Housing over handcuffs: the criminalization of homelessness in Hungary.
If you sleep on the street in Hungary, you become a criminal. (1) The Hungarian government has criminalized the actions of its homeless population in an attempt to clear them from its streets. (2) In 2010, Hungary enacted legislation that authorizes local governments to criminalize homelessness and, in doing so, has violated its commitment to human rights. (3) When the Constitutional Court of Hungary rightfully overturned the legislation, the government refused to revoke it, amended the Constitution to permit promulgation of such laws, and most recently, under its newly established authority, the Parliament passed an amended version of the original law (2013 Anti-homelessness Law) to permit fining and imprisoning of the homeless. (4) There are different perspectives regarding the causes of homelessness and these perspectives have policy implications: the perspective that homelessness is a choice leads to harsher and less sympathetic policies against homelessness, including criminalization. (5) The perspective that homelessness is not a choice, but rather a crisis cause by factors often outside of one's control, leads to more positive approaches to homelessness, such as affordable housing programs. (6) These approaches to homelessness make up a spectrum ranging from criminalization by legislation to national strategies to end homelessness by positive methods. (7) The Hungarian government has chosen criminalization, causing further exclusion and harm to an already vulnerable population. (8) Housing has been identified as a human right; therefore, Hungary's policies have implications on international human rights. (9) The United Nations has reacted to this legislation by calling on Hungary to revoke it and instead create affordable housing programs. (10) Although Hungary's Constitutional Court has ruled against the law, the government resisted its revocation and was organizing to keep it in place. (11) The government managed to amend the Hungarian Constitution to permit legislation that criminalizes homelessness and subsequently passed a law enacting such legislation. (12)
This Note addresses Hungary's recent anti-homelessness legislation and discusses the need for its revocation. (13) Part II of this Note will provide information on the homeless population in Hungary, the development of the legislation, the Constitutional Court decision that overturned it, and the Hungarian government's passage of constitutional amendments to allow it. (14) This part will also examine the opposition against the legislation, by international, regional, and local communities, and the effect, both legal and social, it has in Hungary. (15) Part III of this Note will explain the historical context in which this legislation has arisen, tracing back to the treaties and resolutions meant to govern Hungary's approaches to homelessness as well as the recognition of housing as a human right. (16) Part IV will analyze how Hungary's insistence on enabling the legislation--by amending the constitution and passing the 2013 Anti-homelessness Law--diverges from international human rights law, regional agreements, resolutions, and EU values and must be corrected. (17) This part will also analyze the Constitutional Court proceedings related to the anti-homeless legislation in Hungary and how its reasoning aligns with Hungary's human rights obligations. (18) Additionally, it will recommend that Hungary revoke its legislation criminalizing homelessness to follow the ruling of the Hungarian Constitutional Court and fulfill both the international human rights and regional obligations Hungary has made through treaties and resolutions. (19) This part will further recommend that Hungary also repeal the constitutional amendment permitting the Anti-homelessness Law and address the issue of homelessness in a more humane way by honoring the right to housing and its commitment to end homelessness. (20) Finally, Part V will summarize the development and status of the anti-homelessness legislation in Hungary and recommend that Hungary change it. (21)
A. The Homelessness Problem
Homelessness has become a pervasive problem in Hungary's capital city, Budapest, as well as across the rest of the country. (22) The country does not have adequate services to accommodate the growing homeless population or an effective strategy to address it. (23) The homeless shelters are often dangerous and, despite having no other place to go, many people try to avoid these shelters. (24) This contributes to the growing number of homeless people living on the streets, increasing the visibility of the issue. (25) Hungary's public shelters do not have enough beds even for those homeless individuals who try to utilize them. (26) Homelessness has been a growing concern across Europe generally. (27) The European Commission has deemed the problem serious enough to motivate Europe 2020. (28) Europe 2020 is the first strategy Europe has developed to attempt to reduce poverty on a large scale. (29)
B. Development Of Hungary's Anti-homelessness Legislation
Hungary's anti-homelessness legislation evolved over the course of several years, becoming more detailed and involving more significant punishments. (30) In November 2010, the Hungarian Parliament amended the construction law, the Law for the Built Environment and Protection. (31) The law defined functions of public spaces and authorized the government to classify the purpose of public spaces and punish improper use of such spaces. (32) This authorization became the basis for government regulation of use of public space. (33) The government intended to punish those who use public space for habitual housing, classifying it as improper use. (34) The following November, the Parliament amended the law again, allowing the imprisonment of repeat offenders of improper use for as long as sixty-five days and seeking fines as high as HUF50,000, approximately USD220. (35) On April 15, 2012, the Hungarian Parliament, utilizing its authorization to regulate use of public space, enacted the Act on Petty Offenses. (36) This legislation makes habitually residing in public spaces, or storing one's belongings in such spaces, a crime punishable by imprisonment and/or fine. (37)
The Law statutorily defines proper use of public space, permitting the typical activities of the general public. (38) The law states that anyone can use the public land for its intended purpose. (39) The statute grants local governments the power to promulgate regulations allowing them to imprison and/or fine individuals engaged in habitual public housing and storing belongings on public property. (40)
Since taking power in 2010, Fidesz, the political party behind the legislation, has caused significant controversy beyond the criminalization of homelessness. (41) This anti-homelessness legislation is consistent with with other changes the government has made that infringe on the constitutional rights of its citizens and violate its international obligations. (42) The controversial changes that the Hungarian government made have been the focus of discussion among different EU institutions. (43) The EU Commission has contemplated sanctioning Hungary for its conduct. (44) Hungary's government responded to criticism with mixed messages, suggesting that it was open to hearing conflicting opinions, but not open to altering anything in a way that conflicts with its new constitution. (45) The Budapest local government also issued decrees enacting local mandates on the proper use of public spaces. (46) Similar to these restrictions on use of public space, the Budapest local government previously issued a decree against scavenging in the garbage. (47)
C. Opposition Against Anti-Homelessness Legislation is Widespread
Anti-homelessness legislation has engendered controversy among the local advocacy community, the Hungarian Constitutional Court, and international bodies. (48) Representatives in Hungary, such as the Hungarian Ombudsman, Mate Szabo, are rising in opposition against the new laws and the impact that they have on the homeless and those living in severe poverty. (49)
1 Legal Proceedings in Hungary Against Such Laws
The authorization for governments to impose public space regulations was not the first anti-homelessness legislation propagated in Hungary. (50) The Hungarian Constitutional Court is the proper forum to challenge these cases. (51) The Constitutional Court is an independent court in Hungary. (52) The jurisdiction of the court is broad, including preliminary norm control of enacted, but not yet promulgated statutes, abstract posterior control of legislative acts and sub-legislative acts, and constitutional complaints. (53) The decisions of the Constitutional Court are binding on all other courts in Hungary. (54) In December 2011, The Constitutional Court ruled that the decree against dustbin scavenging was unconstitutional and annulled the provision effective immediately. (55)
The Hungarian Ombudsman brought the anti-homelessness legislation before the court and contested the amendments to the construction law regarding the proper use of public space. (56) On November 12, 2012, the Hungarian Constitutional Court determined these amendments were unconstitutional. (57) It ruled that the specific legislation that criminalized homelessness was contradictory to the Constitution's requirements for legal certainty. (58) The Court also found the legislation to be contradictory to the right to human dignity and property. (59) This ruling immediately voided the provisions of the law regarding punishment for habitual public housing and storing belongings in public. (60) It also repealed the government's broad authorization to regulate the use of public space. (61)
The Court took the perspective that homelessness is not a choice. (62) It characterized homelessness as a condition that people suffer through, rather than an intentional situation that one can control. (63) It described the use of the public space for housing as necessary, rather than optional, when there is no available alternative to living on the street. (64) The Court not only stated that the homeless have no alternative to living in public, but also argued that the local government should be assisting this population. (65) The Court also concluded that living in public did not harm or violate the rights of others. (66) It noted that the possibility of a violation of public policy cannot be considered a legitimate reason for criminalization. (67)
The Constitutional Court was correct when it held that the anti-homelessness legislation was unconstitutional. (68) The Court reasoned that the legislation that criminalized homelessness did not meet the Constitution's requirements for legal certainty, and that it contradicted the Constitution's protections of the right to human dignity and property. (69) The legislation did not provide sufficient clarity for people to understand what actions would be deemed criminal and what actions were acceptable. (70) The legislature must ensure that the law as a whole, and its individual parts, are clear, unambiguous, and predictable. (71) When the law is not clear, law enforcement agencies have too much discretion, leaving the vulnerable homeless population in an even more insecure position. (72)
The Hungarian government did not carry out the Constitutional Court's decision or revoke the law. (73) Instead, Prime Minister Victor Orban decided to hold consultations across Hungary to promote his argument that the decision is not realistic for Hungary. (74) As an alternative to organizing against the Constitutional Court decision, Orban also said he would attempt to amend the constitution itself to reinstate the law. (75) From the beginning, Orban's threat had been realistic because only a two-thirds majority of the parliament is required to amend the constitution. (76) Since 2010, Fidesz has been in the majority and has already used its power to make other constitutional changes. (77)
2. Local Advocate's Opposition to the Legislation
In addition to the Ombudsman's legal advocacy, homelessness advocates have also strongly protested against the legislation. (78) The advocates argue that Hungary's actions conflict with its membership in the European Union and the EU commitment to end homelessness. (79) Homelessness advocates condemn the legislation as unconstitutional and inhumane; and as such, propose alternative solutions to the problem of homelessness; solutions that focus on housing programs rather than the criminalization of homelessness. (80)
3. International Criticism of Hungary's Anti-Homelessness Legislation
The legislation drew criticism from both Magdalena Sepulveda, the UN Special Rapporteur of Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, and Raquel Rolnik, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. (81) Both rapporteurs express that criminalization of homelessness is not the solution. (82) They call instead for Hungary to revise the anti-homelessness legislation and adopt a national housing strategy to address the needs of the homeless population in a way that fulfills Hungary's international human rights obligations. (83) Rolnik is concerned that the Hungarian government was taking costly actions to penalize the homeless instead of directing funds towards helping the homeless population. (84) Critics of the Hungarian government argue that its failure to revoke the law, in accordance with the decision of the Constitutional Court, raises human rights and rule of law concerns. (85) Prime Minister Orban's main argument is that the local authorities should have the right to decide whether homeless people can live permanently on their streets. (86)
D. Hungary Amended the Constitution to Accommodate Anti-Homelessness Legislation
Prime Minister Orban followed through on his threat of amending the Hungarian Constitution to legalize the anti-homelessness legislation. (87) This amendment, made on March 11, 2013, has reignited the protest from local legal advocates, local homelessness advocates, and even greater opposition from international bodies like the United Nations, European Union, and the United States. (88) The amendment circumvents the November 12, 2012 Constitutional Court decision overturning the law and reaffirms the power of local authorities to adopt legislation to criminalize homelessness, making it a crime punishable by imprisonment and/or fine to sleep in public spaces. (89) This amendment is not susceptible to challenge by the Constitutional Court because other recent amendments reduced the Court's authority to review of procedure. (90) Subsequent to the amendment, Hungary did pass a law making sleeping in certain public spaces a crime punishable by imprisonment and/or fine. (91)
