Openly racist opinion of a Hungarian judge

Every time there is a verdict indicating that the independence of Hungarian judges is still more or less intact (as opposed to, for example, that of prosecutors) we are inclined to praise the high quality of Hungarian judges. Critics of the Hungarian judiciary, however, argue that it was not the best and the brightest of law school graduates who ended up as judges and prosecutors. The smartest, especially in the last two decades of the Kádár regime, opted for a more lucrative path: joining burgeoning law firms. They also point to the declining prestige of the profession–one sign, unfortunately, being the number of women on the bench. In the county courts women often make up 70% of the judges. The situation is a little better in the newly created appellate courts and in the Kúria, but even there only 47-48% of the judges are men.

Here is a case that lends some credence to the critics’ argument. It unequivocally demonstrates that among the 2,800 sitting judges at least one doesn’t belong there. The outcry is not over this particular judge’s incompetence but rather over her overt racism. I will certainly address the racist aspect of the story, but I would also like to emphasize something others failed to do: her incompetence and obtuseness.

Let’s start with her professional incompetence. Way back in 2011 the Prosecutor’s Office of Békés County asked the court to dissolve a paramilitary organization called the Association for a Better Future (SZJE). The same organization also bears the name Better Future Hungarian Self-Defense. It was in April 2010 that the group was established by former members of the already dissolved Hungarian Guard, whose activities threatened the rights and freedom of others. So, on the face of it, the case seemed simple enough. If the Hungarian Guard was deemed to be an illegal organization, then this new organization, born out of it and having the same goals, should have been illegal too.

Nothing much happened between 2011 and now. At least not in the Hungarian justice system. But if you take a look at the Better Future website, you will see that the members of this paramilitary organization have been busy all over the country. They target the Roma exclusively. Their members patrol the streets of heavily Roma villages and small towns. They march in military formation and wear uniforms, intimidating the Roma population of these villages and towns. Surely, this is their goal. Among other places, the members of the group were present in Gyöngyöspata in 2011, an event that attracted worldwide attention. I wrote about it in May 2011.

So, let’s see what Erika Mucsi, the judge in the case, had to say about this paramilitary organization and its possible effect on the Roma population in Gyöngyöspata. According to this intellectual giant, “the frightening activities of SZJE cannot be proven because at the time other organizations were also present: Véderő, Betyársereg, and Csendőrség.” Although the official civil patrols who work hand in hand with the police themselves pressed charges against the SZJE because of its illegal and threatening activities, Mucsi didn’t find anything wrong with SZJE members marching in military columns and following military commands, both of which are against the law. Mucsi admitted that “such activities may cause distress in the local community, but public marching itself is guaranteed by the right of assembly.” And “walking around with the purpose of preempting crime is the right of every citizen (állampolgári jog).” It should be noted that the Court of Human Rights confirmed the judgment of the Hungarian court that dissolved the Hungarian Guard on precisely the charges Erika Mucsi found lawful. So much for the woman’s professional expertise.

Mucsi Erika

And then there is her open, unabashed racism. According to her, “the Roma as a category should not be characterized primarily on the basis of race, but rather as a group separated from the majority by its disregard of the traditional values cherished by the majority. They follow a work-shy existence, they don’t respect private property and accepted morality.” This kind of generalization would be unacceptable in general, but that it was written in an opinion of a judge is truly outlandish. Especially since Erika Mucsi must have visited the website of SZJE and therefore had to know that this paramilitary organization has only one aim: the harassment of the Roma. And not just in villages but everywhere. For example, they seem to be active, without any interference by the authorities, in Pécs. SZJE is elated by its successful defense. And it is not alone. The websites of the best-known extremist groups praise Erika Mucsi to the skies.

The prosecutors are obviously stunned, and they are appealing the case. Even the spokesman of the Békés County Court (Gyula Törvényszék), expressed the court’s total disapproval of Mucsi’s unacceptable racist opinions. The spokesman indicated that there might be consequences of Erika Mucsi’s injudicious handling of the case.

