Prof. Gyula Bándi 

Ombudsman for Future Generations (Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in Hugary)

Professor Gyula Bándi is the Ombudsman for Future Generations in Hungary elected by the Parliament for a six-year term in 2017, re-elected at the end of 2022, for a term of 2023-29. He is Doctor of Science and the Head of the Doctoral School and Chair of Environmental and Competition Law at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University, School of Law – was also the dean of the Faculty from 2003 to 2007 and. Prof. Bándi has been researching and educating in the field of environmental law for more than 40 years; is the author of 300 publications. He is Jean Monnet Professor of EU Environmental Law, director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. He has as also been active in EU environmental law approximation in and outside Hungary. He is a member or chairman of several professional bodies, and has received several honors for his activity, such as the Officer’s Cross of the Hungarian Order and an environmental lifetime award.

The Future Generation Ombudsman

The Future Generation Ombudsman (“FGO”) is a Deputy to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights (“Commissioner”) within the Hungarian National Human Rights Institution accredited by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions in accordance with the Paris Principles defined by United Nations General Assembly.  

The FGO is entrusted with a number of special powers provided under the Ombudsman Act to foster the interests and needs of future generations and is accountable only to the Parliament. Its constitutional mandate has three main pillars in the Fundamental Law: the human right to a healthy environmental, the right to physical and mental health and a provision stipulating the ‘common heritage of the nation’ with special emphasis on future generations regulating that “natural resources, in particular arable land, forests and the reserves of water, biodiversity, in particular native plant and animal species, as well as cultural assets, as the common heritage of the nation, the protection, maintenance and preservation of which for future generations should be the obligation of the State and everyone else”.  

The FGO mandate includes the right to examine and comment on national and local legislative actions; to monitor policy developments and legislative proposals to ensure that they do not pose a severe or irreversible threat to the environment, thus causing possible harm to the interests of future generations; and to raise the attention of all stakeholders including the general public when the interests of future generations are at jeopardy. In its advisory role, the FGO can also prepare its own legislative proposals and publish non-binding recommendations or ombudsman opinions to ensure that the direct link between the nation’s common heritage and the fundamental rights of all generations (including future generation) are respected. The FGO may initiate and/or participate in investigations upon complaints or ex officio which conclude with reports containing recommendations to any public authority including the Government. He can propose the Commissioner to turn to the Constitutional Court or the Curia of Hungary in cases where there is a strong belief that a national or local piece of legislation is in violation of the Fundamental Law and may initiate intervention in public administrative court cases regarding environmental protection, by proposing it to the Commissioner.