The constitutional amendment was voted in with a package of other controversial changes that affect the rights of the Hungarian people and contradict EU norms. (92) The most contentious one is a curtailment of judicial authority. (93) Other changes include allowing local authorities to limit political advertising in election campaigns and provisions requiring university graduates to work in Hungary after graduation if they received state funding. (94)
1. There is Strong Opposition to the Constitutional Amendments
The constitutional amendments have generated great protest among local and international bodies. (95) The European Commission, European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the U.S. State Department all requested that Hungary postpone the amendments prior to their passage. (96) They called for the postponement to allow the Council of Europe's Venice Commission to complete its international review of the constitutional reform. (97) The U.S. State Department and other critics expressed concern that Hungary's constitutional amendments would threaten the principles of institutional dependence and the system of checks and balances that make up democratic governance. (98) The European Union and Council of Europe plan to assess whether the amendments conflict with EU law. (99) If they determine that the amendments do conflict, they will take further action. (100)
Former Hungarian leaders and current foreign leaders question the motivation for Hungary's amendments and argue that they conflict with EU values. (101) Laszlo Solyom, Hungary's President from 2005-2010, argued that Orban was using the Constitution to achieve his political goals and that Hungary's current president, Janos Ader, should reject the amendments. (102) The president must sign all constitutional amendments before they become official. (103) The European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) has also made pleas to Ader calling on him especially to veto the amendment criminalizing homelessness. (104)
FEANTSA is outraged by the constitutional amendments and seeks to rally EU Member States in protest against them. (105) FEANTSA called on the other EU Member States to defend the values of the European Union, and especially to protest the amendments permitting criminalization of homelessness. (106) It wants Member States to remind Hungary of its obligations to maintain and protect the rule of law, democracy, and human rights. (107)
Critics are also still calling on the EU Council to utilize its powers under Article VII of the EU Treaty. (108) This remedy was also suggested earlier in the process, when Hungary was proposing the controversial changes, but no such remedy has been used. (109) The European Council has the power to suspend EU Member States' voting rights if their actions demonstrate risk to EU values or if they are in breach of those values. (110) Orban is aware that the European Union can suspend Hungary's voting rights, but that has not slowed down his efforts towards a more centralized power or affected his propensity to dismiss EU criticism of his actions. (111)
2. Orban and the Hungarian Government's Response to Opposition
Orban and the Hungarian government officials are not receptive to the opposition. (112) Orban does not want to listen to criticism and rejects outside guidance. (113) Hungary argues that the changes are in line with European norms and are merely procedural. (114) The amendments eliminate the former Constitutional Court decisions as precedent, providing that moving forward, the court will only be reviewing issues based off its new constitution. (115) Mate Szabo argues that the changes are not only procedural, but also substantive. (116) He argues that even though the Constitutional Court had not reviewed previous constitutional amendments, it had the power to do so. (117) Now it does not have that power. (118)
A. Applicable International Treaties and Declarations
Hungary has signed international treaties and declarations that recognize housing as a human right, but conflict with the recent anti-homelessness legislation. (119)
1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the first international agreement on human rights and the first human rights standard that includes housing rights. (120) Article XXV recognizes an individual's right to an adequate standard of living, including, among other necessities, housing. (121)
2. International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is a universal codification recognizing the right to housing. (122) The ICESCR recognizes the right to housing as part of a broader right to an adequate standard of living. (123) It also calls for state parties to act towards the realization of this right. (124)
B. Regional Issues: Relevant Regional Agreements and Resolutions
The European Union has been working with Member States to end homelessness. (125) On June 9, 2011, the European Parliament put forth the Resolution on an EU Homelessness Strategy (EU Resolution on Homelessness). (126) The EU Resolution on Homelessness describes homelessness as an "unacceptable violation of human dignity" and establishes a plan to end homelessness in the EU Member States. (127) It also refers to Europe 2020, the EU's strategy for growth until 2020, that establishes seven initiatives that the EU Member States are expected to achieve. (128) One of these seven initiatives is the European Platform Against Poverty. (129) The strategy is posed as a coordinated effort among the EU Council, European Commission, and European Parliaments, as well as regional and local organizations. (130)
The European Commission further prioritized homelessness as part of Europe 2020 when, in February 2013, it called for social investment in the urgent homelessness problem in the European Union. (131) It created the Social Investment Package, which lays out priorities for transnational cooperation in the fight against homelessness. (132) The package establishes a framework of policy reforms in health, long-term care, social services, active inclusion, homelessness, and investment in children. (133)
The EU Resolution on Homelessness highlighted several other treaties and documents addressing homelessness. (134) The Revised European Social Charter, a Council of Europe Treaty, was one of the highlighted treaties. (135) The treaty came into force on July 1, 1999. (136) It established the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion, as well as the right to housing. (137) Another document referenced in the EU Resolution on Homelessness is the Declaration of the European Parliament on Ending Street Homelessness. (138)
C. FEANTSA's Guide on Social Innovation to Combat Homelessness
In the context of Europe 2020, FEANTSA developed a guide on social innovation to combat homelessness. (139) FEANTSA is part of an umbrella of non-profit organizations that fights homelessness in Europe. (140) The guide explores and advocates for positive ways to address the problem of homelessness in Europe. (141) One of the main strategies FEANTSA supports is Housing First. (142) Housing First is a strategy for addressing homelessness that starts with obtaining permanent housing to build stability to address other life issues. (143) FEANTSA treats homelessness as a key policy issue in the European Union's fight against poverty. (144)
This guide presents positive options for addressing homelessness in the European Union that align with Europe 2020's goal of ending homelessness. (145) FEANTSA recommends that the European Union support the evaluation and development of the Housing First model. (146) It also emphasizes the importance of the availability of affordable housing in the effort to end homelessness. (147)
A. Hungary's Anti-Homelessness Legislation Contravenes the Hungarian Fundamental Law, the International Treaties and Declarations, and the Regional Agreements
The anti-homelessness legislation categorizes lawful uses of public space and thus distinguishes between legitimate and illegitimate uses of the space. (148) The activities that are legal are common to the general, mainstream population. (149) The activities that are prohibited, inhabiting public places and storing property on public property, however, are activities that typically only the homeless do. (150) Punishing essential survival acts of the homeless violates their human dignity and works against Hungary's commitment to reducing homelessness and social exclusion. (151)
B. The Policies and Actions of the Hungarian Government Must Conform to its International Treaties and Declarations
1. The UDHR
The Hungarian government's amendment of the Constitution, its decision to uphold the anti-homelessness legislation, and its subsequent passage of the 2013 Anti-homelessness Law, are inconsistent with the commitment it made to housing rights when it ratified the UDHR. (152) The Hungarian government's policies and actions violate human rights, especially those regarding housing rights outlined in this declaration. (153) Instead of making social services available to the homeless and helping them to exercise their right to an adequate standard of living, including housing, the government criminalizes the inherent lifestyle and habits of homeless people. (154) Hungary, as a signatory to the UDHR, is obligated to act in a manner that supports the rights and values established by the declaration through governmental action. (155)
The Hungarian government should uphold the Constitutional Court's decision, repeal the amendment to the Constitution, and revoke its anti-homelessness legislation in order to conform to its international treaties. (156) The ICESCR not only recognizes the right to housing, but commands that state parties act to ensure that everyone realizes this right. (157) Hungary ratified the ICESCR in 1974, far earlier than more recent agreements and resolutions within the European Union. (158) Despite the time lapse, the ICESCR reflects more recent, similar concepts and goals that further the right to housing and mandate that states work towards the realization of that right. (159)
Repealing the constitutional amendment and revoking the legislation would be progress, but more action is needed because the ICESCR commands parties to work to ensure the realization of the right to housing. (160) The UN Rapporteurs have also called for more action designed to enable the homeless to attain housing. (161) Hungary has officially committed, through international declarations, regional agreements, and treaties to support affirmative steps to solve the problem of homelessness. (162) Hungary, by enacting new anti-homelessness legislation and amending the Constitution, is not upholding its commitment. (163)
C. Annulment of the Legislation Was Hopeful but Had No Real Effect
The November 12, 2012, Constitutional Court decision annulling the anti-homelessness provisions of the legislation was a promising step towards bringing Hungary's government back into conformity with its own Fundamental Law and its international human rights obligations. (164) This was not effective because, despite the Court's annulment, the Hungarian government refused to revoke the law. (165) Prime Minister Orban was leading the fight to continue its enforcement. (166) By amending its Constitution to permit the government to pass such laws, and subsequently passing such a law, the Hungarian government further violated its international human rights obligations. (167)
The Hungarian government should have responded and revoked the anti-homelessness provisions when the Constitutional Court found the law to be unconstitutional. (168) Hungary acted unlawfully by refusing to revoke the law in accordance with the Constitutional Court's decision. (169) For several months, Orban had been attempting to organize national consultations in Hungary's major cities to gain support for keeping the law in place. (170) These consultations were not going to change the Constitutional Court's decision and were delaying Hungary's compliance with the Court's ruling. (171)
Orban was committed to keeping the law in place. (172) From the date of the Constitutional Court decision, November 12, 2012, until March 11, 2013, Orban had been organizing political support and threatening to amend the Constitution if the anti homelessness legislation was not deemed constitutional. (173) He finally put the amendment to a vote in the Hungarian Parliament and overwhelmingly won a two-thirds majority in support of the change to the Constitution now permitting such laws. (174) The international community must act to prevent Orban and the Hungarian government from perpetuating this human rights violation against the homeless people of Hungary. (175)
Hungary's creation of the legislation, its initial refusal to revoke the law, its eventual constitutional amendment legitimizing the law, and its recent promulgation of the 2013 Anti-homelessness Law violates the human dignity of the homeless people. (176) The violation of the right to Human dignity was central in the Constitutional Court's ruling against the anti-homelessness legislation. (177) The Fundamental Law of Hungary, Article II, declares that "[h]uman dignity shall be inviolable. Everyone shall have the right to life and human dignity." (178) When a homeless person is penalized and/or criminalized for merely living and participating in necessary actions to survive, that penalization and/or criminalization violates their right to dignity. (179)
In its ruling, the Court explained that people rarely choose to live in public spaces. (180) It explained that the homeless are forced to sleep on the street due to the lack of alternatives in their crisis situation. (181) Hungary does not have adequate services to serve its homeless population. (182) In relation to the right to human dignity, as the Court similarly concluded in the Dustbin Scavenging Case, targeting this group of people violates the right to equal treatment. (183) In order to respect the constitutional right to human dignity, the Hungarian government must revoke the law authorizing local governments to criminalize homelessness. (184) The government must revoke these laws in order to respect the constitutional right to property as well. (185)
D. Hungary's Approach Towards Homelessness Conflicts with Regional Agreements and Resolutions
1. The EU Resolution on Homelessness
