Tatár and Fáber v. Hungary, Applications Nos. 26005/08; 26160/08

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(Application nos. 26005/08 and 26160/08 )



12 June 2012



This judgment has become final under Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be
subject to editorial revision .

In the case of Tatár and Fáber v. Hungary ,
The European Court of Human Rights ( Second Section ), sitting as a
Chamber composed of:
Françoise Tulkens , President,
Dragoljub Popović ,
Isabelle Berro -Lefèvre ,
András Sajó ,
Guido Raimondi ,
Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque ,
Helen Keller , judges,
and Stanley Naismith , Section Registrar ,
Having deliberated in private on 22 May 2012 ,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case originated in two applications (nos. 26005/08 and 26160/08 )
against the Republic of Hungary lodged with the Court under Article 34 of
the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms (“the Convention”) by two Hungarian nationals, Mr József Tatár
and Mr Károly Fáber (“the applicants”), on 30 May 2008.
2. The applicants were represente d by M essrs Sz. Balsai and T. Gyurta ,
lawyer s practising in Budapest. The Hungarian Government (“the
Government”) were represented Mr L. Höltzl , Agent, Ministry of Public
Administration and Justice.
3. The applicants alleged , in pa rticular, that the prosecution conducted
against them for having organised a political “performance” constituted an
unjustified interference with their right to freedom of expression.
4. On 15 February 2011 the applications were co mmunicated to the
Gove rnment. It was also decided to rule on the admissibility and merits of
the applications at the same time (Article 29 § 1).
5. The applicants were born in 1967 and 19 69 respectively and live in
Budapest .
6. On 27 February 2007 the applicants exposed, in the course of an event
which they considered a “ political performance” – necessitated by what they

perceived as a general political crisis in the country following the
tumultuous events of late 2006 –, several items of dirty clothing on a rope
attached to the fence around Parliament in Budapest. They stated that the
symbolic meaning of this expression was “to hang out the nation ’s dirty
laundry”. The applicants spent exactly 13 minutes on the scene , during
which time they answered some questions from journalists who appeared on
the scene . Afterwards, the applicants left on th eir own motion.
7. On the same day, the website of the daily paper Magyar Nemzet
published a short article covering the incident, in which the applicants
explained that the “performance” was meant to be provocative and for that
rea son had not been notified to the police. It was specified that the event had
been prepared clandestinely, that only a few journalist had been invited and
that no other protester had participated.
8. Subsequently the Budapest V Dist rict Police Department fined each
applicant 80,000 Hungarian forints (HUF) (approximately 250 euros) for
the regulatory offence of abusing the right to peaceful assembly. It was
considered that their act had constituted an “assembly” which should have
been declared to the authorities three days in advance.
9. The applicants complained a bou t the decision of the Budape st 5th
District Police Department without offering any particular arguments.
10 . On 11 July 2 007 the Pest Central District Court upheld the police
decision , finding that the applicants, in breach of the relevant legal
provisions, had failed to notify the police of their ‘demonstration ’ and that
the sanction imposed was proportionate to the gravity of the offence and
adequate to motivate the applicants to abide by the law in the future. The
court relied on the report of the police officer involved, the pictures
recorded by the street cameras and the content s of the website s covering the
11 . On 26 July 2007 the applicants requested that a hearing be held in
the case. At the hearing of 7 December 2007 the court heard the second
applicant and the police officer. The first applicant did not wish to make a
statement. The second applicant first made contr adictory statements as to
who had been notified of the event in advance, but finally confirmed, in
reply to a question put by the judge, that an announcement of the event had
been published on the website of the applicants ’ organisation. In their
closing statements, counsel for the applicants claimed that the applicants
had not invited anybody to the event and that they had wrongly assumed
that their actions had been lawful.
12 . Based on the evidenc e before it, the District Court was satisfied that
the event had been publicly announced and thus it had been an “organised
event” falling within the scope of section 6 of the Assembly Act (as
opposed to a cultural event as argued by the applicants) , that the applicants
had been aware that they should have notified the police of their

