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Treating people as equals is one of the main aims of constitutional democracies. Numerous examples prove the adverse effects if a state violates the equality principles relating to ethnic minorities and religious groups. Here is a lesson from Hungary. The Hungarian Constitutional Court (hereinafter: HCC) is not engaged in adjudicating concrete ‘cases and controversies’, but seemingly reviews the constitutionality of laws. The Constitution lays down the fundamental tenets relating to religious groups, churches, ethnic minorities and the principles of equality in general. Thus, the question is how the problems of religions and minorities are reflected in the constitutional case-law.The main theses of this article are following. First, based on historical facts the HCC provides preferential treatment for so-called historical churches. Second, in cases involving Roma the HCC does not consider the historical facts and social reality thus, the discrimination of Roma does not appear in the jurisprudence. Third, the unequal protection of churches and Roma by the state results in advantages being provided where the constitutional reasons of preferential treatment are absent while the state remains inactive where the promotion of the principles of equality would be most necessary.

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Abstract

Making a costly apology or inflicting self-punishment after an unintentional transgression can serve as a costly signal of the transgressor's benign intention. In the present research, after an unintentional transgression (i.e., unequal resource allocation between themselves and a partner), participants were provided with an opportunity to send an apology message to their partner (in Experiments 1 and 2) or to privately deduct some amount from their own reward (in Experiments 2 and 3). Across these experiments, approximately half of the participants indicated their willingness to incur some cost to produce these costly signals. In Experiment 1, neither history nor expectation of interaction with a partner altered the frequency of a costly apology. In Experiment 2, despite explicit instructions that their partner would not be informed whether they had inflicted the self-punishment, the frequency of self-punishment was approximately equal to that of a costly apology. These results suggest that the two types of costly signal were not solely directed at the victim. Experiment 3 revealed that these costly signallers endorsed the equality principle more than the non-signallers. This result is consistent with the idea that the two forms of costly signals serve to protect the signaller's reputation as a fair person.

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