Hungary is acting against the goals of the EU Resolution on Homelessness by refusing to revoke the law and amending its Constitution. (186) In the EU Resolution on Homelessness, the European Parliament calls for the Member States to work together and address homelessness on a comprehensive basis within the broader framework of social inclusion in the European Union. (187) The Parliament emphasizes the goal of ending street homelessness by 2015 and calls for development of strategy to end homelessness. (188) The Parliament also calls for the establishment of a working group to include various relevant entities in the fight against homelessness. (189) The group would include policy makers at the national, regional, and local levels, as well as service providers, homeless individuals, and members of other sectors who may share relevant expertise in the effort to end Homelessness. (190) The EU Resolution on Homelessness also calls for a housing-led approach to homelessness and for a focus on providing quality services for the homeless population. (191) As part of the fight against homelessness, it highlights the need for monitoring the national and regional strategies against homelessness and holding countries accountable for their work. (192)
As an EU Member state, Hungary must comply with the EU Resolution on Homelessness; however, Hungary's criminalization approach towards homelessness conflicts with the strategy and values that the resolution sets forth. (193) The strategy of ending homelessness through criminalization exacerbates the social exclusion of the homeless population, frustrating the European Union's recently established goals to reduce such exclusion. (194) The government is further alienating the homeless by criminalizing the conduct necessary for them to survive and imposing fines that are often impossible for homeless people to pay. (195) The penalties also effectively force people into more secretive and dangerous spaces in their efforts to avoid imprisonment and fines. (196) These actions are a complete divergence from all the recommendations and calls for action by the EU Parliament. (197)
Instead of focusing on social inclusion and providing services to the homeless, the Hungarian government is trying to remove them from the streets and penalize them if they do not leave. (198) Rather than increasing alternatives to street living through emergency shelter programs and affordable housing, the government is criminalizing the street living. (199) On December 3, 2012, Prime Minister Orban argued before Parliament that the shelters were sufficient to provide for Hungary's homeless population. (200) This perspective will not serve the homeless community in a positive way; whether Orban honestly believes there are sufficient shelters or not, publicly making that assertion contributes to the perception that enough is already being done to address the homelessness problem. (201) When the public perceives that enough is being done, there is less urgency for change. (202)
Hungary's criminalization of homelessness also diverges from the call for a housing-led approach to homelessness in the EU Resolution on Homelessness. (203) To engage in a housing-led approach, the government should be developing more affordable housing and helping the homeless population access it. (204) Other European countries have taken more positive approaches and, instead of criminalizing homelessness, they are working to enable the homeless to access safe spaces. (205) The UK's "No Second Night Out" initiative aims to help anyone "sleeping rough," sleeping on the street, and is a good example of a positive approach to ending homelessness. (206)
Similar to the Hungarian capital of Budapest, the UK capital of London faces high percentages of the country's homeless population. (207) In contrast to Budapest's Mate Kocsis, who has criminalized homelessness in his city, London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, has been acting to protect and aid the "rough sleepers" in his city. (208) The United Kingdom's comprehensive approach to ending "rough sleeping" should serve as an example for Hungary. (209) Instead of addressing the issue with criminalization schemes, addressing homelessness in a more humane way is effective. (210) One subset of the project, addressing London's most entrenched "rough sleepers," saw 75% of the targeted population leave the streets. (211)
2. Europe 2020
Hungary's approach towards homelessness conflicts with the obligations and goals set by Europe 2020. (212) The most relevant initiative established in Europe 2020 is the European Platform Against Poverty as it addresses poverty and homelessness. (213) This initiative highlights homelessness and housing deprivation as two of the most extreme forms of social exclusion. (214) It asserts that housing is both a need and a right and further acknowledges affordability as a prohibiting factor for all people in its Member States to attain that right. (215)
Europe 2020's structure was developed to hold Member States accountable to the goals it establishes. (216) The hierarchical structure of the collaboration between the governing bodies including the European Council, Commission, Parliaments, and others, allows for such accountability. (217) The European Council should issue a policy warning on Hungary's homelessness policies of criminalization and advise Hungary to focus its resources on providing affordable housing. (218) Hungary is not only working ineffectively toward the European Platform Against Poverty, but it is also working against it by decreasing funding for homelessness assistance programs. (219) The local government of Budapest contributed funds to non-religious homelessness services providers until 2011, but once Mate Kocsis came into control he stopped that funding. (220) Hungary should be considering approaches other than criminalization in its attempt to control the homelessness problem. (221) For example, it should take FEANTSA's advice and invest more in housing-led approaches. (222)
FEANTSA strongly advocates for this housing-led approach to homelessness in its guide to combat homelessness. (223) It constructed its guide to assist social service agencies across the European Union to achieve the goals established in Europe 2020 and utilize effective methods of combating homelessness. (224) The Hungarian government should adopt the suggested approach of Housing First on a large scale to control and reduce the problem of homelessness. (225) This would put Hungary in a better position to work towards the Europe 2020 goals and the aims of the EU Resolution on Homelessness. (226)
Hungary should also consider the recent homelessness initiative set forth by the European Commission in the Social Investment Package. (227) It should communicate with other countries that have similar problems of increasing homelessness, especially street homelessness. (228) If Hungary gets on board with the goals of EU 2020, and begins to collaborate with the rest of the Member States, it could potentially lead to a decrease in homelessness. (229) Nevertheless, before it does that, it must develop its own preliminary national strategy as the U.N. Rapporteurs suggest. (230)
3. Other Relevant International Instruments
The problem of homelessness in the European Union has been acknowledged for decades and the EU Resolution on Homelessness refers to several instruments that established the goals, rights, and commitments to inspire action moving forward. (231) They all acknowledge the serious problem of homelessness across the EU and call for commitment to end homelessness; a commitment that Hungary is not fulfilling. (232) Hungary must conform its policies and fulfill its obligations towards ending homelessness. (233) If Hungary revokes the anti-homelessness legislation and works towards developing more affordable housing programs and services to assist the homeless, it will be moving in the right direction and will be making progress on fulfilling its human rights obligations. (234)
1. The Constitutional Amendments Must be Repealed and the 2013 Anti-Homelessness Law Must be Revoked
The Hungarian Parliament's recent constitutional amendments cannot stand. (235) The Parliament has substantially weakened the country's checks and balances by curtailing judicial review. (236) This concentrates significant power within the executive branch of Hungary's government. (237) If Hungary's democracy has a chance at survival, its checks and balances mechanisms must be preserved. (238) Orban has circumvented prior Constitutional Court rulings by pushing these amendments through with his two-thirds majority, enabling the government to pass the 2013 Anti-homelessness Law. (239) Orban is gaining power and centralizing it in the hands of the Fidesz party. (240) He must be stopped in order to protect the democracy and human rights of Hungary's people. (241)
2. The European Commission Should Sanction Hungary if it Will Not Conform its Laws and Policies to Fit the Values of the European Union
Hungary's action regarding the anti-homelessness legislation, in conjunction with the mounting momentum of Orban and the Fidesz party, suggests that Hungary will not alter its own actions and policies. (242) If Hungary does not take the initiative and change its ways, the EU Commission and EU Council should impose sanctions. (243) The Commission should use its power and resources to force Hungary to comply with EU laws and conduct itself in ways that respect EU values. (244) Cutting funds to Hungary is a powerful option, because Hungary has relied heavily on the EU Commission for its development funds, getting 97% from the EU over the past few years. (245) If the less aggressive tactics prove ineffective, cutting off or decreasing funds should have an impact. (246)
Suspending Hungary's voting rights as a member state in the EU could also cause Hungary to reassess its actions and policies to respect EU law and values. (247) The European Council should sanction Hungary under Article VII of the EU Treaty and suspend its voting rights as a member state. (248) Hungary is in serious breach of EU values and needs to be brought back in line with them. (249) These punitive mechanisms are in place for exactly these circumstances and the European Union should utilize all of its tools to keep its Member States in line. (250) If the only way to do that is revoking Hungary's rights as a member state, it should be done. (251)
The Hungarian government's anti-homelessness legislation calls for penalizing the homeless for improper use of public space with fines and/or imprisonment. (252) The legislation is inhumane, contradictory to Hungary's international treaties as well as recent efforts to end homelessness within the European Union, and was recently determined unconstitutional by Hungary's Constitutional Court. (253) Hungary should respect the ruling of the Constitutional Court instead of circumventing it by amending the Constitution itself. (254) Hungary must repeal the constitutional amendment, revoke the anti-homelessness legislation, and develop a more positive approach to ending homelessness. (255)
Homelessness has been a pervasive problem in Hungary and a growing problem across the European Union. (256) The Hungarian government chose to address this problem through legislation criminalizing homelessness, which the Constitutional Court has ruled unconstitutional. (257) The government refused to accept this ruling, subsequently voted to amend the Constitution to permit such legislation, and then actually passed a law criminalizing homelessness. (258) Hungary's actions contradict its international treaties and regional agreements, its human rights obligations, and European Union values. (259) Hungary should repeal the amendment and revoke its anti-homelessness legislation, either by choice or exterior force, to reform its approach toward homelessness into a plan that serves the homeless population rather than criminalizes its lifestyle. (260)
(1.) See infra Part II.B (discussing Hungary's recent legislation which criminalizes sleeping and storing one's belongings in public spaces).
(2.) See infra Part II.B (explaining Hungarian government is developing criminalization of homelessness).
(3.) See infra Part II.B (discussing recent anti-homelessness legislation and its implications for Hungarian homeless population).
(4.) See Palash Ghosh, Sleepless in Budapest: Hungary Again Criminalizes Homelessness, International Business Times (Oct. 2, 2013), available at http://www.ibtimes.com/sleepless-budapest-hungary-again- criminalizes-homelessness-activists- condemn-new-laws-1413208 (explaining passing of 2013 Anti-homelessness Law); infra Parts II.C-D (discussing Hungary's controversial refusal to revoke its anti-homelessness law).
(5.) Balint Misetics, Criminalization, Discourse and Symbolic Violence, Homeless in Eur., Winter 2012/2013, at 12, 12 (analyzing varying perspectives on homelessness and how they affect policy). If the public believes people are homeless by choice, it will be less inclined to challenge policies criminalizing homelessness. Id.
(6.) See id. (discussing exterior causation for homelessness leads to more positive approach).
(7.) See id. (analyzing effects of varying theories on homelessness causation).
(8.) See id. (qualifying restriction of public space from being used by homeless as a symbolic exclusion); see infra Part II.B (discussing Hungary's criminalization of homelessness).
(9.) See infra Part III.A. (discussing international treaties recognizing housing as a human right).
(10.) See Press Release, Office of the High Comm'r on Human Rights, Hungary's Homeless Need Roofs, Not Handcuffs (Feb. 15, 2012), available at http://www.ohchr. org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11829&LangID=E [hereinafter Hungary's Homeless Need Roofs, Not Handcuffs] (pointing out high cost of penalizing homelessness versus providing housing).
(11.) Magyar Tavirati Iroda, Orban Initiates "National Consultation" on Homelessness Following Court Ruling Against Ban, Politics.hu (Dec. 5, 2012), http://www. politics.hu/20121205/orban-initiates-national-consultation-on-homelessness-followingcourt-ruling-against- ban/[hereinafter National Consultation] (describing organization efforts by Prime Minister Orban of Hungary to keep anti-homelessness law in place).
(12.) See infra Part II.D (explaining recent constitutional amendments and immediate effect).
(13.) See infra Part II (providing background information on homelessness in Hungary and following development of criminalization of Hungary's homeless population).
(14.) See id. (providing timeline of events surrounding anti-homeless legislation).
(15.) See id. (analyzing intersection of Hungary's actions against homeless population and international and local communities' critical response).
(16.) See infra Part III (explaining historical context of homelessness in Hungary).
(17.) See infra Part IV (analyzing resistance to conform homelessness policies to international human rights legislations, regional agreements, and EU values).
