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What is Wrong with the Hungarian Legal System and How to Fix it

The CEU Campus
Monday, December 3, 2018, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Historical experience shows that besides honest determination, the radical institutional overhaul of a complete legal system can only be successful in the presence of external pressure, the effect of which has unfortunately decreased with Hungary’s accession to the EU. That is, institution-building should go hand-in-hand with effective international and EU obligations undertaken in more sober political moments to guarantee that the political community will not later enter into a self-destructive mode. (2) Taking elements beyond mere rules more consciously into account, such as actual practices and narratives in the realm of legislation, the application of the law and legal training would ideally result in the gradual reinforcement of substantive cultural elements. This, however, requires political action, more precisely the adjustment of formal rules. Since this is not in the interest of the incumbent decision-makers, overcoming the impasse seems unlikely for the time being.

András Jakab is currently Professor of Austrian Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Salzburg (since 2017). He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. Formerly he held different research and teaching positions in Budapest (Calvinist University Károli Gáspár in Budapest, 2001-2003; Pázmány Péter Catholic University 2010-2011 and 2016-2017; Hungarian Academy of Sciences 2013-2017), Madrid (Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales, 2008-2010), Liverpool (University of Liverpool, 2006-2008), Nottingham (Nottingham Trent University, 2004-2006) and Heidelberg (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law 2003-2004 and 2011-2016). He held a number of visiting and temporary positions in Milan, Luxemburg, Vienna, Heidelberg and Budapest.
His main research areas are Constitutional Law, European Law, Legal Theory, Comparative Law. His recent publications include European Constitutional Language (as author, Cambridge University Press 2016); The Enforcement of EU Law and Values (as editor, co-editor: Dimitry Kochenov, Oxford University Press 2017); Comparative Constitutional Reasoning (as editor, co-editors: Arthur Dyevre and Giulio Itzcovich, Cambridge University Press 2017).