Hungary

by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary Illiberal states emerging in Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, are still constitutional democracies, which are shaped peacefully by populist politicians from a more substantial form of constitutional democracy that prioritizes (liberal) constitutional values through the use of populist style of governance, abusive constitutionalism, and autocratic legalism.[1] In our cases, the minimum requirements of a constitutional democracy, such as the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, have been defectively worded in a constitution, or poorly implemented or enforced.
by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary This short note argues that the term illiberal constitutionalism shall be used when describing the constitutional system of a particular state in the process of backsliding from the state of constitutional democracy towards an authoritarian regime. The main argument of those who oppose this term is that constitutionalism cannot be anything else but liberal. Neither Hungary nor Poland can nurture constitutionalism anymore because there are no effective constraints on public power.
by Zoltán Szente Regardless of the intense government campaign which lasted more than a year and the involvement of almost the entire state apparatus, the Government-initiated anti-migrant referendum held on 2 October proved to be invalid due to low turnout. The Hungarian Government initiated a national referendum in February 2016 against the controversial quota system proposed by the EU for the resettlement of migrants among the Member States.
by Zoltán Szente In the parliamentary elections of Hungary, held on 6 April, the ruling conservative coalition i.e. the alliance of Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP), as in 2010, gained once again a two-thirds majority. It was the first election after the considerable and highly debated changes in constitutional and election rules. The Fidesz-KDNP won 133 of the 199 parliamentary mandates, while the left-liberal Unity Alliance acquired 38, the extreme right Jobbik 23, and the liberal green party LMP 5 seats.
by Prof. Dr. Zoltán Szente In September 2013, the National Assembly of Hungary adopted the fifth amendment of the Fundamental Law of 2011. This modification, similarly to the basic law and all of its modifications, was voted only by the MPs of the government coalition, but, as the Government has a constitution-making (that is a two-thirds) majority in Parliament, it was enough to adopt it.

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Swiss votations on February 9, 2020

by Prof. Markus Kern / Fabian Schmid, University of Bern

On February 9, 2020, two proposals were up for decision by the Swiss electorate:
– the Popular Initiative claiming “more affordable homes” as well as
– a referendum concerning a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in criminal law
The Popular Initiative was rejected by 57.1% of the Swiss population and by all but 4½ of the cantons, whereas the amendment of criminal law was clearly accepted by a majority of 63.1% of the voters. Electoral turnout was at 41.7% resp. 40.9%.

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Illiberal constitutionalism 2 – constraints on public power

by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary

Illiberal states emerging in Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, are still constitutional democracies, which are shaped peacefully by populist politicians from a more substantial form of constitutional democracy that prioritizes (liberal) constitutional values through the use of populist style of governance, abusive constitutionalism, and autocratic legalism.[1] In our cases, the minimum requirements of a constitutional democracy, such as the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, have been defectively worded in a constitution, or poorly implemented or enforced.

Read More »