(18.) See id. (comparing Constitutional Court's reasoning in decision on anti-homelessness legislation with Hungary's human rights obligations).
(19.) See id. (recommending Hungary revoke anti-homelessness legislation).
(20.) See id. (suggesting Hungary repeal constitutional amendment permitting criminalization of homelessness).
(21.) See infra Part V (summarizing anti-homelessness legislation and discussing what must be done to it).
(22.) Eric Westervelt, Homelessness Becomes a Crime in Hungary, Nat'l Pub. Radio (Apr. 6, 2012), http://www.npr.org/2012/04/06/149526299/homelessness-becomes-a-crime-in-hungary (describing magnitude of homelessness problem in Hungary). Homelessness advocates in Budapest estimate that there are approximately 10,000 homeless people on the streets and in shelters and about 20,000 more across the country. Id. While each night approximately 200 homeless people sleep at one of Budapest's largest shelter, the Danko shelter, many homeless people fear staying over night in the shelters because there is not adequate security. See id.
(23.) See infra notes 62-64 and accompanying text (discussing insufficient supply of social services and necessity of street living); notes 81-84 and accompanying text (detailing UN Rapporteurs' disagreement with Hungary's homelessness approach and calls for national homelessness strategy).
(24.) See Westervelt, supra note 22 (acknowledging there are many more homeless people than who utilize shelter system).
(25.) See Misetics, supra note 5 (discussing significance of visibility of homelessness).
(26.) See Press Release, Hum. Rights Watch, Hungary: Abide by Ruling on Homelessness (Dec. 7, 2012), http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/12/07/hungary-abide-rulinghomelessness [hereinafter: Government Defiance] (providing numbers of shelter services in Hungary). There are only 5500 shelter beds in Budapest's public shelters and 4500 scattered in different locations across Hungary. Id.
(27.) Press Release, The European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless [FEANTSA], Welcome Focus on Homelessness in Social Investment Package (Feb. 21, 2013), available at http://www.feantsa.org/spip.php?article1021&lang=en [hereinafter Social Investment Package] (analyzing social situation in Europe and establishing priority for European Union and its Member States). Social Investment Package analysis estimates that approximately 400,000 people are homeless on any given night. Id.
(28.) Introduction to Europe 2020, FEANTSA, (Feb. 15,2013), http://www.feantsa. org/spip.php?article411&lang=en (providing introduction to strategy to reduce poverty in Europe, including focus on ending homelessness).
(29.) See Dep't for Cmtys. & Local Gov't, Vision To End Rough Sleeping: No Second Night Out Nationwide 15 (July 6, 2011) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6261/939099.pdf [hereinafter Vision to End Rough Sleeping](explaining goals of No Second Night Out initiative of providing rough sleepers access to safe spaces to sleep). Some European countries are leading the way and developing positive programs and policies to combat homelessness, including the UK. Id.
(30.) Press Release, Hum. Rights Watch, Hungary: Revoke Law Criminalizing Homeless (Apr. 16, 2012), http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/16/hungary-revoke-lawcriminalizing-homeless [hereinafter Hungary: Revoke Law] (explaining legislative history of Hungary's laws criminalizing homelessness); see also Alkotmanybirosag (AB) [Constitutional Court] Nov. 12, 2012, 11/01477/2012 (Hung.) [hereinafter Hungarian Public Space Case 01477] (determining anti-homelessness legislation unconstitutional). The law provides purposes of public space, the relationship between the land and access to it; these purposes include: the road and pedestrian traffic; recreation, entertainment, sports activities, leisure activities; the procession, assembly, expression of the community; the placement of statues, memorial design, the placement of works of art; the location of utilities; and the development of green areas. See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477 supra (enumerating proper uses of public space). The law also directs that anyone can use the public land for its intended purposes and states that people can be penalized if they use the public space in ways that are not authorized by this regulation. Id. Such unauthorized uses include housing or storage. Id.
(31.) See Hungary: Revoke Law, supra note 30 (providing information on amendments to law).
(32.) Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30 (explaining anti-homelessness legislation).
(33.) Id. (discussing impact of amendments made to construction law).
(34.) See Hungary: Revoke Law, supra note 30 (discussing concerns about new law criminalizing habitually residing in public spaces).
(35.) See id. (illustrating penalties of improper use).
(36.) See id. (discussing concern about Hungary's use of its power to regulate use of public space).
(37.) See id. (explaining punishment for violating law). This legislation puts repeat offenders at risk of imprisonment for up to seventy-five days or receipt of fines as high as HUF150,000, approximately LJSD655. Id. This increased the penalties dramatically from the November 2011 amendment. See id.
(38.) See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30, at 14 (describing proper use of public space as actions typical to society's mainstream population).
(39.) See id. (discussing right to use land for intended purposes).
(40.) See id. at 5 (detailing punishment for violating public space regulations).
(41.) The Long March of Fidesz: Roth Inside and Outside Hungary, Alarm is Growing Over the Ruling Party's Steps to Entrench its Powers, The Economist, Jan. 7, 2012 (describing Fidesz's steps to entrenching its powers in Hungary's government); see Paul Hockenos, On the March: Hungary's Ascendent Right Wing, Boston Rev., July 1, 2011 (outlining surge in power of right wing Fidesz party); infra Part II.D (discussing constitutional amendments approved by Hungarian Parliament on March 11, 2013). These amendments include curtailment of judicial authority, limitations on political advertising in political campaigns, and requirements for state-funded university graduates to work in Hungary after graduation. See Hungary and the European Union Viktor's Justice: The Hungarian Government Defies Europe over Constitutional Change, The Economist, Mar. 16, 2013 [hereinafter Hungarian Government Defies Europe] (outlining key amendments from March 2013).
(42.) See Hockenos, supra note 41 (introducing other controversial legislation Orban initiated). The Prime Minister, Victor Orban, passed controversial legislation including constitutional reform limiting the independence of the judiciary and curtailing civil liberties. Id.
(43.) MEPs Call for a 'Fundamental Rights Check' in Hungary, New Europe (Mar. 8, 2012), available at http://www.neurope.eu/article/meps-call-fundamental-rights-check-hungary-0 (detailing Hungary's breach of fundamental rights at March 2012 European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee meeting), the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union raised the issue of Hungary's measures against the homeless. Id. Member of European Parliament (MEP), Marie-Christine Vergiat, asserted that it was against European values to fine and imprison the homeless. Id. Another major criticism Hungary is facing is in the compliance of Hungarian media legislation with the Fundamental Law. Id. The lack of freedom of media is a source of protest against the Hungarian government. Id. The Council of Europe was reviewing other controversial Hungarian laws concerning the judiciary, religious freedom, the electoral system, freedom of information, the Constitutional Court, prosecution, and nationalities and family protection. Id.
(44.) See Letter from Lotte Leicht, Dir. of EU Advocacy, Human Rights Watch, and Hugh Williamson, Dir. Eur. and Cent. Asia Div., Human Rights Watch, to Vice President Kroes, European Comm'n. (July 2, 2012) available at http://www.hrw.org/ news/2012/07/02/hungary-letter-commissioner-kroes-regarding-media-freedom-hungary [hereinafter Letter to Commissioner](advocating for Commissioner Kroes' action under European Union Treaty (EU Treaty) and outlining pattern of deteriorating human rights). The directors urged the Commissioner to take action under Article VII of the EU Treaty, also known as the Lisbon Treaty, to determine the risk of Hungary's breach of EU principles and urge the country to comply with EU principles. Id. The directors focus on the breach regarding Hungary's discrimination against the homeless and other groups as well as ways the country has limited human rights. Id. Article VII of the EU Treaty allows the EU to sanction Member States "'in serious and persistent breach' of freedom, human rights and other EU values enshrined in the treaty." See Constant Brand & Toby Vogel, Hungary Faces EU Legal Action Over Constitution, Eur. Voice, Dec. 1, 2012 (explaining threat to Hungary to conform constitution to follow EU law and describing Commission's available remedies). The Commission expressed that it was ready to use its prerogatives to ensure that Hungary was respecting its obligations as a member of the European Union. Id. Article VII of the EU Treaty instructs on the process of sanctioning EU Member States for serious breach of EU values. See Treaty on European Union art. 7, Feb. 7, 1992, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2012:326:0013:0046:EN:PDF [hereinafter EU Treaty Art. VII] (containing sanction procedures). Three courses of action can trigger the EU Council's Article VII sanctioning proceedings. Id. First, one third of the Member States can propose sanction, second, the European Parliament can initiate it, or third, the European Commission can initiate it. Id. The EU Council, by a majority four fifths of its members and with consent of the European Parliament, may then investigate whether there is risk that an EU member state is in serious breach of EU values. Id. Before a determination is made, the member state under investigation has the opportunity to contest. See id. Following the state's response, the EU Council can act on the proposal by one third of EU Member States or by the Commission, and with EU Parliament consent, and determine whether the member state is in serious breach of EU values. Id. If such determination is made, the EU Council, with a majority, can suspend the rights of the member state such as voting rights of the member state in the EU Council. See id.
(45.) See EU Treaty Art. VII, supra note 44 (highlighting Hungary's mixed response on EU Institutional critique). Tibor Navracsics, Hungary's Deputy Prime Minister and Public Administration and Justice Minister, expressed Hungary's commitment to working with EU institutions, but stated: "The Council of Europe cannot impose anything that goes against our Constitution." Id. In regards to the homeless, Navracsics claimed that the Hungarian government did not want them sleeping in the streets and that they were building shelters to prevent this. See Press Release, European Parliament, Hung.: MEPs Hear from Civil Society, Media and the Gov't (Oct. 2, 2012), available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/201202 06IPR37350/html/Hungary-MEPs-hear-from-civil-society-media-and-the-government [hereinafter MEPs Hear from Civil Society] (detailing discussion at Civil Liberties Committee hearing).
(46.) See id. (explaining Budapest local government issued municipal decree prohibiting use of public space for habitation). Mayor Mate Kocsis (Kocsis) is the mayor of District 8 of Budapest, the district that has been actively pushing the legislation. See id. In addition to supporting the legislation, Kocsis has taken other actions against the interests of homeless as well. See FEANTSA, Quality in Social Services from the Perspective of Services Working with Homeless People (July 2011) [hereinafter FEANTSA Annual Theme] (analyzing service provider perspective). Until 2011, prior to his becoming Mayor of Budapest, the municipality of Budapest contributed significant funding to operations costs for non-religious homeless service providers. Id. at 4. Kocsis withdrew that funding, leaving these service providers in unstable financial positions. Id.
(47.) See MEPs Hear from Civil Society, supra note 45 (discussing other sanctions primarily effecting homeless people).
(48.) See infra Parts C.1-3 (explaining Constitutional Court decision against anti-homelessness legislation, local advocates' opposition, and international criticism of it).
