Bényei Miklós
Kiegyezés és sajtószabadság. Eötvös József kiadatlan beszédfogalmazványa a mentelmi jog parlamenti vitájához
The Compromise of 1867 and the Freedom of the Press. József Eötvös’s Unpublished Draft of Address for the Parliamentary Debate on the Right of Immunity

AbsztraktThe unpublished draft of address by József Eötvös preserved by the Manuscript Collection of the National Széchényi Library was meant to serve as a contribution to the parliamentary debate on suspending deputy László Böszörményi’s right of immunity in a press litigation in 1867. The case was connected to the internal conflicts elicited by the reception of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, more specifically to the letters of Lajos Kossuth which heavily attacked the structure of the dual monarchy. The Hungarian Ministry responsible for the case restored the Press Law of 1848 and ordered the examination of responsability in case of any press offence by a jury in order not to give way to extremism. One of Kossuth’s letters published in the bulletin of the radical left extreme opposition was considered as such. As the author himself was in exile, the editor of the bulletin, an MP was held responsible, but the consent of the Chamber of Deputies was needed to proceed with the trial. After weeks of preparation, the majority of the Chamber gave its consent to revoke László Böszörményi’s right of immunity. The debate took place on the 18th of November, 1867. József Eötvös’s manuscript clearly shows that he himself wanted to take the floor in the debate. His draft proves that he wanted to appear as a representative of the European liberal tradition stating that the press should be free but not without barriers. Offence against the law must be punished, the right to immunity should not suspend responsability. His address covers the main four points as follows: freedom of the press with its advantages and limits, the responsability of authors and editors; the advantages of a jury and the right of immunity in an international perspective. The appendix contains the draft with the original ortography.