performance and that the fine was necessary to prevent the applicants from
further breaches of the law . It therefore upheld the decision of 11 July 2007.
The decision of 7 Dec ember 2007 was served on 24 January 2008.
13 . Act No. III of 1989 on the Right to Freedom of Assembly (“the
Assembly Act”) provides as follows:
Section 2
“(1) In the framework of the e xercise of the right to assembly, peaceful gatherings,
marches and demonstrations … may be held where the participants may freely express
their opinion.
(2) The participants of an assembly are entitled to make their jointly formed position
known to all interested parties …”
Section 3
“The following shall not be covered by the Act:
a) meetings falling within the ambit of the Act on Election Procedure ;
b) religious services, events and processions organised in the premise s of legally
recognised churches;
c) cultural and sport events;
d) events related to family occasions. …”
Section 6
“The organisation of an assembly to be held in public shall be notified to the police
department having jurisdiction over the venue of the assembly – in Budapest to the
Budapest Police Department – a minimum of three days prior to the planned date of
the assembly. The obligation to notify the police lies with the orga niser of the
assembly. ”
Section 8 (1)
“If the holding of an assembly subject to prior notification seriously endangers the
proper functioning of the representative bodies or the courts, or the circulation of
traffic cannot be secured by another route, the p olice may ban the holding of the
assembly at the place or time indicated in the notification , within forty -eight hours of
the receipt of the notification. ”
14 . Act No. LXIX of 199 9 on Administrative O ffences (as in force at the
rel evant time) provides as follows:

Abuse of the right of assembly – Section 152 (1)
“Anyone who organises or holds a gathering, march or demonstration subject to
notification without notification or the provision of prior information of the planned
new date, or despite a prohibiting decision of the police, may be punished by a fine of
up to HUF 100,000 …”
15 . According to d ecision no. 55/2001. (XI.29.) AB of the Constitutional
Court :
“[…T]he Constitutional Court holds that the enforcement of the fundamental
constitutional right of assembly should be protected not only from undue interferences
by the State but also from others, such as persons who dislike a certain demonstration
or hold a counterdemonstration, as well as other pe rsons who disturb public order. In
other words, the State also has positive obligations in guaranteeing the enforcement of
the right of assembly. The judg ments of the European Court of Human Rights in cases
related to the right of assembly support this vie w. …
It follows that the authorities are even allowed to use force, where needed, in order
to secure the holding of lawful assemblies, and they shall prevent others from
disturbing such ass emblies. …
… The necessity of the obligation of notification to assemblies to be held on public
premises is justified by the fact that … such premises constitute an area, road, street or
square with unlimited access for everyone. This means that both the participants of the
assembly and everyone else who do es not participate should have equal access to the
public ground. … The State ’s obligation to respect and protect fundamental rights is
not limited to abstaining from violating such rights but includes the obligation of
guaranteeing the conditions necessary for their enforcement …; in order to prevent a
potential conflict between two fundamental rights … the authority should be statutorily
empowered to ensure the enforcement of both fundamental rights … This requirement
justifies the obligation of notifying the authority in advance of the assembly to be held
on public ground.. .
… The aim and the agenda of the assembly are pieces of information necessary for
the authority partly for the assessment of whether the planned assembly is to be
prohibited on the ground of seriously endanger ing the operation of the representative
organs or of the courts, or on the ground of causing disproportionate prejudice to the
order of traffic …, and partly for determining the probability of [any incident
occurring d uring the event warranting police intervention or dispersal] . …
… The failure to notify the authorities of an assembly – or the holding of an
assembly in a manner significantly different from that specified in the notification –
cannot be interpreted a s an insignificant administrative omission . Such a f ailure
deprives the authority of the opportunity to assess whether the planned assembly
would seriously disturb the operation of the representative organs or of the courts, or
the order of traffic. To i mp ose no sanction on holding the assembly at a time, location,
or route other than that notified would make it us eless to require a notification and
would allow for ab using the right of assembly …”
16 . According to d ecision no. 4/2007. (II.13.) AB of the Constitutional
Court :

