MTA Law Working Papers

A Jogtudományi Intézet műhelytanulmányai

Bán-Forgács Nóra: Freedom of information and Covid-19 – the Hungarian case

Covid-19 pandemic challenged the universal system of human rights around the world. Citizens have been forced to endure a multitude of binding restrictions, whether on their privacy, freedom of movement, access to justice or the exercise of any other fundamental right. The 'balancing principle' of constitutional law – basically the need to weight what restrictions on fundamental rights are necessary and proportionate in a democratic society – has been regularly applied and invoked in the face of the greatest human epidemic of the 21st century. The situation of freedom of information is specific in that data of public interest on the endemic, such as the spread of the virus, the number of infected, the number of death, the hotspots of outbreak, or the most important vaccine information as well as credible information on Government measures to combat the epidemic, are not simply data of public interest, but are in fact data that are prerequisites for public confidence in the fight against the pandemic.