Since mid-December, the Strasbourg court said it has received nearly 8,000 individual applications against Hungary relating to the controversial changes to the pension system.
The early retirement of judges and prosecutors at the age of 62 instead of 70 has been one of the latest measures of the government of Viktor Orbán, seen by critics as by a means to impose control over the judiciary.
Erik Fribergh, registrar of the European Court of Human Rights, said these cases raise essentially identical issues, primarily the replacement of the applicants’ retirement pensions, which were not subject to income tax, by an allowance which is taxable at 16%.
Faced with an influx of similar complaints, the court cannot process the applications in the normal manner, Fribergh said.
The court therefore encourages the relevant trade unions in Hungary to resubmit applications as a class action, annexing lists of the individual applicants’ names and details, in a form which will enable it to register and process them efficiently.
For the time being, the court said it would not deal with applications that are not lodged through one of the trade unions.