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Public disclosure of tax defaulters

We have published a comment on Strasbourg Observers in reply of a blog criticising a recent judgment by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In the case of L.B. v Hungary the ECtHR found that the public disclosure on the Hungarian Tax Authorities’ website of the names and addresses of major tax defaulters and tax evaders did not violate the right to privacy under Article 8 ECHR. We find that the ECtHR pertinently integrated the public interest value in its fair balancing with the privacy rights at issue, consistent with the Court’s previous case law. We endorse the finding by the majority of the ECtHR that ‘the disclosure of the list of persons who owed a large amount of tax had an information value for the public on a matter of general interest. Such publication did not concern a purely private matter (..) or an issue merely satisfying public curiosity’. Our comment also refers to the need of more transparency on matters of public interest as one of the crucial principles and tools mentioned in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially in goal 16 of the SDGs. The text of the blog (here) and our comment (here).

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