“…The aim of assemblies held on the basis of the right to assembly is to enable the
citizens exercising their right to assembly to form joint opinion and to share their
views with others or jointly express those views. ”
17 . According to Decision no. 75/2008. (V.29.) AB of the Constitutional
Court :
“III. [The term ‘assembly ’], as used in the Constitution …, refers to joint expression s
of opinions within fixed time -limits. … The bod ies applying the law must assess
whether the notification pertains to a peaceful, joint expression of opinions falling
under the scope of [the Assembly Act] or to a different use of the public area.
IV. … In today ’s constitutional democracies, the primary purpose of assemblies held
on public ground is the joint representation and demonstration of the opinions and
views already formed. The main connection between freedom of expression and
freedom of assembly is the joint, public expression of the opi nion. The significance of
the right of assembly as a communication right is increased by the fact that, in contrast
with the press, it ensures for everyone the right to participate directly, without access
barriers, in forming the political will. …
3.1. … Several types of assemblies on public ground may fall with in the category of
peaceful spontaneous assemblies. Indeed , spontaneous assemblies are not generated in
a previously planned and arranged manner since they are the result of the actions of
sever al persons who act, more or less, indepen dently. …
5.1. In the system of [the Assembly Act] , assemblies not requiring notification
include, on the one hand, events excluded from the scope of [the Act] (events of
electoral, religious, cultural, sport or family nature). On the other hand … it is not
necessary to file a notification of assemblies falling under [the Act] . but not held on
public ground.. . Furthermore, Section 6 of [the Act] does not apply to spontaneous
assemblies held without prior organisa tion. Namely, the provision at issue requires the
notification of “organising an assembly” to be held on public ground , and the statutory
obligation is imposed on the organiser.
… The notification obligation … forms a constitutional restriction on the right of
assembly. This statutory provision is justified, on the one hand, by the need to have
the public order secured by the police … The notification and its confirm ation b y the
police is a guarantee that the police shall implement the necessary tasks related to the
security of the event . …”
18 . The Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Adopted by the
Venice Commission at its 83rd Plenary Session (Venice, 4 June 2010)
provide as follows:
Section B – Explanatory Notes
“… For the purposes of the Guidelines, an assembly means the intentional and
temporary presence of a number of individuals in a public place for a common
expressive purpose …
16. An assembly, by definition, requires the presence of at least two persons. ”

19 . The applicant s complained that the prosecution conducted against
them on account of the “performance” which they had carried out amounted
to an unjustified interfer ence with their right to freedom of expression. They
relied on Articles 6 §§ 1 and 3, 10 and 14 of the Convention.
20 . The Court considers that this issue falls to be examined under
Article 10 of the Convention alone , which reads a s follows:
“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without
interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. …
2. The exercise of t hese freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities,
may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are
prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of
national security, territ orial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or
crime, …”
21 . The Government contested the applicants ’ argument .
A. Admissibility
22 . The Court notes that the application is not manifestly ill -founded
within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention. It further notes
that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be
declared admissible.
B. Merits
1. The Government ’s arguments
23 . The Government argued that the c ase did not concern the applicants ’
freedom of expression as such but a particular form of political expression
falling within the scope of Article 11 governing freedom of assembly. They
had not been prevented from expressing their political views in public or
sanctioned for having done so. Rather, t hey had been prosecuted for
deliberately disregarding the rules governing the exercise of the freedom of
assembly. The restriction imposed on the applicants ’ freedom of peaceful
assembly had been based on s ec tion 6 of the Assembly Act and s ection 152
of the Act on Administrative Offences. Undisputedly, they had expressed a
political opinion on public ground (which f ell under the jurisdiction of the
Assembly Act) although characterising their action as a form of artistic

expression which, as a cultural event, would fall outside the scope of the
Assembly Act , but would have been subject to an authorisation from the
municipality, never obtained . The fact that the applicants had labelled their
action as a “performance”, a term foreign to the Assembly Act , was
irrelevant since in the domestic jurisprudence it was the aim ( i.e. the joint
expression of a political opinion), the venue ( i.e. public ground ) and the
organised nature of an event which was decisive to qualify it as an
“organised event” falling under section 6. Obviously, t he different forms
which an assembly might take or the labels attached to them by the
organisers could not be enumerated wit h absolute precision in the law but i t
was not contrary to the requirement of foreseeability to define an assembly
by its purpose and to clarify the scope of the law by judicial interpretation.
The interference was therefore prescribed by law.
24 . The restrictions on the right of peaceful assembly on public premises
prescribed by the Assembly Act , including the requirement of prior
notification to the authorities, serve d the legitimate aims of ensuring public
safety, protect ing the rights of others and prevent ing disorder , the latter
aspect also covering the police ’s positive obligation to remove the risk that
those with opposing political views interfere with the ongoing assembly.
While it was true that in the instant case the event had involved only two
persons and lasted a very short time, the exact number of participants could
not be predicted beforehand and the organisers could not know for certain if
another event would not coincide with theirs , therefore the legitimacy of the
requirement of prior notification prevailed , even if , in retrospect, this
assembly had proved to attract little attention from the public . Moreover, the
“performance ” in question was no spontaneous demonstration which w ould
have been made devoid of any purpose had the requirement of prior
notification been complied with (cf., a contrario , Bukta and Others v.
Hungary , no. 25691/04, § § 31 to 39 , ECHR 2007 -III ).
25 . The enforcement of the prior notification rule was necessary to
enable the authorities to take measures for the protection of public order at
the venue , including the protection of the rights and security of the
participants from unlawfu l interference by third persons as well as the
prevent ion of collision of assemblie s.
26 . The Government also pointed out that to regulate a gathering of at
least two persons in a public place for a common expressive purpose as an
assembly is not contrary to European standards (cf. paragraph 16 of the
Explanatory Notes to the Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
adopted by the Venice Commission on 4 June 2010 ). In the instant case, the
event had been publicly announced, thus the number of pro spective
participants had not been restricted to the applicants. In any case,
regulation s mak ing the requirement of prior notification depend ent on the
expected number of participants would be impractical and lend them sel ves
to abuse.

