In a fast-track procedure, the left-wing governing majority of Germany has recently amended the electoral law in force since 1949. The biggest loser of this reform may be the current opposition: two opposition parties (CSU and The Left) could be dealt a fatal blow by the new legislation. Until now, this kind of procedure has been a real taboo in German political culture, which has always advocated for the need of consensus on every issue. The opposition is appealing to the Constitutional Court and will fight with all its might to abolish this new electoral reform.
The ceremony was attended by President Katalin Novák, former Presidents János Áder and Pál Schmitt, House Speaker László Kövér, several members of the government, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as representatives of churches and parliamentary parties, and several justices of the Constitutional Court.
László Sólyom is remembered for his significant role in Hungary’s transition to democracy and his dedication to upholding the principles of constitutionalism. His work as a legal scholar, his contributions to the National Round Table talks, and his leadership as the first President of the Constitutional Court have left a lasting impact on Hungary’s legal and political landscape.
Mária Ádám-Haszonics, Zoltán Lomnici, András Patyi, and Réka Varga have all been confirmed to the Constitutional Court by a two-thirds majority vote in the parliament, replacing the four term-limited former justices on the 15-member panel. The Court has the power to strike down legislation if they find it incompatible with the Fundamental Law of Hungary.
Highly respected experts, such as former Constitutional Court Justice István Stumpf, Gadi Taub, Senior Lecturer at the Federmann School of public policy from Israel, and James Allen of the University of Queensland in Australia, shared their views on the controversial concept of ‘rule of law’. Their lectures were followed by a discussion between State Secretary for European Affairs János Bóka and Ákos Bence Gát, head of foreign affairs at the Danube Institute.
It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the Court of Justice of the European Union created the principle of primacy of EU law from scratch. Although nowadays the mainstream considers this idea unchallengeable, the task of the constitutional courts is precisely to promote the development of a healthy balance by strengthening the principle of constitutional identity. By finding a balance, the tension between the legal systems of the Member States and EU law might also become reconcilable.
‘Today, European law, which had previously been on an equal footing, seems to be seeking hegemony over the legal systems of the member states, no longer merely to harmonize them, but to incorporate them in a furtive federalism.’