You can watch my online presentation held together with Emese Pásztor and Botond Bőtös on rule of law problems in Hungary at the invitation of Mikuláš Peksa, a Czech pirate member of the European Parliament.
My presentation has covered a short overview of the process of demise of democracy and rule of law in Hungary, with special attention given to domestic and European political circumstances. I have tried to point out some of the most relevant events, factors, logics the understanding of which makes You closer to understand what happens in this country.
My opinion was quoted in an article by Radio Free Europe about the new emergency legislation planned in Hungary, related to the coronavirus pandemic.
I uphold my earlier opinion about the introduction of the state of emergency being against the Hungarian consitution, and this new piece of legislation is unneccessary and potentially capable of causing a constitutional lockdown. Of course, it can be avoided if we keep on amending constitutional provisions on the fly as we go, but this has nothing to do with legal certainty…
Today I was quoted in The Budapest Beacon, talking about the proposed Hungarian legislation on NGOs:
According to international lawyer Tamás Lattmann, while it is difficult to understand what Németh means by sweeping the NGOs out of the country, even in Hungary it would be almost impossible to take the regulation of NGOs out of the hands of courts and put it in the hands of the government.
“However, the government can require the directors of NGOs to furnish asset disclosures, but nothing interesting will happen there as we saw in the case of the Pasa Park condos,” Lattmann told Magyar Nemzet.
The Pasa Park reference is in regards to a scandal in which Fidesz MP Antal Rogán, currently the government’s propaganda minister, was found to have underreported the size of his luxury apartment in a parliamentary asset disclosure. Nothing ever came of the incident.
After the Hungarian Parliament has adopted the text of the new constitution (the so-called Fundamental Law), as a reaction to the wide criticism, the Venice Commission (the main consultative and advisory professional body of the Council of Europe on consitutional matters) has decided to visit Hungary and have consultations with as many actors as possible on the subject. The government was responsible for organising the visit and – as I have expected – they have stacked the schedule of the delegation, so at the end, a very narrow timeframe was allocated for non-governmental opinions. I was one of the independent experts listened to by the Commission, and because of the abovementioned reason, I have prepared a written note on the subject, to make sure that the important points do get to the attention of the Commission even if we will not have the time to talk about those.