Tamás Jagusztin

The integrity test in the light of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights

The integrity test in the light of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights


Finding effective means of combating corruption is a problem in almost every country. The toolbox of possible measures is constantly expanding, with more and more solutions emerging that focus more on prevention. As integrity threats are very difficult to identify accurately, one way to do this is to conduct corruption investigations and risk analyses. One of the legal institutions in Hungary for the purpose of integrity testing is the reliability test. The purpose of the integrity test is to determine whether the person concerned is in compliance with the prescribed official duty. In order to establish this, the integrity test body artificially creates real-life or presumptive life situations in the course of the job. This simulated life situation is essentially a trap set by the authorities, called a forensic trap. A simulated situation achieves its goal if the person with the intent to commit the offense, corruption, sees the situation as an opportunity to obtain the hoped-for goods. The greatest danger of this situation is that the action of the investigating officer will turn into so-called official incitement, which is already prohibited conduct. This essentially means that in the simulated situation, the conduct of the investigating officer develops the intrinsic motivation that causes the target person to essentially engage in the crime rather than wanting to be given the opportunity (agent provocateur). Two trends have emerged in the practice of different courts in relation to the assessment of instigation of authority: subjective and objective approaches. The basis of the subjective approach is the examination of the existence of so-called predisposition on the part of the person to be subject to the procedure. Courts applying an objective approach, on the other hand, examine what the authority’s procedure was, i.e.. whether the undercover detective, undercover agent, investigating officer behaved in a way that went beyond offering the opportunity to commit a crime, i.e. provoked, encouraged or actively shaped at the time the crime occurred. The study examines the characteristics of the domestic legal institution of integrity test in the light of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. It analyses the Hungarian regulations and their adequacy in accordance with the legal principles established by the court.


integrity, integrity testing, European Court of Human Rights, corruption