(49.) See Press Release, Office of the Comm'r for Fundamental Rights, The Sanctioning of Dustbin Scavenging is Stigmatisation and a Disproportionate Restriction Without Any Constitutional Ground--The Ombudsman's Comments on the Constitutional Court's Decision on the Methods of Inquiry of the Comm'r for Fundamental Rights (July 3, 2012), http://www.ajbh.hu/en/web/ajbh-en/press-releases/-/content/ 14315/27/the-sanctioning-of-dustbin-scavenging-is-stigmatisation-and-a-disproportionate-restriction-without-any- constitutional-ground-the-ombudsman-s-comments-jsessionid=ED0116514047A626B61E70E451485F65 [hereinafter Sanctioning of Dustbin Scavenging] (describing Mate Szabo's successful motion to annul decree sanctioning dustbin scavenging). Mate Szabo argued that it was unconstitutional to sanction and make dustbin scavenging, digging through garbage bins, a regulatory offense and people's rights were being disproportionately restricted. Id. He also argued that the laws were only effective in humiliating and driving the homeless away. Id. The Constitutional Court ruled in favor of Mate Szabo finding that in making such a decree, the local government deviated from its authority as well as violated the prohibition of discrimination by stigmatizing the homeless and others in need. See id.
(50.) Id. (acknowledging prior anti-homelessness legislation).
(51.) Codices.Coe.Int, Hungary: Constitutional Court, http://www.codices.coe. int/NXT/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm (describing jurisdiction and purpose of Hungarian Constitutional Court).
(52.) Id. (discussing character of Hungary's Constitutional Court).
(53.) Id. (noting particular issues falling under Constitutional Court's jurisdiction). The rulings of the Constitutional Courts have a binding effect on all state bodies. Id. Hungary's Constitutional Court was created on October 19, 1989 by a parliamentary resolution. See Laszlo Solyom & Georg Brunner, Constitutional Judiciary in a New Democracy: The Hungarian Constitutional Court 69 (2003) (providing historical account of Hungary's Constitutional Court and explaining its purpose). Originally, prior to the March 2013 Amendments, priorities of the Constitutional Court included reviewing legal norms and determining whether they are in accordance with the Constitution. Id. at 70. An important task of the Constitutional Court is to protect fundamental rights. Id. If the Constitutional Court determines a law to be unconstitutional, the law is annulled once the decision is published in the Hungarian Official Gazette and may no longer be applied. Id. at 83.
(54.) See Sanctioning of Dustbin Scavenging, supra note 49 (describing binding nature of Constitutional Court decisions).
(55.) See id. (explaining legal principles supporting finding of unconstitutionality). Legal principles against such regulations and legislation include the requirement of legal certainty, the prohibition of arbitrary law making, proper legal justification for sanctions, and the right to equal dignity, which the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights argues are still governing principles under the new Fundamental Law Of Hungary, Hungary's new Constitution. Id. These dustbin scavenging rules have civil rights implications because they target a specific social group: the impoverished and homeless. See Alkotmanybirosag (AB) [Constitutional Court] AK Dec. 29, 2011, 166/ B/2011 (Hung.) (finding government regulation against dustbin scavenging unconstitutional). Targeting this group violates the principles of equal treatment under Article 70/A [section] (1). Id. In its decision, the Court considered that sanctioning the action of scavenging was sanctioning an action of human necessity. Id. Those who do it only do it to survive; they have no choice. Id. This sanctioning intrudes on their human rights related to quality of life. Id. Additionally, the court found that the action is not dangerous to society so there is no rational basis to impose such penalties. Id.
(56.) See Press Release, Office of the Comm'r for Fundamental Rights, The Ombudsman Turns to the Constitutional Court to Protect the Rights of the Homeless People (Feb. 2, 2011), http://www.ajbh.hu/en/web/ajbh-en/press-releases/-/content/ 14315/7/the-ombudsman-turns-to-the-constitutional-court-to-protect-the-rights-ofthe-homeless-peop-1 (outlining Ombudsman's argument against modification in construction law). The Ombudsman reported that local governments had too much authorization to sanction improper use of public spaces. Id. He argued that this only served to humiliate and discriminate against an already vulnerable population. Id. This population lives on the streets because of situations of serious social crises; they do not choose to live there. Id. The Ombudsman argued that the regulation is not effective in reducing or preventing homelessness. Id. He requested revision of the provisions criminalizing the improper use of public spaces. Id. This request was denied, however, so he initiated a constitutional review and abolishment through the Constitutional Court. Id.
(57.) See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30 at 18 (explaining annulment of statutory provisions imposing fines or imprisonment on homeless people); see also Government Defiance, supra note 26 (stating homeless people should be provided aid, not be treated as criminals).
(58.) Press Release, Office of the High Comm'r on Human Rights, UN Experts Urge Hung, to Uphold Constitutional Court Decision to Decriminalize Homelessness (Dec. 11, 2012), available at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Display News.aspx?NewsID=12881&LangID=E [hereinafter UN Experts Urge Decision Upheld] (analyzing Constitutional Court's reasoning in decision overturning anti-homelessness legislation). In the decision, the Court discusses the lack of clarity regarding what actions are illegal and the discretion that is vested in law enforcement agencies. See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477 supra note 30 at 17. The lack of legal certainty causes unpredictability for individuals. Id. at 18. This decision is in line with the Constitutional Court's consistently enforced view that the state, particularly the legislature, has "the duty of ensuring that the law as a whole and its individual parts and pieces of legislation are clear, unambiguous," and operationally predictable. Id. at 19.
(59.) See UN Experts Urge Decision Upheld, supra note 58 (discussing Constitutional Court Decision); see also The Fundamental Law of Hungary, Article II (declaring everyone has right to life and human dignity). Everyone has the right to repel unlawful attack against their person or property or against threat of such attack. See id. at Art. V.
(60.) See Government Defiance, supra note 26 (explaining voiding effect of Constitutional Court's ruling on anti-homelessness legislation). The decision of the Constitutional Court is final and there are no rights to appeal. See Codices.Coe.Int, Hungary: Constitutional Court: Nature and Effects of Judgments, http://www.codices. coe.int/NXT/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm (explaining general nature and effects of Hungary's Constitutional Court decisions).
(61.) See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30, at 24 (discussing repeal of government authority to freely determine proper use of public space).
(62.) See id. at 14 (characterizing homelessness as a crisis rather than intentional circumstance).
(63.) See id. (recognizing court's characterization of homelessness as unintentional).
(64.) See id. (describing homeless population's use of public space as necessary).
(65.) See id. at 15 (noting insufficient supply of social services). Dr. Mary Hardy, in a dissenting opinion, argues that living in public space is not a forced situation and homeless people are making the decision to live there. See Alkotmanybirosag (AB) [Constitutional Court] AK Nov. 12, 2012, 11/01477/2012 (Hung.) (Hardy, dissenting) at 29 [hereinafter Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, Dissent] (disagreeing with majority and arguing instead that homeless people do have a choice). She explained that this is behavior that should be subject to evaluation for punishment rather than ignored and dismissed as a life situation. Id.
(66.) See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30, at 15 (noting living in public not harmful to others).
(67.) See id. (explaining possibility of violating public policy is not reason for criminalization).
(68.) See id. (ruling anti-homelessness legislation unconstitutional).
(69.) See supra Part II.C.1. (discussing court's reason for determining law unconstitutional).
(70.) See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30, at 18 (noting legislation's failure to fill legal certainty requirements).
(71.) See id. at 19 (discussing constitutional requirements for legal certainty).
(72.) See id. (discussing effect of legal certainty on law enforcement discretion); Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, Dissent, supra note 65, at 26 (illustrating concerns of Court's minority). Dr. Egon Dienes-Oehm argued in his dissenting opinion that using public space for habitual housing generally disturbed the intended use of the area, and was also a threat to human life, health, and the environmental protection and safety of the property. Id. at 26-27. See Government Defiance, supra note 26 (noting four dissenting judges all come from ruling Fidesz Party). The appointment of these four out of fifteen judges resulted from the mandatory retirement of judges in January. Id. These four judges argued in favor of the ban, asserting that it was a justifiable and necessary measure in protecting the rights of the majority population. Id. Prime Minister Orban agreed. Id.
(73.) See National Consultation, supra note 11 (discussing Orban's resistance against Constitutional Court's decision overturning law).
(74.) See id. (arguing court decision is not appropriate for Hungary). In light of the ruling that decriminalized homelessness, Orban's government prepared for a national consultation on the issue of homelessness. Id. He consulted mayors in areas that were especially affected by homelessness. Id. This was part of a series of national consultations where the government was seeking public opinion on various topics. Id.
(75.) See id. (demonstrating Orban's commitment to keeping anti-homelessness legislation in place).
(76.) See Misetics, supra note 5, at n.5 (discussing process of changing Hungarian Constitution).
(77.) Id. (indicating amending Constitution realistically possible).
(78.) See Press Release, FEANTSA, FEANTSA Opposes Decree Criminalizing Homelessness in Budapest (Apr. 29, 2011), available at http://www.feantsa.org/files/ freshstart/Communications/Press%20Releases/2011/Budapest_Criminalisation_EN. pdf (declaring FEANTSA opposes governmental measures criminalizing homelessness). FEANTSA reports that such measures are unconstitutional and that they violate international human rights law. Id. FEANTSA reflects upon the commitment of EU Member States to work towards ending homelessness and finds that the measures that are being enacted are doing the opposite by further exacerbating the social problems of the already excluded and vulnerable homeless population. Id. FEANTSA recommends alternative solutions to the criminalization of homelessness suggesting instead to improve conditions and services at homeless shelters and to increase the social housing stock and housing assistance. Id.
(79.) See infra notes 123-38 and accompanying text (explaining EU's ending homelessness commitment).
(80.) See Press Release, FEANTSA, FEANTSA Opposes Concerted Attack on Homeless People in Hung. (June 24, 2011), available at http://www.armutsnetzwerk. de/index.php/ausland/eapn/35-feantsa-opposes-decree-criminalising-homelessness-inbudapest (finding laws contradictory to EU commitment to end homelessness). Criminalization of homelessness is not a solution and further punishes the homeless by jeopardizing their employment prospects. Id.', see Press Release, FEANTSA, European Homeless Service Provider Network Condemns Hungarian Law Criminalizing Homelessness (Nov. 24, 2011), available at http://www.feantsa.org/files/freshstart/ Communications/Press%20Releases/2011/hungary_condemnationJoint.pdf (condemning Hungarian Parliament's measure imprisoning homeless people while alternatively proposing integrated homelessness strategies).
(81.) See Hungary's Homeless Need Roofs, Not Handcuffs, supra note 10 (outlining UN Experts' opinion that criminalization is an ineffective solution to problem).
(82.) See id. (disagreeing with Hungary's approach to homelessness).
(83.) See id. (arguing Hungary's anti-homelessness legislation conflicts with its human rights obligations). Sepulveda explains that as the economic crisis is dragging families into homelessness and forcing them to live in the streets, Hungary is engaging in costly operations to penalize those in need rather than assisting the families to escape homelessness. Id. Rolnik declared that "[i]ncarceration is not a housing solution ... [particularly during harsh weather conditions, as Europe has been experiencing during the past weeks, States have an increased obligation to provide shelter to those in need, however this cannot serve as an excuse for the criminalization or forced detention of homeless persons." Id.
(84.) See UN Experts Urge Decision Upheld, supra note 58 (framing problem of homelessness as social issue requiring adequate services not criminal proceedings). Rolnik said that the Hungarian government admits there are not enough shelters to serve the entire homeless population in Hungary. Id. She concluded that "it is therefore clear that homelessness in Hungary is not a choice, but a harsh reality." Id.