27 . Lastly, i n the Government ’s view, t he above legitimate aims could
not be achieved by a measure less restrictive than enforcing the rule of prior
notification – which could not be said to have placed a disproportionate
burden on the organisers. Furt hermore, the police had showed the requisite
tolerance towards the demonstration at issue , and the applicants ’ expression
of political views had been unhindered. The subsequent administrative
sanction did not concern the exercise of their freedom of expres sion but
the ir failure to respect the notification rule. With reference to the Court ’s
ruling in the case of Ziliberberg v. Moldova ((dec.), no. 61821/00,
4 May 2004) , the Government point ed out that the requirement of prior
notification would be rendered “illusory” if Article 11 were to prohibit
sanctions for a failure to comply with that requirement. The sanctions
imposed on the applicants could not be attributed any chilling effect either,
since those sanctions were mild and corresponded solely to the ap plicants ’
deliberate disregard of the notification rule .
2. The applicants ’ arguments
28 . The applicant s argued that their “performance” was an action of
expression, not subject to any notification rule, especially in view of the fact
that it had involved only two persons and lasted a very short time. To hold
the contrary would render participation in social life virtually impossible.
The argument pointing to the aim of protecting public order was beside the
point, since there was no disturbance whatsoever to the public order, nor
any danger of such , given the artistic character of the event.
3. The Court ’s assessment
29 . The Court notes that the Government ’s arguments largely focus on
the assertion that the impugned event constituted an assembly attracting the
application of the rules of the Assembly Act and a scrutiny under Article 11
of the Convention. However, it is satisfied that the event, irrespective of the
characterisation attributed to it by the applicants, constitu ted predominantly
an expression (cf. Açık and Others v. Turkey , no. 31451/03, § 40,
13 January 2009), all the more so since it involved only two persons and
lasted a very short time. For the Court, it is difficult to conceive that such an
event could have generated the gathering of a significant crowd warranting
specific measure on the side of the authorities. As regards the Government ’s
suggestion concerning the Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
adopted by the Venice Commission , the Court would take the view that the
Explanatory Notes to those Guidelines specify the minimum number of
participants required for the constitution of an assembly; however, those
Guidelines can by no means be interpreted as stipulat ing that any common
expressive action of two individuals nec essarily amount s to an assembly,

especially in the absence of intentional presence of further participants, as in
the present case.
The Court would further note that the Assembly Act does not contain any
rule on the number of participants in an event, for it to fall within the scope
of the Act.
It follows that the Court will examine whether there has been a justified
interference with the applicants ’ freedom of expression.
a. Whether there has been an interference
30 . The Court observes that the applicants were subjected to an
administrative fine as a sanction for the expression which they had made . It
follows that there has been an interference with their right to freedom of
Such an interference will lead to the finding of a violation of Article 10
of the Convention, unless it was prescribed by law, pursued a legitimate aim
and was necessary in a democratic society to achieve that aim.
b. Prescribed by law
31 . The Government adduced that the measure had been based on
section 6 of the Assembly Act and section 152 of the Act on Administrative
Offences. The applicant s did not dispute this.
Having regard to its conclusions about the necessity of the interferenc e
(see paragraphs 36 to 42 below), and in view of the fact that the
foreseeability of the application of the law in question is closely linked to
the nature of the interference and of the right considered in the context of
the necessity of the interference , the Court finds it unnecessary to examine
this question in the circumstances (see , mutatis mutandis , Dink v. Turkey ,
nos. 2668/07, 6102/08, 30079/08, 7072/09 and 7124/09, § 116,
14 September 2010).
c. Legitimate aim
32 . The Government argued that the interference pursued the legitimate
aims of ensuring public safety, protecting the rights of others and preventing
disorder. The applicants did not address this issue.
The Court accepts that the measure pursued the legitim ate aims cited by
the Government.
d. Necessary in a democratic society
i. General principles
33 . The test of “necessity in a democratic society” requires the Court to
determine whether the interference complained of corresponded to a
“pressing social need”. The Contracting States have a certain margin of

