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  • Author or Editor: Nóra Chronowski x
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Abstract

The paper focuses on the democratic rule of law principle as it appeared in the practice of the Hungarian Constitutional Court under the 1989 Constitution and the 2012 Fundamental Law. The rule of law doctrine had a paramount role in the argumentation of the Court in the 1990s as a normative fact and a programme of the Hungarian state. Under the Fundamental Law introduced in 2012, however, it has been somewhat relegated to the background in case law. The study first recalls the main achievements and characteristics of the democratic rule of law state interpretations of the Constitutional Court and then focuses on developments since the introduction of the Fundamental Law. On the one hand, it outlines the constitutional and institutional capacity of the court regarding the protection of the rule of law principle. On the other hand, it reveals the characteristics of the post-FL interpretation through case studies in the field of legal certainty and judicial independence, both of which were representative elements of the pre-2010 constitutional practice from the point of view of the democratic rule of law state doctrine.

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The article joins the scholarly discussion regarding how the financial crisis affects constitutional adjudication. It is argued that constitutional adjudication is changing in Hungary partly with regard to the financial crisis, because references to the financial crisis are a strong element of the argumentation e.g. in foreign currency loan related cases, but also in the justification of general constitutional changes, in the adoption of certain provisions of the Fundamental Law. The assessment suggests that the instability of constitutional adjudication is also interrelated with the general constitutional crisis in Hungary since 2010. Both factors of the financial crisis and of the constitutional crisis have led to the alteration of former rule of law standards in Hungary also in cases related to the financial crisis, but otherwise as well. The paper composes of two parts, the first explains the deepest financial and constitutional crisis. In the second part, we summarize the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court in foreign currency loan related cases and evaluate the argument of financial crisis in these cases compared to others.

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