The government will submit a proposal to lawmakers to suspend compensation payments to prisoners who sue the state over poor prison conditions, the justice minister said.
Judit Varga said the proposal which aims at ending the “unfair practice” will be submitted on Monday and discussed by parliament in an expedited procedure. Payments will be suspended while rules on compensation for bad prison conditions are being amended, she said, adding that a broad public consensus on the matter was needed. Appropriate new legislation will be drafted based on the results of a national survey now under way, she said. So far 12,680 court rulings have awarded 9 billion forints (EUR 27m) to plaintiffs, and 10% of that total has been paid out, she noted. New rules will aim to put the rights of the complainants, victims, and their families to the fore, the minister said, adding that in the future compensation would be paid directly to the plaintiffs rather than to their lawyers. Varga said the government is working to improve prison conditions and eliminate overcrowdedness.