appreciation in assessing whether such a need exists, but it goes hand in
hand with European supervision, embracing both the legislation and the
decisions applying it, even those given by an independent court. The Court
is therefore empowered to give the final ruling on whether a “restriction” is
reconcilable with freedom of expression as protected by Article 10 (see,
among many other authorities, Perna v. Italy [GC], no. 48898/99, § 39,
ECHR 2003 -V; Association Ekin v. France , no. 39288/98, § 56,
ECHR 2001 -VIII). Although freedom of expression may be subject to
exceptions, they must be narrowly interpreted and the necessity for any
restrictions must be convincingly established (see Observer and Guardian v.
the United Kingdom , 26 November 1991, § 59, Series A no. 216). In
particular, there is little scope under Article 10 § 2 of the Convention for
restrictions on political speech or on debate on questions of public interest
(see Feld ek v. Slovakia , no. 29032/95, ECHR 2001 -VIII § 74;
Sürek v. Turkey (no. 1) [GC], no. 26682/95, § 61, ECHR 1999 -IV).
34 . The Court ’s task in exercising its supervisory function is not to take
the place of the competent domestic cou rts but rather to review under
Article 10 the decisions they have taken pursuant to their margin of
appreciation (see Fressoz and Roire v. France [GC], no. 29183/95, § 45,
ECHR 1999 -I). This does not mean that the supervision is limited to
ascertaining whe ther the respondent State exercised its discretion
reasonably, carefully or in good faith; the Court looks at the interference
complained of in the light of the case as a whole, including the content of
the statement held against the applicant and its cont ext (see News Verlags
GmbH & CoKG v. Austria , no. 31457/96, § 52, ECHR 2000 -I).
35 . In particular, the Court must determine whether the reasons adduced
by the national authorities to justify the interference were “relevant and
suff icient”, and whether the measure taken was “proportionate to the
legitimate aims pursued” (see Chauvy and Others v. France , no. 64915/01,
§ 70, ECHR 2004 -VI). In doing so, the Court has to satisfy itself that the
national authorities, basing themselves on an acceptable assessment of the
relevant facts, applied standards which were in conformity with the
principles embodied in Article 10 (see Zana v. Turkey , 25 November 1997,
§ 51, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997 -VII). Article 10 is
applicable not on ly to “information” or “ideas” that are favourably received
or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those
that offend, shock or disturb; such are the demands of that pluralism,
tolerance and broadmindedness without which ther e is no “democratic
society” (see Oberschlick v. Austria (no. 1) , 23 May 1991, § 57, Series A
no. 204).
ii. Application of those principles to the present case
36 . The Court observes that the applicants were fined for having
publicly displayed for a short while, at a location adjacent to Parliament,