While the extreme right is rejoicing, the legal defense groups are up in arms: the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, TASZ, the Károly Eötvös Intézet, just to mention a few. The spokesman of the Kúria diplomatically called attention to the fact that the verdict is not final and therefore the case is not closed. The extremists’  joy might be short-lived. It is very unlikely that the Szeged Appellate Court will give its blessing to such an absurd verdict.

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petofi
Guest

Just another example of Hungarian ‘performance art’–a predetermined judgement which will be overturned on Orban’s orders to show the world that the country runs along legal channels.
Laughable threatre.

spectator
Guest

First I thought that she can’t be real, this must be some Disney production…
Later I realized, that even if the character would fit to the role, this is the Hungarian reality.
Look forward to see the opening-ceremony of the first “Justice-Whites Only” entrance on the courtroom too…

steve397
Guest

Nothing can surprise me anymore when it comes to Hungary, but some things astonish me.

Ki Tudja Az Igazsagot?
Guest
Ki Tudja Az Igazsagot?

Openly racist?
What is the background of the judge?
Was she a loyalist communist in the past like the Orbans?
Has she been blackmailed to create this verdict?
Was she eager to prove her racism now to change her image?
The ulcer of Hungary are the former carrier communists, who are poisoning the society now from the left and right.

The honest left, minus maniac old communists must stand up, and explain the case to the people.

petofi
Guest

“…explain the case to the people.”

Misplaced trust ‘in the people’.

A case in point: I went shopping at a piac and stood patiently in line for my turn at the sausage/kolbasz/salami stand. Finally, my turn. I asked for a piece of krinolin sausage about
yeah big. The counter-person bought me two pieces, one in each hand. “Which hand would
you like?” she asked. I pointed to the right. “Which hand do you want?” she insisted.
I kept pointing to the right. She didn’t make a move, insisting that I designate ‘right’ or ‘left’ hand. Ok, I had to think, my right is her left. “left!” She finally started to move.

God forbid that she shouldn’t discomfort me for having the priviledge to go shopping on a Saturday morning.

Hungary…and its mentally-diseased people.

szabo
Guest

It’s not just that the openly racist sites praised Judge Mucsi.

Any mainstream news site that dared to deal with this news item and let comments from hvg to atlatszo.hu (which published the entire judgement, with some redactions) had hundreds of praizing and acknowledging comments.

I would say 80-90 percent of the commenters were strongly, aggressively agreeing with the judgement, only a small minority was against it.

It’s almost unbelievable – although from Jobbik’s success one at least can have a suspicion – how much hatred there is against the roma. This hatred is there and is not going anywhere.

Egonka
Guest
Ok, I will be provocative. I know that the romas are a very diverse group in many ways, there are many who assimilated and have higher degrees (some 25,000), they speak many languages, have different customs and so on, so generalization is all the more problematic. Having said that, cannot we imagine, theoretically, that there are some ethnic groups in the world which have trouble integrating into the modern world which is characterized by a sedentary life-style, the legal system (property, contracts, norms prescribed by the state, not by the group itself), state administration/burocracy, standardized work etc.? I think it is highly misleading to compare the roma to indigenous populations, but there are certain similarities. Why is it difficult to imagine that certain nomadic cultures whether from Siberia or North-America or India would have difficulty living in the modern world many decades after settling down (at gunpoint)? They were forced to settle down exactly because even after the majority of the Western world settled down around 1,000, these cultures were still nomadic as of 1950’s. Isn’t this difference an evidence for a very strong group culture? What Dr. Mucsi just said may be interpreted as a statement on the anthropologic… Read more »
Nádas
Guest

“… the Roma as a category should not be characterized primarily on the basis of race, but rather as a group separated from the majority by its disregard of the traditional values cherished by the majority. They follow a work-shy existence, they don’t respect private property and accepted morality.”

