An individual in Budapest applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for contravening that his name and address are publicly available on the NAV list of debtors, immediately. The list of net assets includes those with tax arrears of more than 10 million HUF In addition to companies, the list also includes sole proprietorships and individuals with names and addresses.
Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees the right to respect for private and family life. Representing the complainant, attorney Daniel Balint told the newspaper:
The complaint was dismissed in the first instance by the seven-member Chamber of the Court, but the review was accepted by the seventeen-member Grand Chamber.
According to Case, of the three data on the debtors’ list—name, address and amount of debt—address is the most problematic, as it also makes the complainant’s immediate living conditions directly identifiable. The attorney argues that this may also affect people unrelated to the tax debt itself. The question, he added, is also whether announcing this data serves the otherwise understandable interest that one does not want to have an economic relationship with a person on the debtors list who has accumulated tax debts.
Daniel Case said that what the Strasbourg court decides will be decisive only in this particular case. The court will either dismiss the complaint or discover the violation, or even award compensation to the complainant. The decision will not have any direct impact on all other parties included in the list of debtors, but once Strasbourg has decided on this matter, it will do so in all other similar matters.
The case will be brought before a grand circuit of 17 judges in open session in November, with a decision expected only weeks or months later.