U.S. Ambassador David Pressman and Samantha Power (USAID) with representatives of Hungarian media organizations.
The European Parliament (EP) has adopted its position on a draft law aimed at better protecting journalists, media organizations, human rights defenders, activists, researchers, and artists from unfounded and abusive legal proceedings, the EP announced Tuesday.
A new law aims to ensure the protection of journalists, media organizations, human rights defenders, activists, researchers, and artists from lawsuits brought in retaliation or to intimidate them, or prevent their participation in public life.
The proposal provides a number of safeguards to protect defendants of strategic lawsuits.
In defamation actions, the court of the defendant’s domicile must conduct the trial to avoid possible bias. Member States should not recognize judgments issued on their territory by courts in non-EU countries in so-called strategic litigation against individuals and companies. They should furthermore allow defendants to obtain damages in national courts.
National authorities should offer financial, legal and psychological support to victims of strategic litigation.
In a statement sent to MTI, MEP Ernő Schaller-Baross (FIDESZ) said the new EU law would give non-governmental organizations, defense lawyers, and human rights activists the privilege of not being sued, thus ensuring their participation in public life.
Under the Brussels proposal, NGOs would no longer be covered by the law and the era of privileged NGOs would begin,
he pointed out.
“With this new EU regulation, Brussels is trying to revive an institution that we citizens of Central and Eastern Europe may remember from the decades of communism: class struggle,” he explained.
The vote clearly shows that the European leftists want to exempt non-governmental organizations, and human rights defenders and activists from the jurisdiction of member states and grant them an unprecedented privilege, Schaller-Baross stressed.
According to the Fidesz politician, all these privileges are granted to NGOs because they claim to represent the cause of an open society. They do so without a mandate from the electorate. Judgment in this sense can never be just. Where jurisdiction and justice do not coincide, there is no rule of law,” added Schaller-Baross.
Via MTI; Featured photo: Twitter/Samantha Power