In an earlier article, I have argued that there are two main problems with the current standards of identifying and treating hate crimes by legal means in Hungary. The first is the tremendous extent of institutional racism and the lack of professional preparedness of the authorities compared to international standards. The second problem is part of the corresponding section in the Criminal Code, which allows for a problematic interpretation, (Várnagy, 2016) by allowing prosecution and courts to use minority protective measures precisely against these marginalized groups. I have dealt with this problem in the aforementioned article and here I will discuss a recent case of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter ECtHR or the Court) against Hungary, which concerns procedural issues in detecting and prosecuting hate crimes. The ruling in ECtHR, Balázs v Hungary, 2015 (Application no. 15529/12) was delivered in October 2015 and finalised in March 2016. 

The beauty of law, as a concept, will always reside in the fact that each legal text or provision is subject to interpretation. The sole purpose of interpretation is to offer the best possible solution to a real situation by applying that certain law/text. However, when interpretation fails to provide such a solution, especially in the area of criminal law, a specific and exclusive meaning has to be provided and enforced identically in every situation. The purpose of the following article is to analyse whether, under the current form of Article 46 of the Romanian Penal Code, joint authorship can be admitted in the case of involuntary crimes, and what are the possible consequences of admitting the existence of this form of criminal participation.


The geographical environment, the natural framework of existence and historical evolution, has always been a support and an influential factor in the socio-economic field, putting its mark on the evolution of social sciences, and thus on the legal system as well. Being one of the most significant factors in determining laws - a material source of law (Boboş, Buzdugan & Rebreanu, 2010), the circumstances and relevant problems which it raises are becoming a subject of day by day rising interest in our society.

No one would think that the measures taken to promote equal rights and securing equal opportunities can be turned around and cause even more disadvantages to underprivileged groups of society. However, the decisions based on Hungary’s current law on hate crimes (Section 216, Act C of 2012 on the Criminal Code) have proven the contrary. Ever since its introduction in 1996, despite some progressive amendments, the relevant section has never been used to convict perpetrators for actually committing violence against a member of the community (Ivany, 2012), the title by which hate crime regulations appear in criminal codes. 

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