Université Libre de Bruxelles

Posts by authors affiliated with Université Libre de Bruxelles

11 March 2024

A Constitutional Dignitary Conceived in the Orbán-Regime

On 26 February, Tamás Sulyok, the former President of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, was elected Head of State by the Parliament. The election of Tamás Sulyok as a member of the Constitutional Court and then as its president was part of the process during which Fidesz took over the Constitutional Court. Sulyok’s presidency (2016-2024) was a testimony to the fact that the Constitutional Court has become subservient to the Fidesz-dominated political branches, and there is no sign that he has actively tried to do anything against it. Based on what we have seen so far, therefore, Tamás Sulyok is part of the Orbán-regime, and nothing suggests that he will exercise greater autonomy and independence in his role as Head of State.

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21 February 2024

Autocratic (Il)legalism

It is a common myth that since the Fidesz-KDNP coalition has almost always had a two-thirds parliamentary majority since 2010, the Orbán-government could pass its illiberal legislative reforms in a legally correct manner. In reality, however, many laws that constitute the pillars of Orbán’s illiberal regime were enacted in violation of the procedural requirements of the rule of law. The European Commission’s country visit to Hungary provides an opportunity to remind the EU bodies of their responsibility to enforce all requirements of the rule of law without compromise.

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14 December 2023

To Score Is to Decide

Can the act of assigning a score to someone constitute a decision? This, in essence, is the question the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had to answer in Case C-634/21. And the Court’s answer is yes, following in the footsteps of the Advocate General’s opinion on the case. Rendered on 7 December, this ruling was eagerly awaited as it was the first time the Court had the opportunity to interpret the notorious Article 22 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) prohibiting decisions “based solely on automated processing".

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05 December 2023
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From Urgenda to Klimaatzaak

On November 30, the Brussels Court of Appeal handed down its ruling in VZW Klimaatzaak v. Kingdom of Belgium & Others, commonly known as “the Belgian climate case.” The ruling is clear: Belgian authorities failed to participate adequately in the global effort to curb global warming, and they must imperatively reduce their emissions. Subscribing fully to Matthias Petel and Norman Vander Putten’s sharp analysis of how this litigation saga embodies tensions between climate justice and the separation of powers, we wish to highlight three remarkable aspects of the case. After quickly summarizing the first instance judgment and last week’s ruling, we begin by touching on the elephant in the (court)room: the articulation of the available scientific evidence with the limits of courts’ power of review and injunction. Then, we say a word about the Brussels Court of Appeal’s thorough application of European human rights law. We finish by deploring, as did the Court, Belgian federalism’s inefficiencies.

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