(85.) See Government Defiance, supra note 26 (discussing concerns regarding failure to revoke law).
(86.) See National Consultation, supra note 11 (arguing government should have right to determine whether homeless may utilize public space for housing).
(87.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (discussing Orban and Fidesz government's amendments to Hungarian Constitution); Press Release, FEANTSA, FEANTSA Deeply Concerned by Constitutional Amendment Criminalizing Homelessness (Mar. 13, 2013), available at http://www.feantsa.org/spip.php7article 1119&lang=en (hereinafter FEANTSA March 13 Concern] (discussing concern over Hungary's constitutional amendment criminalizing homelessness).
(88.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (reporting on Hungary's change to its Constitution and opposition against it).
(89.) See Press Release, Hum. Rights Watch, Hungary: Constitution Changes Warrant EU Action, (Mar. 12, 2013), available at http://www.hrw.org/print/news/2013/03/ 12/hungary-constitution-changes-warrant-eu-action [hereinafter Changes Warrant EU Action] (declaring Hungarian Parliament not respecting constitutional rulings and instead reintroducing overruled laws as amendments).
(90.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (discussing curtailed Constitutional Court power).
(91.) Keno Verseck, 'They Want Scapegoats': Hungary Cracks Down on Homelessness, Spiegel Online (Oct. 2, 2013), http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/newhungarian-law-discriminates-against- homeless-a-925822.html#ref=rss (announcing new ban on sleeping outdoors). The law prohibits sleeping outdoors in certain places, including Hungary's World Heritage sites and many other locations. See id. The law allows police to clear people from the public spaces and outdoor sleeping arrangements and force them into a shelter. See Ghosh, supra note 4 (explaining Hungary's new law criminalizing homelessness). The police can then imprison or fine anyone who refuses to go into a shelter. See id.
(92.) See id. (noting several other controversial changes to Hungary's Constitution).
(93.) See id. (highlighting amendment's curtailment of judicial authority and circumvention of Constitutional Court's power). The curtailment of judicial authority is viewed as a threat to a constitution based democracy. Id. The amendment removes the Constitutional Court's power to reject future constitutional amendments on the basis of substance. Id. The Court can only reject on procedural grounds. Id. It also clears any precedent from the Constitutional Court prior to January 2012, when the new Constitution, the Fundamental Law, was entered into force. Id. The amendment gives Parliament unlimited power to ignore prior Constitutional Court decisions. Id.; see also George Kopits, Constitutional Mob Rule in Hungary, Wall St. J., Mar. 27, 2013 (highlighting Orban's effective takeover of Hungarian Constitution). The Hungarian government can now utilize its Constitution to pass laws that would have been, or have already been, rejected by the Constitutional Court. Id. The situation has been referred to as the "constitutional mob rule" in Hungary. Id. The constitutional amendments leave much to the discretion of the Hungarian Parliament, and because Orban has a commanding two-thirds majority, he has great power to use the Constitution as he desires. Id. Orban also has commanding control of Hungary's economic policies. Id. He has been discharging bank officials with professional qualifications, and filling the spots with Fidesz loyalists with little qualifications. Id.
(94.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (detailing package of amendments). The impact of this change to the Constitutional Court's power is evident in the amendments passed. Id. The three major amendments had been previously deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. Id. Those amendments include anti-homelessness legislation authorizing local governments to penalize the homeless, limiting political advertising, and forcing state-funded students to work in Hungary upon graduation. Id. Now, with its diminished power, the Court is unable to challenge that. Id.
(95.) See id. (discussing widespread opposition to amendments).
(96.) See id. (indicating mounting opposition to amendments prior to Parliament voting); Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (calling for EU response to Hungary's constitutional amendments).
(97.) See Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (discussing international request for postponement of constitutional reform).
(98.) See As Hungary Prepares to Approve Constitutional Amendments, Concerns Rise over Democratic Norms, Foxnews.com (Mar. 10, 2013), available at http://www. foxnews.com/world/2013/03/10/as-hungary-prepares-to-approve-constitutionalamendments-concerns-rise-over/ [hereinafter Concerns Rise] (explaining U.S. concern over pending amendments). Critics argue that the changes undermine the country's checks and balances. See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (critiquing Hungary's constitutional amendments).
(99.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (noting pending assessment); Hungarian PM Orban Rejects Criticism of Constitutional Changes, Says Democracy Not Threatened, Foxnews.com (Mar. 14, 2013), available at http://www. foxnews.com/world/2013/03/14/hungarian-pm-orban-rejects-criticism-constitutionalchanges-says-democracy-not/ [hereinafter Orban Rejects Criticism] (discussing plan to investigate amendments' compliance with EU law).
(100.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (indicating plans to act if amendments are found in conflict with EU law).
(101.) See id. (noting local and international disagreement with Hungary's actions); Orban Rejects Criticism, supra note 99 (acknowledging other European leaders are also critical of Hungary's actions). Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, expressed concern for the community of values shared among the EU Member States, including human rights and democracy. Id. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, asserted that Hungary, with a majority, should watch out for its minorities. Id. The European Parliament President, Martin Shulz, urged the country leaders to stand up against Hungary and ensure all Member States stay in line with the EU's principles. Id.
(102.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (discussing former Hungarian Presidents' disapproval of Orban's actions).
(103.) See Concerns Rise, supra note 98 (noting presidential power in procedural requirements for constitutional amendments).
(104.) See FEANTSA March 13 Concern, supra note 87 (recognizing FEANTSA's efforts to convince Flungarian President to veto amendment).
(105.) See id. (acknowledging FEANTSA's outrage over constitutional amendments and its intention to organize against them).
(106.) See id. (discussing FEANTS A's effort to organize other EU Member States to defend EU Values and protest amendments penalizing homeless population).
(107.) See id. (discussing Hungary's hopes for EU Member States to put Hungary on right path).
(108.) See Letter to Commissioner, supra note 44 (discussing possibility of voting right suspensions through EU Treaty in earlier stages of anti-homelessness legislation); Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (calling for consideration of suspending Hungary's voting rights as remedy under Article VII).
(109.) See Letter to Commissioner, supra note 44 (mentioning earlier calls for Article VII sanctions); Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (calling again for remedy by Article VII).
(110.) See Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (discussing power of Article VII of EU Treaty).
(111.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (noting Orban's awareness of potential consequences being ineffective in curtailing his motion forward).
(112.) See Concerns Rise, supra note 98 (indicating Orban is not listening to outside concerns).
(113.) See id. (explaining situation leading up to Hungary's approval on controversial constitutional amendments). Orban stated that Hungary will not "be dictated to by anyone from Brussels or anywhere else" and that they do not need unsolicited assistance from outsiders. Id.
(114.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (explaining Orban's response to criticism of constitutional amendments). Navracsics also contends that the amendments are procedural, "to a great extent, merely a technical amendment." See Concerns Rise, supra note 98. Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi defended the amendments arguing that the opposition is stemming from misunderstandings and inadequate information. Id. Hungary's response to opposition at this point is in line with how it has responded to criticism throughout the process. See Brand & Vogel, supra note 44 and accompanying text (discussing Navracsics' assertion that Hungary is open to outside opinions but will not violate its Constitution). Orban also argues that he is not threatening democracy or the European rule of law. See Orban Rejects Criticism, supra note 99 (discussing international reaction to Hungary's constitutional amendments). Orban declares that the amendments are in line with EU treaties. Id. He argues that the opposing public opinion is incongruent with reality. Id.
(115.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (discussing erasing precedent to proceed with analysis based solely on new Hungarian constitution).
(116.) See id. (contrasting Mate Szabo's view of constitutional changes against Hungary's argument that they are only procedural).
(117.) Id. (noting significant difference in Constitutional Court's powers of judicial review).
(118.) See id. (indicating Constitutional Court lost power to review amendments).
(119.) See National Law Center On Homelessness & Poverty, Housing Rights For All: Promoting and Defending Housing Rights In The United States 38-39 (5th ed. 2011) available at http://wiki.nlchp.org/Human_Right_to_Housing_Manual (outlining international treaties and assertion of housing as human right).
(120.) See id. at 38 (identifying Universal Declaration of Human Rights as revolutionary regarding housing rights). The General Assembly proclaimed and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948. Id.
(121.) See Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217 (III) A, U.N. Doc. A/RES/217(III) (Dec. 10, 1948) art. 24(1) (setting forth human rights standards introducing housing as human right). Article 25, Section 1 declares:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Id.
(122.) See Housing Rights for All, supra note 119 (explaining covenant's applicability to housing rights as well as providing covenant text). The section on Housing is Article 11(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which states,
The State parties to the present [ICESCR] recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and for his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The State Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent. Id.
(123.) See id. (applying umbrella of right to adequate standard of living to explain rights to housing).
(124.) See id. (explaining obligations generated for parties to treaty). Hungary signed the ICESCR on March 25,1969 and ratified it on January 17, 1974. See Chapter IV Human Rights: 3. International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV3&chapter=4&lang=en [hereinafter Chapter IV Human Rights](detailing Hungary's process of joining treaty) (last visited Feb. 10, 2012).
(125.) See Motion For A Resolution: European Parliament Resolution on an EU Homelessness Strategy, Eur. Parl. Doc. RE\876323EN (June 6, 2011) [hereinafter EU Resolution on Homelessness] (discussing European Union's homelessness strategy).
(126.) See id. (delineating EU's comprehensive strategy to end homelessness).
(127.) See id. (calling attention to treaties and declarations establishing importance of ending homelessness). The EU Resolution on Homelessness describes the Europe 2020 strategy and its goal to lift at least twenty million people out of the risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020. See id. at 3.
(128.) See Communication from the Commission: Europe 2020--A Strategy For Smart, Sustainable, and Inclusive Growth, at 5, COM (2010) 2020 final (Mar. 3, 2010) [hereinafter Europe 2020] (laying out Europe 2020's main initiatives).
(129.) See id. at 6 (detailing European Platform Against Poverty initiative). The European Platform Against Poverty addresses homelessness by aiming to work with people suffering from poverty and social exclusion, and enabling them to live in dignity. Id. It also aims to raise awareness and recognize the fundamental rights of those people and work to include them in society. See id. at 19. It charges EU Member States to define and implement measures to address the circumstances of those at risk, including the homeless. See id. 6. At the EU level, the Commission will be working to develop cooperation between the states, exchanging good practices and reviewing each other's programs, and encouraging the public and private players to commit to reducing social exclusion. See id. at 19. Additionally, the Commission will be developing social innovation programs for the vulnerable, and conducting assessments of the adequacy and sustainability of social protection as well as pension systems. Id. At the national level, Member States will work to combat social exclusion and poverty, implement measures to address the struggles of at-risk groups, and utilize their social security and pension systems to the highest extent possible. Id.
(130.) See id. at 6. The collaborative will set guidelines at the EU level and there will also be country-specific recommendations. Id. Among this collaboration, the European Council will have the most authoritative position, and will be responsible for giving policy warnings for inadequate responses to recommendations. Id.
(131.) See Social Investment Package, supra note 27 (noting increased focus on homelessness in EU 2020).
(132.) See id. (discussing development of Social Investment Package to increase transnational cooperation in homelessness fight).
