Judicial Responses to Bolsonarism: The Leading Role of the Federal Supreme Court

Criticism against the Brazilian judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, has been on the rise in the past couple of decades. Under Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency, however, courts are experiencing a more radical and dangerous form of opposition, which transcends the borders of legitimate criticism and undertakes a direct attack on the judicial branch. This must be understood in light of the Federal Supreme Court’s backlash against Bolsonaro’s maneuvers to flame his supporters and violate the Brazilian Constitution of 1988. This article aims at recollecting the most important rulings and procedures that take part in this reaction.

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The Curious and Alarming Story of the City of Göd

Misusing its extraordinary law-making powers which were conferred to it by the controversial Enabling Act during the epidemic state of danger, the Hungarian government expropriated the city of Göd. Apparently the government did so in order to punish the opposition lead municipality – and it seems to prepare further expropriations.

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Some Preliminary Remarks on the PSPP Decision of the German Constitutional Court

Karlsruhe’s PSPP decision will not be hard to address as to its actual legal outcome, contrary to what might seem at first instance. But its market effects may be highly problematic. The uncertainty the decision will generate in the short term and the constraints arising from the obiter dicta of the Court for Germany’s participation in the EU response to the Coronavirus situation will likely have some serious negative effects.

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Orbán is Still the Sole Judge of his Own Law

Our 22 April post on the Verfassungblog about Viktor Orbán’s state of emergency generated a thoughtful reply from Dr. Dániel Karsai, a well-respected Hungarian lawyer. We appreciate the chance to respond to his criticisms, alleging that we made some factual errors about the operation of Hungarian law.

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Infringement Procedures in the Time of COVID-19

In the last weeks, members of the European Parliament and observers in the legal and academic community have, explicitly or implicitly, criticised the European Commission and the Court of Justice for their handling of ongoing infringement procedures. Put simply, the two institutions have been criticised for moving the existing cases forward, despite the fact that certain countries (first Italy, then followed by almost all other Member States) are in lockdown and, consequently, their administrations are unable to effectively respond.

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Corona Constitutional #3: Europa am Beatmungsschlauch

In der Coronakrise bündelt sich wie in einem Brennglas fast alles, was in der EU in den letzten zehn Jahren schief gelaufen ist: Finanzkrise, Flüchtlingsschutz, Rechtsstaatlichkeit. KATHARINA MANGOLD im Gespräch mit Max Steinbeis über das, was jetzt für die europäische Integration auf dem Spiel steht.

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1460 Days Later: Rule of Law in Poland R.I.P. (Part II)

Writing a year ago, we warned that the situation in Poland “has deteriorated further to the point of threatening the functioning of the whole EU legal order and therefore, the future of the EU’s internal market itself.” This is no longer a mere threat but a clear and present danger. Stalling for time would be irresponsible. On current trajectory, it is only a matter of time before Poland’s rule of law default eventually triggers a knock-on process of legal disintegration.

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The Supranational Rule of Law: Thinking the Future

Writing at the end of 2019 it must be clear that art. 7 TEU is not a viable political option at all. However, the Treaties do contain legal mechanisms to enforce the rule of law against the member states. Art. 7 is not, and must not, be the center of the rule of law world in the EU. Poland’s refusal to obey the Court’s judgments and its readiness to do everything possible to circumvent it strike at the very heart of the EU rule of law. The challenge is to use what is legally available rather than keep finding excuses for not using the mechanisms already in place.

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