This article analyses the way of the French Constitutional Council, starting with its famous Association decision in 1971, transformed a brief reference to historical declarations of rights in the thin Preamble of the current French constitution (adopted in 1958) into a wide-ranging judge-made catalogue of fundamental rights. This, combined with two important reforms of the procedure for submissions of statutes to the Constitutional Council for review (in 1974 and 2008), are gradually establishing the Constitutional Council as an important actor in the legislative process and a central body for the protection of human rights in France. The article also briefly explores the scope and limits of this protection. It then discusses recent proposals for amending the Preamble. It analyses the only amendment so far, namely the inclusion of a reference to the Charter for the Environment, which aimed at providing a constitutional basis for the protection of environment, as well as other controversial suggestions, such as those aiming at enabling positive discrimination measures towards minorities, the guarantee of media pluralism, the protection of privacy and personal data and the respect of human dignity. It concludes on the use and misuses of comparative law for constitutional reforms.
The study analyses the potential effects of the Treaty on the Hungarian Constitution and its application by the Hungarian Constitutional Court, and the more general-and at the European Law’s present stage of the development unavoidable-problem of the theoretical analysis of European Law as a branch of law.The study points out that the Hungarian Constitution’s Accession Clause (Article 2/A) has not solved the problem of the primacy of Community Law, as far as the relationship between EU Law and the Hungarian Constitution is concerned, therefore the Constitutional Court encounters a problem that is increasingly difficult to resolve, when facing issues relating to the incompatibility of Hungarian statutes with EU Law. The study criticises some solutions proposed by the Constitutional Treaty (e.g. the institution of “recommendations”-(the present practice of “guidelines” etc.) which is definitely unconstitutional according to the Hungarian Constitution and its application practice by the Constitutional Court. Finally the study complements the problems thus outlined with the fact that the concept of EU Law and its various parts have not been clarified from a dogmatic perspective-the time has come to systematize this enormous material of law, especially when a Constitutional Treaty makes the attempt to summarize the legal fundaments of the unprecedented effort to develop an economic and political integration in Europe.
Velencei Bizottság 614/2011. számú állásfoglalása (CDL-AD(2011)001): European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission): Opinion on Three Legal Questions Arising in the Process of Drafting the New Constitution of Hungary <http
The author deals with an important question of the Hungarian constitutional law, which plays a relevant role during the accession process of a state of the European Union (EU). It means that the question of legal haromization always arises, when a state is going to join the EU. The author focuses on the question, whether the international law-namely the law of the EU-or the national law should be privileged in given cases. The author introduces the possible conflicts between international law and domestic law with the help of several examples. He refers to the numerous solutions of member-states of the EU and also mentions the situation of some would-be member-states, too. The author highlights the point of view that the Community law precedes the constitutions of the member-states. As a result of this the Hungarian constitution has to be modified in order to meet the requirements of the legal harmonization process, which will emerge with the access of Hungary to the EU.
The study analyses the protection of fundamental rights in Hungary. Article 8 paragraph (1) of the Hungarian Constitution is the basis of the protection of fundamental rights. The paper shows how Art. 8 paragraph (1) elvolved and explains how the Constitutional Court formed its content during the almost two decades after the transition. The content of the rule is explained by way of an item-by-item analysis of the terms of this paragraph. The analysis shows that the fact that the protection of fundamental rights is a primary obligation is not merely a declaration, but a regulative principle of constitutional democracy.
In the present manuscript, freshly prepared and also pure chemical grade (BDH) antimony trioxide specimens were investigated. Numerous measurements were carried out on these specimens, comprising chemical, spectral and X-ray analyses, pycnometric and X-ray density measurements and observations of the behaviour of the dielectric constant and dielectric loss factor (∈′ and ∈″) as functions of temperature and frequency. The results obtained gave values of 12.4 and 10 for the dielectric constant for the freshly prepared and commercial antimony trioxide specimens, respectively. The results were compared in correlation with the phase constitution and degree of compactness for both specimens. Finally, the data are discussed on the basis of the interactions of the field frequency and temperature with the electric dipoles and electronic polarization of the test specimens.
The preambles are used in the Czech legal system during the last twenty years rather rarely. Nonetheless, constitutions in the Czechoslovak history as in the Czech history are traditionally introduced by the preambles. As the Czech constitutional system inclines to consist of more constitutional legal acts at the supreme level of the interior legal system, we can found two constitutional preambles in the recent Czech constitutional system. Both top constitutional acts-the Constitution and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms are preceded by their own preamble. The preambles differ as they are focused on different part of constitutional issues. Despite of this obvious fact they are built-up on some features, which are common to both of them. The preambles are characterized by a modest form-their purpose is to explain, why the new chapter of the legal development is opened, and to offer us a common starting line. Nonetheless, they also keep to us a freedom of movement in the new legal period. Their main goal is to connect the people, not to divide, if the constitutional act, which is introduced by them, should be an expression of the common national will.
Contrarily to most traditional accounts on the foundation of the Republic, Dionysius describes the passage from the Tarquins’ monarchy to the Republic as a lawful constitutional reform, in which L. Junius Brutus played a pivotal role. In my paper I analyze the speech that Brutus delivers to the Roman patricians to endorse the establishment of a new government in Rome. The new constitution, although remaining essentially monarchical, will keep its autocratic nature concealed from the people. Throughout this paper, I show how Dionysius in his presentation of Brutus picked up elements both related to the senatorial propaganda against M. Junius Brutus — Caesar’s murderer, who claimed descent from L. Brutus and the tyrannicide Ahala — and, at the same time, the character of Augustus’s newly-founded government. This account may thus be regarded as Dionysius’ own elaboration of Augustus’s constitutional reform.
The Central European countries have been constitutional democracies for two decades. They were created by the political and constitutional transition of 1989, which was based upon the acknowledgment of fundamental rights and the rule of law. Timothy Garton Ash has argued that the peaceful, negotiated regime changes in Central Europe established a new model of non-violent revolution. The year 1989 became the major historical reference point for this kind of change. However, more than twenty years later, in the light of antidemocratic, authoritarian and intolerant tendencies, it is far from clear whether the negotiated revolution is a story of success or failure. This paper first outlines the constitutional and political background of revolutionary transition. It shows that uneasy compromises with members of the ancien régime were an unavoidable part of the peaceful transition. Nevertheless, the achieved constitutional structures and rules do not prevent political communities from realising the full promise of democracy. Second, this analysis attempts to explore, through the use of examples, how the century-old historical circumstances, the social environment, and the commonly failed practice of constitutional institutions interact. The goal of this section is to highlight some of the differences between universal principles and local peculiarities, focusing particularly on the constitutional features of presidential aspirations, the privileges of churches and certain ethnic tensions. The way the authorities apply the constitution is not detached from place and time, since those authorities possess culturally and historically predetermined knowledge and premises. Thus, we can say that antidemocratic, authoritarian and intolerant political and legal tendencies are embedded in the past and present of political communities. Finally, the paper argues that the chances of success of liberal democracies depend significantly on extraconstitutional factors. It seems that Hungary is in a more depressing and dangerous period of its history than for example Poland. The future of Central European constitutional democracies relies on the actions of people in the countries concerned and the commitment of Western societies.