I’m afraid that the great majority of Hungarians (and Slovaks and Czechs and others in the region, as well) would completely agree with the judge’s opinion, and probably wouldn’t express it quite as eloquently as she did. And that is the context within which a sitting justice – whatever her level of competence and regardless of who appointed her – can make a statement in her official capacity from the bench that almost anywhere else in the civilized world would merit censure.

On the other hand, the “Gypsy problem” is one of those issues that look decidedly more benign, sadly, the farther away one lives from the problem.

tappanch
Guest

Two years on ….

This is what is needed for Hungary, not as a half-serious joke, not as a threat, but in reality:

“Support democracy in Hungary with new Radio Free Europe broadcasts”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/support-democracy-in-hungary-with-new-radio-free-europe-broadcasts/2012/02/17/gIQAI7KdcR_story.html

Palindrome
Guest

Smart Fideszniks:

Veritas (whose head Sándor Szakály said that killing those tens of thousands jews at Kamanec-Podolsk was an administrative issue, nothing special really) has concluded a cooperation agreement with the Páva-street Holocaust Centre so they will organize joint programs and events. It looks as though the “Jews got to like and respect Veritas, so what the big issue is about Veritas, I don’t get it”?

http://nol.hu/belfold/veritas-es-pava-utca-a-mazsihisz-elnoke-megdobbent-1458821

Fideszniks will not give up. It is not their mode of operation. That would be the left. Fideszniks have a great PR operation. Also, they just don’t like urban jews. Too many problems with them, all the time.

Mazsihisz is the butt of jokes now (which is the goal of Fidesz), it has no power. It is dependent on fideszniks for its finance and it is taken by surprise at every turn. But don’t expect that Fidesz will relent. No, the turning of the screws only just started.

Cili
Guest

In Hungarian, a great article about rural reality. Once you have read it, try to imagine how much the ideas about the constitution and the rule of law may matter there.

http://nol.hu/belfold/mi-lett-a-faluval-1458601

Guest
I’m an optimist at heart and that’s why I believe that education and information would solve a lot of the problems of these minorities (the Indians in the USA seem to be in a similar situation, I’ve passed through several reservations and Indian villages in Florida and the West – and we also were in Cherokee from where they were driven away and went into the museum there …). And if the parents are not interested in educating their children then the government should do something – but that is another point where many countries don’t do anything or at least not enough) And of course it’s a very slow process, takes more than a generation and it seems that nothing happened in Hungary in the last 25 years in this direction. Not too much OT: Yesterday was a crazy day in the village – lomtalanítás … Dozens of Gypsy groups went through looking the things that were put outside – any scrap of possible value was taken … I remember this from 15 years ago when they would slowly drive through the village with their old Ladas – now they have nice and shiny Mercedes vans … Many villagers… Read more »
spectator
Guest
In my opinion we have two distinct issues here. The undelying problem is if course the situation of the Roma, but at least equally important, what answers the majority could come up with. Let’s face it, the society abandoned the Roma and now we are surprised that they turned away from that society. We expecting them to integrate, while doing our best to keep the out, blame them and only them instead of finally start to seriously and fundamentally work out long term policies to a mutually beneficial coexistence. There is no easy way and every day wasted obly further prolong the problem, another generation goes wasted. The other, – the main topic here – in my opinion much simpler: do we really accept that a judge, who by definition should represent the core moral values of our society and make judgements based on those very values, express such racially loaded “opinion” on a case, where the initial question was, wheter if prowling of uniformly clad paramilitary toughs may taken as threatening, generally by the average citizens, but oarticularly by a certain ethnic group, or not. One thing became crystal clear, this judge isn’t impartial, this judge has preconceptions regarding… Read more »
spectator
Guest

After all, she is a “her”, sorry about it!
(Must have been herr Freud at the works)

petofi
Guest

@spectator

“…a judge, who by definition should represent the core moral values of our society…”

The problem is….she DOES represent the core moral values of Hungarian society!

