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.
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.
In 1879, Hungarian legislators deemed it was time to settle the issue of citizenship once and for all. The moment was not chosen by mere accident, because the previous years had witnessed an upsurge of legislative acts striving to legally settle the question of who should belong to the states of Europe. The bill was discussed and opined by the Naturalization Committee of the Parliament. The most important problems were the naturalization and the absence. The first regulation of Hungarian citizenship according to the contemporary constitutional reforms and legal practice only took place in 1879. It is a major milestone in Hungarian citizenship law, since it also incorporated in its system the cases of acquisition and loss of citizenship. The law contains detailed provisions on how the legal relationship between the citizen and the state could be established and terminated. The objective of the law was to make the system of citizenship clear and transparent.
The Visegrad Group, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, which forms the core of Central and Eastern Europe once more became constitutional and democratic states as a result of the changes of 1989. The global economic and financial crisis that began in 2008 has naturally shaken up the Central European region, but the intensity of its impact varied from country to country. The period between 2008 and 2010 hit Hungary the hardest, which led to the landslide political transformation of 2010. However, the economic and financial crisis that began in 2008 did not in itself lead to a new wave of constitutional legislation in Central Europe. The creation of a new constitutional identity in Hungary with the adoption of the Fundamental Law of 2011 has more to do with the local, specific political, social and perhaps partially legal historical conditions. At this time, the other Visegrad countries can be characterised by maintenance of the constitutional status quo or only partial amendments. It is true that in these countries the turbulence caused by the crisis has not yet lead to a single party or coalition achieving the qualified majority required for constitutional reform. The situation in Poland after 2015 is still open but the new government does not have the necessary majority for the adoption of new constitution. The constitutional amendments adopted after 2008 were only a partial reaction to the great economic and financial crisis. Rather, many amendments were reflections on structural problems that had existed previously or problems arising in the course of day-to-day politics that had not been fully considered previously or they introduced long-debated and still timely changes.
Among new trends, the protective measures applicable to natural assets and waters were introduced in the interest of future generations. These were inserted in a very forceful manner into the Hungarian and Slovakian constitutional systems during the post-crisis period. The reinforcement of such an ecological identity could be interpreted as a positive development. However, the public law documents of the region are also characterised by a certain conservative ‘revolutionary’ mood including the definition of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman; some family law measures aimed at improving demographic conditions and the passages of the Hungarian Fundamental Law concerning a society based on work. The function of constitutional courts is also beginning to be re-evaluated in the region, mainly in Hungary and Poland.
2009, we have had a Supreme Court, created as part of the ConstitutionalReform Act, 2005, and the 12 Justices who sit on the court are now barred from sitting in the House of Lords. Belatedly, therefore, we have taken some steps towards achieving a
Authors:András László Pap and Anna Śledzińska-Simon
effectiveness of a given model of constitutional review. 45
The tactic of the Hungarian government relying on comparative law builds what Kim Lane Scheppele called a ‘Frankenstate’. She rightly observed that ‘[t]he Fidesz constitutional ‘reform’ has
.g., the Roma crisis in France, 55 the corruption issues in Romania and Bulgaria, 56 the Hungarian constitutionalreform, 57 has intensified a discussion on the scope of application of the Art. 7 TEU procedure. The European Commission’s Rule of Law