On May 17, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Hungary violated the freedom of expression of members of parliament when it fined them for their conduct in parliament. According to the press release, the case concerned the fines imposed on several Hungarian members of parliament (MPs), who had protested bills by placing signs and banners near members who supported the proposed legislations and used a megaphone to present their views during the parliamentary sessions. The Court noted that while freedom of expression and parliamentary debate are “of fundamental importance in a democratic society, [they are] not absolute in nature,” and found “that the Convention established a close nexus between an effective political democracy and the effective operation of Parliament.” The Court further noted that “[t]he exercise of free speech in Parliament had to yield on occasions to the legitimate interests of protecting the orderly conduct of parliamentary business as well as the protection of the rights of other members of parliament,” while stressing that parliamentary discipline “should not be abused for the purpose of suppressing the freedom of expression of MPs.” The Court accepted that the fines had been imposed because of “the time, place and manner” in which the MPs had expressed their views and emphasized that any sanction had to satisfy the proportionality requirement inherent in Article 10, including its procedural aspect. Noting that “[a]t the relevant time the domestic legislation had not provided for a fined MP to be involved in the relevant procedure, notably by being heard” and that “two of the proposals had not contained any relevant reasons why the applicants’ actions had been considered gravely offensive to parliamentary order,” the Court ruled that the MPs had not been afforded any procedural safeguards. Therefore, the Court concluded that “the impugned interference with the applicants’ right to freedom of expression had not been proportionate to the legitimate aims pursued because it had not been accompanied by adequate procedural safeguards” and thus violated Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.