But I learned it somewhat different: judges like Frankfurter and Brandeis realized that their
role encompasses an aspect of leading their societies forward by their reasoning and judgments.

petofi
Guest

But ain’t I silly comparing the great judges of the US with the fart-happy judges of Hungary…

Member

OT
THe Fidesz government’s huge thing is to start up parallel organizations to existing once. I bet it is necessary as Fidesz must take control on everything and also by placing some of their friends into well paying positions became a habit. (THink agriculture, cultural, and academical activities, etc.) So they newest brainchild is the National Creative Institute http://www.nemzetikreativintezet.hu that pulled a Schmitt right at the beginning by lifting the the logo of the Hungarian creative magazine http://www.kreativ.hu Although they did change the logo on their webpage to a not so creative, new version, they still use the stolen logo here and there as the picture below shows.
http://cink.hu/nevettel-mar-ma-megis-ellopta-a-kreativ-logojat-a-nem-1568614607
How fitting that anything Orban/Fidesz touches is based on other people’s idea or stealing.

Member

BREAKING NEWS…
FINALLY It seems the EU is waking up and likely ordered a stop on the EU payments for Orban’s friends. I think it is important to note that it is not that they do not want to finch Hungary, but they have enough of Orban / Fidesz financing his friends businesses from EY money, while goes and rants about how much they do not want the EU! I wonder if the Peace Marchers / Orban / Fidesz now ail have a march to get their money. Supposedly the EU should leave Hungary alone, according to Orban’s friends…. Maybe Kozgep and the others, instead of building stadiums could start to put heir money into good use.

Member

according to HVG: They are not stopping the payments, they just not paying it out until there is reassurance that the Hungarian new restructured distribution of money is as it should be. It was Lazar who took over the task to restructure the EU payments in Hungary, and as we can recall he is the one who kept trying to buy a certain software related to this task. After successfully purchasing the software in the name of the Hungarian government, the previous owner died immediately.

Havelaar
Guest

@Some 1

BREAKING NEWS…
FINALLY It seems the EU is waking up and likely ordered a stop on the EU payments for Orban’s friends. I think it is important to note that it is not that they do not want to finch Hungary, but they have enough of Orban / Fidesz financing his friends businesses from EY money, while goes and rants about how much they do not want the EU! I wonder if the Peace Marchers / Orban / Fidesz now ail have a march to get their money. Supposedly the EU should leave Hungary alone, according to Orban’s friends…. Maybe Kozgep and the others, instead of building stadiums could start to put heir money into good use.

Would be great news…but where can I find it in english?
Help me out please.

Ron
Guest
Ron
Guest

It seems that the EU is waking up. Five infringement procedures in the last month.

http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/commission_opens_new_infringement_procedure_against_hungary.27689.html

Mutt
Guest

“The evil West is punishing the Hungarians …” – I already hear the Fides bunk-o-matic …

Member

In most countries judges are on the average the wisest men and women. However the wise men and women leave Hungary, so the leftover become judges.

Kirsten
Guest
Egonka: “cannot we imagine, theoretically, that there are some ethnic groups in the world which have trouble integrating into the modern world which is characterized by a sedentary life-style, the legal system (property, contracts, norms prescribed by the state, not by the group itself), state administration/burocracy, standardized work etc.?” So I will be provocative, too. An “ethnic group” that may “have trouble integrating into the modern world which is characterized by … the legal system (property, contracts, norms prescribed by the state)” might be the Hungarians. Property: Nationalisation of pensions, takarekbank deal, gas and energy sector, language schools, … Contracts: EU accession treaty, violated on many occasions. Legal system viewed as a playground for the “clever”, those who twist the law, who do not understand the substance of the matter and instead cling to some perceived “wording”. Norms prescribed by the state: tax avoidance, shadow economy, “Why is it difficult to imagine that certain nomadic cultures whether from Siberia or North-America or India would have difficulty living in the modern world many decades after settling down (at gunpoint)?” I read regularly that Hungarians have great difficulty in accepting modern life and instead dream of subsistence level rural life. Because: “Why… Read more »
Member

A fervent plea to “Petofi”

@Petofi [“But ain’t I silly comparing the great judges of the US with the fart-happy judges of Hungary…”], I know your heart is in the right place, but I beg you, stop this vulgar, vituperative acting out. It is harming your own cause, and giving a very bad impression of the democratic opposition. Leave the foul-mouthing to the Fidesz trolls. Let there be a clear and evident difference between them and us. Please, please stop it. Not just for a few postings, but altogether.

