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Justice Minister: Prisoners Suing State over Poor Prison Conditions ‘Unfair Practice’

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.02.17.

The government will submit a proposal aimed at suspending compensation payments to prisoners who sue the state over poor prison conditions, the justice minister told a press conference on Monday.

Judit Varga said the proposal which aims at ending the “unfair practice” will be submitted later on Monday and discussed by parliament in an expedited procedure.

Gov’t to Suspend Payment of Compensations to Prisoners with Immediate Effect

Payments will be suspended while rules on compensation for bad prison conditions are being amended, she said, adding that a broad public consensus on the matter was needed. Appropriate new legislation will be drafted based on the results of a national survey now under way, she said.

So far 12,680 court rulings have awarded 9 billion forints (EUR 27m) to plaintiffs, and 10 percent of that total has been paid out, she noted. New rules will aim to put the rights of the complainants, victims, and their families to the fore, the minister said, adding that in the future compensation would be paid directly to the plaintiffs rather than to their lawyers.

Varga said the government is working to improve prison conditions and eliminate overcrowdedness.

Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI