Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary

Gábor Halmai Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán describes his country as "illiberal state", citing as role models authoritarian regimes like Putin’s Russia and dictatorial governments like China. As with citizens in any other nation-state, Hungarians certainly have the right to oppose the development of a liberal political system, if they are willing to accept certain consequences such as parting from the European Union and the wider community of liberal democracies. However, this conclusion must be reached through a democratic process, unlike the constitution making that took place in 2011, when Hungary’s leaders neglected to consult the people on their opinions about the very nature of the constitution. Continue reading

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Thu 28. August 16:32
Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary
Wed 27. August 16:52
"Nudging" arrives in Germany
Tue 19. August 18:44
Blending National Autonomy into the EU Charter. A Reply to Leonard F.M. Besselink

Up for Debate

Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary

Gábor Halmai

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán describes his country as "illiberal state", citing as role models authoritarian regimes like Putin’s Russia and dictatorial governments like China. As with citizens in any other nation-state, Hungarians certainly have the right to oppose the development of a liberal political system, if they are willing to accept certain consequences such as parting from the European Union and the wider community of liberal democracies. However, this conclusion must be reached through a democratic process, unlike the constitution making that took place in 2011, when Hungary’s leaders neglected to consult the people on their opinions about the very nature of the constitution. Continue reading

78 Gábor Halmai

Blending National Autonomy into the EU Charter. A Reply to Leonard F.M. Besselink

Daniel Thym

I attended this year’s FIDE conference and my recollection of the plenary debate contrasts with Leonard Besselink’s account. Irrespective of who said precisely what in Copenhagen, my vision of the structural shifts in the interaction of national constitutions and the EU Charter differs respectfully from the position put forward by Leonard Besselink. I do not agree that national human rights are being ignored and that the constitutive power has shifted to the European Union. It seems to me that the situation is not quite as dramatic and I will suggest, to the contrary, that the ECJ is moving in the right direction. Continue reading

11 Daniel Thym

Verfassungsblog goes French

Hannah Birkenkötter

Le multilinguisme dans la science juridique est devenu ces dernières années un sujet central de discussions. Des premières réflexions (en allemand) ont été présentées sur ce blog il y a deux ans en particulier autour de la question de la place et du traitement de l’anglais, langue qui devient de plus en plus la « lingua franca de la conversation juridique transnationale ». Au moins pour ceux naviguant dans les eaux du droit européen ou du droit international, les publications anglophones sont devenues quasiment incontournables. Voilà pourquoi le Verfassungsblog s’est donné pour mission de soutenir et renforcer cette sphère juridique multilingue – more

133 Hannah Birkenkötter

The ECJ as the European “Supreme Court”: Setting Aside Citizens’ Rights for EU Law Supremacy

Leonard F.M. Besselink

We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of the landmarks of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, the decision Costa v ENEL. In strong contrast to last year’s celebration of another founding stone of European law, the Van Gend & Loos decision, the Court of Justice seemed not to pay any attention. In reality, however, various members of the Court of Justice and others attached to the Court are engaged in a renewed effort to turn primacy into full supremacy of EU law over national constitutional law and constitutional courts well beyond Costa/ENEL. Continue reading

242 Leonard F.M. Besselink

Argentina in The Hague: Labor Pains of a Public Law for a Pluralistic World Society?

Matthias Goldmann

The disputes between Argentina and her creditors keep travelling the world. Now, Argentina has filed a suit against the USA at the International Court of Justice at the Hague. While its chances of success are uncertain this action might pave the way for the establishment of a workout mechanism for insolvent states. Continue reading

239 Matthias Goldmann

Living together in an infinite space of socialisation

Anna von Notz

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently decided, that we all have the right to live in a “space of socialisation which makes living together easier“. Thus stated by the ECtHR in the case of S.A.S. v. France whereby it found that the French „Burqa ban“ does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Imagine a space of socialisation with the “possibility of open interpersonal relationships“ – doesn’t that sound wonderful? It might do so at first sight. But on closer inspection, it suddenly becomes a space of full disclosure and rather terrifying, especially since it is entirely unclear where this space begins and where it ends. Continue reading

235 Anna von Notz

EU Commission President: Who and what did we actually vote for?

Christian Joerges

The obstacles further European integration is facing will only be overcome incrementally through continuous political disputes, as well as through processes of collective learning, which are then converted into institutional change. Simple formulas for “more Europe”, even when they are rooted in historical rationality and reason, will not be a sufficient substitute for such processes. Continue reading

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Op-ed

Bosnia and the problem of generalizable human rights gauges

2014-07-15 Bosnien
(c) Amanda Robinson, Flickr CC BY-BC-ND 2.0

For five years Bosnia has been digging its heels in, refusing to align its constitution to the demands of the ECHR and to grant non-bosniacs, -serbs and -croats the right to be elected to its second chamber of legislation. Now, the Strasbourg Court has once again declared this state of affairs unacceptable. But what if it would hold other constitutional systems, such as that of the European Union, up to the standard it applies in the Bosnian case? Continue reading

Burqa Ban: My Right to Be Left Alone is Your Tough Luck

2014-07-07 Trespassing
(c) Michael Dorausch, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

An often heard argument in the debate on the burqa ban decision by the ECtHR is that a minimum of "vivre ensemble" is a condition of all freedom and hence a legitimate balancing factor with the rights to privacy and religious freedom. This, though, is irreconcilable with the "right to be left alone". Continue reading

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