pdf.
United Nations (UN), General Assembly: Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, A/73/305, 6 August 2018.
European Parliament, European Parliament Resolution of 25 October 2018 on the rise of neo-fascist violence in Europe (2018/2869(RSP)), P8_TA(2018)0428. Confusingly the Hungarian translation mentions ‘scapegoating of’ and not ‘scapegoating by’ politicians. The present paper relies on the English versions of EU texts.