Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law


A New Dimension of the Constitutional Responsibility of the State for Environmental Damage?

Decision No. 5/2022. (IV. 4.) AB of the Hungarian Constitutional Court

Keywords environmental damage, state responsibility, right to a healthy environment, environmental liability, Hungarian Constitutional Court
Authors Ilona Agócs
Author's information

Ilona Agócs
Ilona Agócs: chief legal advisor to the Hungarian Ombudsman for Future Generations, Budapest.
  • Abstract

      This article showcases a recent decision of the Hungarian Constitutional Court regarding the State’s responsibility in a case concerning environmental damage which reaches back more than half a century. The reasoning attached to the decision contains important findings concerning the State’s responsibility, in part deduced from the scope of the right to a healthy environment giving way to the enforcement of individual compensation claims. However, the general validity of the constitutional argument is disputable and yet to be determined. It may be considered a new dimension of the State’s constitutional responsibility for environmental damage in light of the right to a healthy environment, with a significant long-term interpretative spectrum. Just as much as it may be interpreted as a way to achieve legal reparation in a particularly unfair and protracted individual legal affair.

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