Fighting Fake News or Fighting Inconvenient Truths?

Last week, the Hungarian Parliament amended the Criminal Code: it created the new crime of “obstructing epidemic prevention” and amended the already existing crime of scaremongering (rémhírterjesztés). The old version did have some shortcomings but the now adopted modification addresses none of the previously existing problems and makes the crime more susceptible to abuse by the authorities.

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Schmitten in the USA

We will at some point surface from the current public health crisis. How and when and what the new normal will look like, no one knows. But we do know that autocrats around the world are using the epidemic as a pretext to gather even more power unto themselves. In this light, the fact that a Harvard Law Professor has published an article at this time with this kind of viral load in the pages of a respectable journal is perhaps more scary than the virus itself.

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Pandemic as Constitutional Moment

Viktor Orbán has finally created for himself a constitutional moment, one where he can use the tools of constitutional democracy to access unrestrained powers to save the nation. This move should be a major concern for friends of constitutional democracy around the globe: in the midst of a global pandemic and a looming global economic crisis, PM Orbán may well be on route to kick start a genuine constitutional pandemic.

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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

The Hungarian Government has officially abandoned its plans to reform the administrative court system. However, the plan to subdue the judiciary is pursued as relentlessly as ever: On 12 November 2019, the Hungarian Government introduced an omnibus legislation which would extend political influence over the judiciary and guarantee judicial decisions favorable to the Government in politically sensitive cases.

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Local Elections in Hungary: the Results in Context

On October 13, 2019 local elections were held in Hungary. Even though the opposition parties had to fight an uphill battle, they achieved significant success not only in Budapest, but also in other big cities. The aim of this article is to put the results in context in order to give a more accurate picture of the current Hungarian situation.

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„No one has the right to be homeless…”

The Hungarian Constitutional Court’s decision on the homelessness ban is not only devastating in terms of outcome, but also in terms of quality of the Court’s reasoning. This poor quality does not stem from the justices’ intellectual inability to adequately address the issues involved in this case, but from unacceptable political considerations spread among the members of the Court.

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Of Red Lines and Red Herring: The EPP’s Delusions about Restraining Orbán

This post will offer an overview of the main EPP’s ‘red lines’ since the EPP leadership first demanded from Prime Minister Orbán that he immediately comply with EU laws and EPP values nearly two years ago, in April 2017. We will show that, contrary to Weber’s claims about EPP values being non-negotiable, Orbán has repeatedly crossed the EPP’s supposed red-lines with impunity. And rather than being restrained by the EPP, Orbán has sought to transform it.

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How to Stop Funding Autocracy in the EU

The EU finds itself in the perverse situation of providing some of the largest transfers of funds precisely to those governments who most prominently thumb their nose at its democratic and rule-of-law norms. The legal debate about this misses the fact that the EU already has a sufficient legal basis to suspend the flow of funds to states in which rule-of-law norms are systematically violated. The real problem to date has not been the lack of adequate legal tools, but the lack of political will on the part of the European Commission to use the tools that already exist.

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