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Liberal pundit sees Handó as a bulwark of the rule of law

December 4th, 2017

In a surprising move, one of the government’s most unrelenting liberal critics takes up the defence of the President of the National Office for the Judiciary against attacks from both sides of the political dividing line.

In 168 óra, sociologist Mária Vásárhelyi recalls that six years ago, when Tünde Handó was appointed to lead the institution as part of an overhaul of the judiciary, she was considered by many to be a government agent who would subjugate the courts to the executive. Today, the courts have been repeatedly criticized for ruling against the government and angry pro-government pundits have openly urged the removal of Ms Handó from her post. Meanwhile, left-wing and liberal authors continue to attack her as a political nominee. Incredible as it seems, Vásárhelyi writes, Tünde Handó, a founding Fidesz member and a close friend of PM Orbán’s family, has remained ‘a judge who protects her professional autonomy, independence and integrity, in accordance with the oath she took 30 years ago’. Today, the liberal author writes, Ms Handó is the guarantor of the independence of Hungary’s courts, and her professionalism and autonomy are values that should be defended – Mária Vásárhelyi concludes.

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