several items of clothing representing the “dirty laundry of the nation”. For
the Court, this action – wh ich the applicants described as a “performance” –
amounts to a form of poli tical expression.
37 . While it appears that the applicants had in advance publicised on
their website their intention to carry out the “performance”, the Court
nevertheless cannot share the Government ’s view that it was tantamount to
an assembly for the following reasons.
38 . The Court has consistently held that the rights enshrined in
Article 11 are specific in relation to those in Article 10 of the Convention
(see, e.g., Rai and Evans v. the United Kingdom (dec.), nos. 26258/07 and
26255/07, 17 November 2009), in particular because the gathering of people
on public ground may raise specific issues of public order. However, it
would point out that the mere fact that an expression occurs in the public
space d oes not necessarily turn such an event into an assembly. The Court
notes at this juncture that various definitions of assembly may exist in the
national legal systems. It reiterates that its role is to supervise that the
application of the domestic law be in conformity with the Convention, and
would take the view that the term “assembly” possesses – just like the term
“association” (see Chassagnou and Others v. France [GC], nos. 25088/94,
28331/95 and 28443/95, § 100 in fine, ECHR 1999 III) – an autonomous
meaning; the classification in national law has only relative value and
constitutes no more than a starting -point. Such an autonomous meaning
serves the interests of the protection of the right against improper
classifications in national law. The Court co nsiders that, in qualifying a
gathering of several people as an assembly, regard must be had to the fact
that an assembly constitutes a specific form of communication of ideas ,
where the gathering of an indeterminate number of persons with the
identifiable intention of being part of the communicative process can be in
itself an intensive expression of an idea. The support for the idea in question
is being expressed through the very presence of a group of people,
particularly – as in the present case – at a place accessible to the general
public. Furthermore, an assembly may serve the exchange of ideas between
the speakers and the participants, intentionally present, even if they disagree
with the speakers.
39 . The Court notes however that these elements are absent in the
present application where there was no intentional gathering of participants,
notwithstanding the fact that the event had been advertised on the Internet;
however, there is no appearance that this advertisement had been aimed to
recruit participants other than some journalists. In these circumstances, the
Court is satisfied that the “political performance” in question was intended
to send a message through the media rather than the direct gath ering of
people – the latter in any case being virtually unachievable in thirteen
minutes which was the duration of the performance. The Court recalls in
this connection that a press communiqué made in public, even where there

was a gathering of twenty -fiv e people , was examined under Article 10,
rather than Article 11 , of the Convention ( see Karademirci and Others v.
Turkey , nos. 37096/97 and 37101/97, § 26, ECHR 2005 -I).
40 . By qualifying the expressive interaction of the two appli cants as an
assembly, the authorities brought the Assembly Act into play , which
imposes a duty of notification on the organisers of an assembly, failing
which they commit a regulatory offence. The Court acknowledges that such
a notification might be justif ied in certain cases, since it enables the
authorities effectively to coordinate and facilitate the assembly. However, in
the Court ’s view, there was no need for such coordination in the present
circumstances (cf. Balçık and Others v. Turkey , no. 25/02, § 49,
29 November 2007 ), since nothing indicates that either the public order or
the rights of others were affected. The national authorities ’ approach to the
concept of assembly does not correspond to the rationale of the notification
rule. Indeed, the appl ication of that rule to expressions – rather than only to
assemblies – would create a prior restraint which is incompatible with the
free communication of ideas and might undermine freedom of expression.
41 . Consequently, the Court is not convinced that the domestic courts ’
and the Government ’s arguments focusing on the necessity to sanction the
applicants ’ non -compliance with the prior notification rule were “relevant
and sufficient” for the purposes of Article 10 § 2 of the Conven tion. The
Court would add that the imposi tion of an administrative sanction, however
mild, on the authors of such expressions which qualify as artistic and
political at the same time can have an undesirable chilling effect on public
42 . The foregoing considerations are sufficient to enable the Court to
conclude that there has been a violation of Article 10 of the Convention.
43 . Article 41 of the Convention provides:
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols
thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only
partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if ne cessary, afford just satisfaction to
the injured party.”
A. Damage
44 . Each of t he applicant s claimed 2,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non –
pecuniary damage.
45 . The Government contested this claim.

46 . The Court considers that the applicants must have suffered some
non -pecuniary damage and awards each of them EUR 1,500 under this
head .
B. Costs and expenses
47 . The applicant s also claimed a non -specified amo unt for legal costs
incurred before the Court.
48 . The Government contested this claim.
49 . According to the Court ’s case -law, an applicant is entitled to the
reimbursement of costs and expenses only in so far as it has been shown
that these have been actually and necessarily incurred and are reasonable as
to quantum. In the present case, regard being had to the documents in its
possession and the above criteria , the Court rejects t he claim for costs and
exp enses.
C. Default interest
50 . The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate
should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank,
to which should be added three percentage points.
1. Declares the applications admissible;

2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 10 of the Convention;

3. Holds
(a) that the respondent State is to pay each of the applicant s, within
three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in
accordance with A rticle 44 § 2 of the Convention , EUR 1,500 (one
thousand five hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in
respect of non -pecuniary damage, to be converted into Hungarian forints
at the rate applicable at the date of settlement ;
(b) that from the expiry of the above -mentioned three months until
settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a
rate equal to the marginal l ending rate of the European Central Bank
during the default period plus three percentage points;

4. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant s’ claim for just satisfaction.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 12 June 2012 , pursuant to
Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Stanley Naismith Françoise Tulkens
Registrar President