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transitional justice in hungary


Ádám Gellért



1989 was a major turning point and a defining moment for Hungary. The toppling of the Socialist state fueled heated and emotional debates about the future of the country. Many thought that without accountability for past atrocities or redress for the victims no meaningful transition could occur. A lively public discourse ensued, various plans, initiatives and laws saw the light and the criminal justice system stepped in as well.  

This research project  based on the researcher's own initiatives (Law 210 of 2011 on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to Crimes Against Humanity and Accountability for Communist Crimes; criminal complaint and advocacy in the case of former communist Minister of Interior, Béla Biszku, concerning the retributions subsequent to the 1956 revolution) – seeks to map and analyze these various initiatives, and study the adequacy of Hungarian criminal law in dealing with "communist crimes".   

The other prong of the research encompasses the analysis of  revision cases brought before the Supreme Court concerning People Court's verdicts from 19451950 involving war crimes and crimes against the people. 


The research seeks to be a valuable addition to the field on transitional justice in Eastern Europe.

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