Istvan
Guest
I may be confused about this but isn’t true that Zsolt Tyirityán’s Outlaw Army has remained legal even before this decision. Zsolt Tyirityán, stood in front of the village church in Devecser on August 5th 2012 arguing for racial warfare and the need to “exterminate Roma from public life”. This is on tape. He is also on reported stating at the Magyar Sziget : “When the Israelis are going to come here with their Merkava tanks and stealth bombers, will they have the moral question to shoot our homes or not? I am sure they will not hesitate. And are we going to dare to shoot a rotten, stinking Jew then?” In this moment the audience is reported to have shouted that “we will” and broke out in applause. So really if these Fascist outfits can change names at will, call themselves cultural associations, create fake rock festivals that are really Fascist rallies what does Judge Erika Mucsi decision really mean? Moreover the Outlaw Army’s presence in Gyöngyöspata during the attacks was noted by Judge Mucsi no doubt to point out the fact that one right wing militia gets banned and another does not. This entire European idea of banning… Read more »
petofi
Guest

@Steven H.

My vituperative mood is equal to my angst and disappointment in Hungarians and Hungarian society.

My Hungarian friends in Toronto warned me: all Hungarians are anti-semites. And I had responded that it wasn’t my experience; that I haven’t known any ill treatment. (This inspite of the fact that my father and uncle were on one of those famous Csatary trains to a concentration camp…)

Talk about the stupidity of having to learn from your own experience! Now, having returned to Hungary some years ago, I’m mired in the full imbecility of a brain-dead culture subdued
by the psychological tricks of a psychopath backed by the Russians; a culture that is willingly
agreeing to dump western civilization for the ‘benefits of the East’, and the dubious pleasures of sycophantic praises of its ‘greatness’. Furthermore, a culture and a society that is resurrecting
the rule of the jungle. My disappointment knows no bounds.

So, pricking the faux civility of ‘true Hungarians’ is nothing to the pain I feel…

Petofi Az Igazi Hazafi
Guest
Petofi Az Igazi Hazafi

As many times complimented, Petofi is the best in the blog.

The most effective strategy could be to picket all leading iranian – Russian hired racists in Hungary at his / her doorstep.

On signs, we should denounce their crimes, and force them into an eternal submission.

Sooner or later, ordinary citizen will realize that these outlaws are the worst enemies and not the saviors.

Egonka
Guest
Kristen — spot on. I agree. People should see that. When lately certain analysts and observers (like Péter Tölgyessy) refer to the keleties (more or less oriental) traits of Hungarians, they obviously cannot refer to China, Japan or South Korea, but the region where Eastern Orthodox Christianity is still dominant. This Eastern-European region have one thing with Hungary common, all of these countries have trouble integrating into the Western world and adopting democracy, partly because they never have been Western in the first place. (And of course, it is not about christianity.) I cannot tell why they all have trouble competing in capitalism, there may be dozens of reasons. But certainly Hungary has very deep problems in this regard. The fact that Hungary was always an agricultural country, only emerging according to its own definition from an ‘agricultural-industrial’ country to an ‘industrial-agricultural’ in the 1970-1980’s (and all this from Western loans already then) is a huge issue (not a cause but more like a symptom). Most of Hungary is a plain land with no mineral resources. The first independent towns with citizens (as a separate estate) emerged in the Felvidék, which is now Slovakia. The plainland Hungary was always rural… Read more »
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