(133.) See id. (noting other policy reforms included in package). The homelessness provisions call for EU Member States to use strategies based on prevention, housing-lead approaches, and reviewing eviction regulations. Id. The initiative emphasizes the importance of a transnational approach and encourages Member States to share good practices in the effort to establish a strong and effective EU-wide homelessness strategy. See id. It also calls on the members to develop a definition of homelessness and data-collections systems. Id.
(134.) See EU Resolution on Homelessness, supra note 125 (referring to several important instruments addressing homelessness).
(135.) See id. (referring to European Social Charter).
(136.) See European Social Charter (revised), May 3, 1996, E.T.S. No. 163, available at http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/163.htm [hereinafter European Social Charter](providing date of treaty entering into force). This revised treaty replaces the initial 1961 treaty. Id.
(137.) See id. (establishing right to housing and right to protection against poverty and social exclusion).
(138.) See EU Resolution on Homelessness, supra note 125, at 2 (indicating Parliament set forth declaration on April 22, 2008, emphasizing importance of ending street homelessness). This declaration acknowledges that street homelessness is the most visible form of homelessness and can only be addressed effectively by a holistic strategy. See Declaration of the European Parliament on Ending Street Homelessness, Eur. Parliament (Apr. 22, 2008) (calling on EU Council to agree on EU wide commitment to end street homelessness). The goal was to end it by 2015. Id.; see also Declaration of The European Parliament of 16 December 2010 On an EU Homelessness Strategy, Eur. Parliament (Dec. 16, 2010) (addressing 2008 Declaration on Ending Street Homelessness and asserting homelessness continues to affect European Union).
(139.) See EU Resolution on Homelessness, supra note 125 (illustrating how social service agencies can impact homelessness, working towards Europe 2020 goal).
(140.) See FEANTSA, Social Innovation to Combat Homelessness: A Guide 1 (May 2012), http://www.feantsa.org/spip.php?article622&lang=en/2012_06_ 12_social_innovation_guide_final_en-2.pdf [hereinafter FEANTSA Guide] (describing nature of FEANTSA's work). There are no other major European networks that focus on homelessness in Europe. Id.
(141.) See id. at 6 (discussing different approaches to homelessness).
(142.) See id. (describing Housing First approach to homelessness). This approach is different from other homelessness strategies that are structured to ready the homeless for housing. Id. Those types of strategies make permanent housing the final step of the process, whereas Housing First makes it the first step. Id. Furthermore, housing in Housing First comes with attached services, which are often key in the stabilization process. Id. This innovative method has received international attention and has proven to be an effective and important development in combating homelessness. Id.
(143.) See id. at 15 (illustrating benefits and effectiveness of Housing First approach).
(144.) See id. at 7 (asserting homelessness is visible failure in fight against poverty). Criminalization of homelessness leads to further exclusion of the homeless population from public space. See Misetics,
supra note 5 (noting consequences of criminalization of homelessness). This exclusion contributes to hiding the problem of homelessness, which creates the impression that no additional governmental efforts are required. Id.
(145.) See Misetics, supra note 5 (advocating for and explaining approaches to ending homelessness). Other EU Member States, such as Sweden, have found better ways for addressing homelessness than the one implemented in Hungary. See Reger. INGSKANSLIET, SWEDEN'S NATIONAL REFORM PROGRAMME 2012: EUROPE 2020: EU's Strategy For Smart, Sustainable, and inclusive Growth, http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/nd/nrp2012_sweden_en.pdf (explaining Sweden's positive approach to homelessness). Sweden's approach differs from Hungary's criminalization method. Id. It involves an appointed homelessness coordinator for preventing evictions. Id. at 30. The country estimates its homeless population at approximately 34,000 people and approximately 280 are reported to sleep in public spaces. Id. at 2930. Additionally, the Swedish government is working to prevent discrimination related to poverty and social exclusion. Id. at 30. The government's efforts include developing legislation against discrimination. Id. The UK also has a commendable approach to dealing with homelessness--the No Second Night Out initiative. Vision to End Rough Sleeping, supra note 29 (describing UK's development of No Second Night Out nationwide initiative). Mayor Boris Johnson spearheaded this cause in London. Id. The Mayor's goal is to ensure that no one lives on London's streets and, if a person ends up sleeping there once, the goal is to prevent this from occurring a second time. See Greater London Authority, The Mayor's Rough Sleeping Commissioning Framework 2011-2015 1 (Oct. 2012), http://www.london.gov.uk/ sites/default/files/2012.10.17%20Mayor's%20Rough%20Sleeping%20Commissioning %20Framework_0.pdf [hereinafter London Rough Sleeping Framework] (discussing Mayor's comprehensive framework for addressing and reducing rough sleeping). The overarching priorities of the initiative include: preventing new people from becoming rough sleepers, and if new people do become rough sleepers, preventing the second night out; helping long-term rough sleepers move off the street; and, preventing former rough sleepers from returning to the street. Id. This initiative also prioritizes providing emergency accommodations as well as increasing service from faith and community-based organizations. Id. at 2. In addition, the initiative recognizes the importance of addressing mental and physical health needs common among rough sleepers. Id. at 11. This project began in London but England it pushing it to the national level. See Dep't for Cmtys. & Local Gov't, Making Every Contact Count; A Joint Approach To Preventing Homelessness 6 (Aug. 2012), https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/7597/ 2200459.pdf (discussing vision of No Second Night Out to end rough sleeping and its national expansion). Local authorities in cities around the United Kingdom are developing their local models of No Second Night Out. Id.
(146.) See FEANTSA Guide, supra note 140, at 17 (expressing support for Housing First model). The strongest evidence in favor of Housing First is the relation between the effectiveness of promoting housing stability and the cost-effectiveness of addressing the needs of the homelessness population. Id.
(147.) See id. at 19 (pointing out affordable and accessible housing is necessary for ending homelessness). FEANTSA asserts that it is important to further innovation in creating accessibility and affordability. Id. While the availability of such housing is a precondition to ending homelessness, the homeless often face many barriers to accessing housing. Id. Such barriers may include a negative rental history, poor credit, a criminal history, or special housing needs. Id. Additionally, homeless people do not necessarily receive priority consideration in attaining affordable housing. Id. FEANTSA suggests that cooperation of social housing providers, homelessness services, and public authorities can overcome these problems. Id.
(148.) See Misetics, supra note 5 (discussing rhetoric legitimizing exclusive restrictions on use of public space). This categorization of legitimate uses of public space further excludes the homeless population and causes them to be viewed as outsiders. Id. Such a view makes the general population less empathetic to their plight. Id. This also lends to common discourse of the homeless population as a problem or inconvenience to the general population. Id.
(149.) See Flungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30 (listing proper uses of public space).
(150.) See supra notes 63-65 and accompanying text (arguing homeless population has no choice but to use public space for habitation).
(151.) See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30, at 15-16 (discussing government's failure to provide sufficient homelessness services and arguing outdoor living is not criminal conduct); infra Parts IV.A-D (discussing contradiction of Hungary's anti-homelessness legislation with Hungarian Fundamental Law, International Treaties, Declarations, and Regional Agreements).
(152.) See supra Part III.A.1 (discussing rights established under UDHR, including right to housing); Press Release, FEANTSA, Statement Against Continued Persecution and Criminalisation of Homeless People in Hung. (Mar. 4, 2013), available at http://www.feantsa.org/spip.php?article1019&lang=en.tm (arguing Hungary's decision to amend Constitution violates many international treaties including UDHR).
(153.) See supra Part III.A.1 (discussing housing rights stated in UDHR).
(154.) See supra 62-65 and accompanying text (discussing Constitutional Court's characterization of living in public space as necessary by homeless rather than by choice).
(155.) See supra notes 120-21 and accompanying text (emphasizing role of UDHR as first human rights standard recognizing housing rights).
(156.) See supra notes 119-24 and accompanying text (explaining relevant international treaties).
(157.) See supra notes 122-24 and accompanying text (discussing ICESCR and explaining its universal codification of housing rights).
(158.) See Chapter IV Human Rights, supra note 124 (indicating date of ICESCR ratification).
(159.) See supra notes 119-38 and accompanying text (explaining details and implications of Hungary's relevant international treaties, declarations, regional agreements, and resolutions).
(160.) See supra notes 119-24 and accompanying text (discussing international treaties).
(161.) See supra notes 83-85 and accompanying text (highlighting inadequacies of Hungary's approach and recommending adoption of national housing strategy to fulfill obligation of service provision).
(162.) See supra notes 120-38 and accompanying text (listing international treaties, agreements, regional agreements, and resolutions evidencing Hungary's commitment).
(163.) See supra Parts II.C-D (discussing Hungary's refusal to revoke anti-homelessness legislation and its amendment to Constitution to permit such legislation).
(164.) See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30 (highlighting annulment of legislation).
(165.) See supra notes 55-70 and accompanying text (analyzing Constitutional Court's annulment of law, dissenting arguments, and UN experts' push to uphold decision).
(166.) See supra notes 73-76 and accompanying text (demonstrating Orban's determination to continue enforcing anti-homelessness legislation in Hungary).
(167.) See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (noting Hungary's further efforts to criminalize homelessness by amending its constitution to allow such laws); Ghosh, supra note 4 (explaining 2013 Anti-homelessness Law and its stigmatizing effect); Verseck, supra note 91 (discussing government action and procedural history leading up to 2013 Anti-homelessness Law).
(168.) See supra note 60 (emphasizing Constitutional Court's decisions not appealable).
(169.) See Government Defiance, supra note 26 (characterizing Hungary's failure to revoke law as disregard for human rights and rule of law).
(170.) See supra notes 73-74 and accompanying text (describing Orban's consultation plans).
(171.) See supra note 60 (pointing out Constitutional Court's decisions not appealable).
(172.) See supra notes 73-76 and accompanying text (highlighting Orban's organization of resistance against Court's ruling and his commitment to upholding law). He did not react with such resistance when the Constitutional Court voided the decree against dustbin scavenging. See supra note 49 (discussing Court's reasoning for finding decree sanctioning dustbin scavenging unconstitutional). The legal certainty requirement was similarly one of the bases of the Constitutional Court's determination that the decree sanctioning dustbin scavenging was unconstitutional. Id.
(173.) See supra notes 76-77 and accompanying text (discussing possibility of altering Hungary's Constitution to accommodate anti-homelessness legislation).
(174.) See Misetics, supra note 5, at n.5 (describing process of changing constitution); Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (addressing Hungarian Parliament's successful March 12th vote to amend its Constitution). The Hungarian Parliament enacted a constitutional amendment that enabled local governments to set forth laws that criminalize sleeping in public spaces. See Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (describing amendment process).
(175.) See supra notes 71-84 and accompanying text (discussing UN Special Rapporteurs condemning legislation as violating Hungary's human rights obligations); Letter to Commissioner, supra note 44 (suggesting sanction under Article VII of EU Treaty).
(176.) See supra Part II.C.1 (explaining legislation as contradictory to right of human dignity).
(177.) See supra Part II.C.1 (noting Constitutional Court's ruling of anti-homelessness legislation as violating right of human dignity).
(178.) See Fundamental Law of Hungary, supra note 59, at Art. II (proclaiming individual rights of human dignity and life).
(179.) See supra note 64 and accompanying text (illustrating crisis situation of homeless people and necessity of utilizing public space to live).
(180.) See supra note 64 and accompanying text (asserting living on street is not generally by choice).
(181.) See supra note 64 and accompanying text (indicating forced nature of sleeping on street).
