Brooklyn Journal of International Law

First Page



Spurred in large part by a mounting humanitarian crisis in Syria, the 2015 migrant crisis exposed deeply rooted fractures within the European Union regarding refugee resettlement. While the European Union worked to develop a synchronized response to the influx of refugees and asylees, Hungary defiantly sought to close its borders. In doing so, the Hungarian government targeted not only those seeking refuge, but its own civil society. In a series of opaque and overtly punitive legislative acts passed in the summer of 2018, Hungary criminalized any civil society activities that facilitate or assist with immigration. This Note will analyze the legality of Hungary’s new laws under the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. It will then proceed to discuss available avenues of redress for Hungary’s civil society organizations within the institutional frameworks of the European Union and the Council of Europe.