(182.) See supra notes 22-26 and accompanying text (illustrating large size of homeless population and inadequate amount of shelter beds).
(183.) See supra note 49 and accompanying text (discussing civil rights implications of equal treatment from decree against dustbin scavenging); Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30, at 3 (discussing requirement of equal treatment for civil rights).
(184.) See supra note 178 and accompanying text (citing Hungary's Fundamental Law declaring everyone has right to human dignity).
(185.) See Fundamental Law of Hungary, supra note 59 (declaring constitutional right to protect one's property against unlawful conduct).
(186.) See supra notes 125-33 and accompanying text (labeling homelessness as "unacceptable violation of human dignity" and discussing transnational cooperation plan to end homelessness).
(187.) See supra notes 126-29 and accompanying text (describing EU Resolution on Homelessness and Europe 2020 Strategy). Europe 2020's goal of significantly reducing social exclusion in Europe contributes to the creation of the inclusionary framework. See Europe 2020, supra note 128 (providing information on EU efforts towards social inclusion).
(188.) See EU Resolution on Homelessness, supra note 125, at 3 (citing 2015 deadline to work towards).
(189.) See id. (calling for collaborative approach to homelessness).
(190.) See id. (suggesting types of members to join working group).
(191.) See id. at 4 (noting importance of quality service provision to homeless).
(192.) See id. (noting importance of monitoring progress).
(193.) See supra Part IV.D.1. (synopsizing key points of EU Resolution on Homelessness regarding action and goals for fighting homelessness).
(194.) See supra note 127 (highlighting Europe 2020's goal to reduce social exclusion in European Union).
(195.) See supra notes 63-64 and accompanying text (discussing utilizing public space as necessary act for homeless population).
(196.) See Misetics supra note 5 (explaining dangerous effect of pushing homeless people into hidden locations).
(197.) See supra notes 188-92 and accompanying text (noting Hungary's divergence from recommended policies).
(198.) See supra note 72 (discussing Orban's argument of ban as necessary for protecting majority's rights). The dissenting Judge argues that habitual housing is threatening).
(199.) See FEANTSA Annual Theme, supra note 46, at 4-5 (demonstrating negative actions of withdrawing funds from homeless services); supra note 46 (explaining Hungarian government's legislation prohibiting residing and storing belongings in public spaces); supra note 46 and accompanying text (discussing Budapest local government's decree prohibiting use of public space for housing).
(200.) See Government Defiance, supra note 26 (demonstrating Orban's argument of sufficient homelessness services in Hungary). But see supra note 84 (discussing homeless population exceeds number of shelters).
(201.) See Government Defiance, supra note 26 (discussing Orban's assertion of adequate services); Misetics, supra note 5 (mentioning availability of services also creates perception of homeless population as strange people who prefer street). Proponents of criminalization often argue they are not supporting exclusion of the homeless from the entire city, but they are rather encouraging the homeless to seek the available services. Misetics, supra note 5 (discussing proponents' view of criminalization of homelessness). The problem is that there are not usually adequate alternatives to the street, as is the case in Hungary. See supra notes 62-65 and accompanying text (discussing lack of available alternatives to street). Hungary relied on its assertion that there are enough shelters for the homeless as support for passing the new 2013 Anti-homelessness Law. See Ghosh, supra note 4 (expressing contrasting opinions of government and homeless advocates regarding shelter availability).
(202.) See Government Defiance, supra note 26 (implying public perception affects homelessness policy design).
(203.) See EU Resolution on Homelessness, supra note 125, at 4 (discussing EU Resolution on Homelessness call for housing-led approach).
(204.) See supra notes 82-84 and accompanying text (suggesting adopting national housing strategy).
(205.) See Vision to End Rough Sleeping, supra note 29, at 15 (discussing functions of "No Second Night Out initiative").
(206.) See id. (explaining goals of No Second Night Out initiative).
(207.) See id. (asserting London's high number of homeless population brings particular challenges compared with rest of United Kingdom).
(208.) See id. (contrasting Mayor of London's positive approach to homelessness with Mayor of Budapest's criminalizing approach to homelessness).
(209.) Id. (pointing to example of UK approach to homelessness).
(210.) See Vision to End Rough Sleeping, supra note 29, at 15 (describing United Kingdom's comprehensive nationwide approach to ending street homelessness).
(211.) See London Rough Sleeping Framework, supra note 145, at 8 (illustrating positive outcomes from Mayor's program to end rough sleeping).
(212.) See Government Defiance, supra note 26 (discussing Europe 2020's goals of reducing poverty and social exclusion).
(213.) See Europe 2020, supra note 128, at 19 (describing European Platform against Poverty and collaboration within Europe 2020).
(214.) See id. at 10 (labeling homelessness and housing deprivation as key indicators of social exclusion).
(215.) See Europe 2020, supra note 128, at 10 (highlighting financial challenges in attaining fundamental right to housing).
(216.) See id. (discussing accountability under Europe 2020).
(217.) See id. (explaining hierarchical structure of Europe 2020).
(218.) See id. at 4 (explaining European Council's authoritative position within collaboration); Letter to Commissioner, supra note 44 (detailing sanctioning under Article VII of EU Treaty). Another avenue for sanctioning Hungary may include the EU Commissioner sanctioning Hungary through Article VII of the EU Treaty if the EU Commission determines Hungary is acting against EU principles and breaching human rights obligations. Letter to Commissioner, supra note 44 (suggesting alternative sanction mechanism).
(219.) See supra note 46 (revealing Mayor of Budapest withdrew long-standing complementary funding for non-religious homeless service providers).
(220.) See id. (noting Kocsis's withdrawal of funding from homelessness programs).
(221.) See supra note 140 and accompanying text (explaining FEANTSA's recommendation for more positive approaches to homelessness).
(222.) See id. accompanying text (describing FEANTSA's analysis of and support for housing-led programs).
(223.) Id. (noting FEANTSA's support of housing-led programs).
(224.) See supra notes 139-47 (describing FEANTSA's guide to combating homelessness and highlighting approach of Housing First).
(225.) See supra note 142-43 (outlining Housing First model).
(226.) See supra Part III.B (discussing EU Resolution on Homelessness and EU 2020 in regards to fight against homelessness).
(227.) See Social Investment Package, supra note 27 (addressing initiative for transnational approach among EU Member States to end homelessness in European Union).
(228.) See id. (suggesting EU Member States collaborate with each other on their common homelessness problems).
(229.) See id. (predicting reduction of homelessness in Hungary if it works towards transnational collaboration).
(230.) See supra notes 82-84 and accompanying text (advocating for creation of national homelessness strategy).
(231.) See id. Part III.B. and accompanying text (reviewing various EU instruments related to right to housing and fight against homelessness). One of these instruments is the European Social Charter, a Council of Europe Treaty in force since 1999. See European Social Charter, supra note 136, at 17 (establishing the right to housing in Article 31 and detailing advised actions for ensuring this right). Member States are encouraged to take measures to end homelessness. See supra note Part III.B. and accompanying text (providing information on EU efforts homelessness). To accomplish this goal, the European Social Charter advocates acting to promote access to adequate housing and make it affordable for people who do not have many resources. Id.
(232.) See supra notes 125-38 and accompanying text (describing EU instruments acknowledging homelessness problem and suggesting solutions).
(233.) See supra note 81 (noting ineffectiveness of criminalizing homelessness).
(234.) See supra notes 81-84 and accompanying text (discussing UN Rapporteurs' calls for national housing strategy and their disagreement with Hungary's criminalization of homelessness).
(235.) See supra notes 93-94 and accompanying text (contrasting Orban's two-thirds parliamentary majority and growing power over Constitution against Constitutional Court's diminishing power).
(236.) See supra note 98 and accompanying text (stipulating concern over losing checks and balancing system and drifting from democratic governance).
(237.) See Concerns Rise, supra note 98 (articulating concern over centralization of power).
(238.) See supra note 93 (detailing removal of specific powers and noting opposition views this judicial curtailment as threat to democracy).
(239.) See Ghosh, supra note 4 (announcing passage of 2013 Anti-homelessness Law and its implications); supra note 93 (explaining government can use amended Constitution to pass previously unconstitutional laws, circumventing weakened Constitutional Court)
(240.) See Concerns Rise, supra note 98 (discussing concern for Orban's increased power within Fidesz party).
(241.) See supra note 41 and accompanying text (noting Fidesz increasing power and threat to democracy); supra Part II.D (detailing significance of amendments to Flungarian constitution).
(242.) See Concerns Rise, supra note 98 (discussing international criticism of Orban's recent actions concentrating power within Fidesz party); Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (delineating Flungary's recent constitutional amendments and its disregard for Constitutional Court rulings and EU values); Hungarian Government Defies Europe, supra note 41 (noting Orban's vibrant confidence and lack of concern for EU opinions); Orban Rejects Criticism, supra note 99 (explaining Orban's powerful two-thirds majority in Hungary's parliament expands his power and influence in Hungary).
(243.) See Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (maintaining European Union should respond to Hungary's disregard of EU principles and force policy change).
(244.) See Orban Rejects Criticism, supra note 99 (mentioning European Parliament President Martin Schulz call for EU Member States to maintain EU's core principles).
(245.) See Concerns Rise, supra note 98 (discussing Hungary's reliance on EU funding).
(246.) See id. (noting possibility to control via funding provisions).
(247.) See Brand & Vogel, supra note 44 (referring to earlier suggestions for sanctions and effect they could have on Hungary).
(248.) See id. (discussing sanctioning under Article VII of EU Treaty); see also EU Treaty VII, supra note 44 (providing instructions on sanctioning procedures under Article VII of EU Treaty).
(249.) See Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (asserting Hungarian Constitution changes conflict with EU values).
(250.) See EU Treaty VII, supra note 44 (outlining purpose of Article VII sanctions to punish countries in breach of EU values).
(251.) See Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (calling for EU response under Article VII of EU Treaty).
(252.) See supra note 36 (explaining recent anti-homelessness legislation); see also Ghosh, supra note 4 (discussing 2013 Anti-homelessness Law); Verseck, supra note 91 (detailing 2013 Anti-homelessness Law).
(253.) See Hungarian Public Space Case 01477, supra note 30 (discussing Constitutional Court's reasoning for annulment).
(254.) See Changes Warrant EU Action, supra note 89 (reflecting on Hungary's evasion of Constitutional Court rulings by reforming its Constitution).
(255.) See supra note 81 (discussing Hungary's ineffective approach to homelessness).
(256.) See supra Part II.A (discussing Hungary's homelessness problem).
(257.) See supra Parts II.B-C (explaining development, legal challenges, and opposition to Hungary's anti-homelessness legislation).
(258.) See supra Part II.D (discussing Hungary's amendment to its Constitution to permit anti-homelessness legislation).
(259.) See supra Part IV.A-B (discussing contradictory nature of Hungary's actions).
(260.) See supra Parts IV.C, IV.E (discussing Hungary's regional agreements and resolutions and then asserting recommendations to Hungary to reform its actions).
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Zakim, Deena A.|
|Publication:||Suffolk Transnational Law Review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2014|
|Previous Article:||Too big to tackle? The persistent problem of pirate fishing and the new focus on port state measures.|
|Next Article:||First Circuit ruling prevents Persian antiquities from being attached under Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.|