Zoltán Pozsár-SzentmiklósyEötvös Loránd University

Search for other papers by Zoltán Pozsár-Szentmiklósy in
Current site
Google Scholar
View More View Less
Full access

This paper focuses on the principle of proportionality as a unique technique used in arguing judicial decisions dealing with fundamental rights disputes. I will contest that the principle of proportionality offers fixed steps of examination and makes the thought process of the court transparent. With this approach, conflicts of fundamental rights cannot be handled as zero-sum games, but as disputes in which it is possible to find a fair balance. Furthermore, the principle of proportionality offers a plausible method of controlling the quality of judicial decisions. The function of the principle of proportionality can be identified from different perspectives. Its formal function is to promote a valid and proper judgment. However, after closer examination one can argue that the formal function of the method is to support (a) the justifiability of the decision, (b) the correctness of the legal interpretation, and (c) the transparency of the arguments used. Besides, there are convincing arguments that the principle of proportionality has also an important substantive function in (a) offering more effective protection for human rights, (b) deepening the values of the rule of law, and (c) strengthening the democratic character of the decision-making process by the verifiability of the judicial argumentation.

  • Alexy, R. , A Theory of Constitutional Rights (Julian Rivers tr, OUP 2010).

  • Barak, A. , Proportionality. Constitutional Rights and Their Limitations (Doron Kalir tr, CUP 2012).

  • Beatty, D. , The Ultimate Rule of Law (OUP 2004).

  • Hogg, P. W. , Constitutional Law of Canada. 2009 Student Edition (Carswell 2009).

  • Klatt, M. and Meister, M., ‘Proportionality - A Benefit to Human Rights? Remarks on the I·CON Controversy’ (2012) 3 International Journal of Constitutional Law 687708.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Letsas, G. , A Theory of Interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights (OUP 2007).

  • Maes, E. , ‘Constitutional Democracy, Constitutional Interpretation and Conflicting Rights’ in E Brems (ed), Conflicts Between Fundamental Rights (Intersentia 2008) 69100.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robertson, D. , The Judge as Political Theorist: Contemporary Constitutional Review (Princeton University Press 2010).

  • Schlink, B. , ‘Proportionality (1)’ in M Rosenfeld and A Sajó (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law (OUP 2012).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schyff, G. van der, Limitation of Rights. A Study of the European Convention and the South African Bill of Rights (Wolf Legal 2005).

  • Sólyom, L. , ‘To the Tenth Anniversary of Constitutional Review’ in G Halmai (ed), The Constitution Found? The First Nine Years of Hungarian Constitutional Review on Fundamental Rights (INDOK 2000) 2147.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Šušnjar, D. , Proportionality, Fundamental Rights, and Balance of Powers (Martinus Nijhoff 2010).

  • Tsakyrakis, S. , ‘Proportionality: An Assault on Human Rights?’ (2009) 7 International Journal of Constitutional Law 468493.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

The author instruction is available in PDF.

Please, download the file from HERE

Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Éva Jakab

Viktor Lőrincz,
Fruzsina Orosz

Samanatha Cheesman,
Zsuzsa Fejes,
Attila Kun,
Gábor Sulyok,
Márton Varju

Editorial Board

    1. Attila Badó
    1. Myátyás Bódig (Aberdeen)
    1. Zoltán Csehi
    1. Péter Cserne (Hull)
    1. Balázs Gellér
    1. András Jakab
    1. Miklós Király
    1. György Kiss
    1. Jan Kudrna (Praha)
    1. Herbert Küpper (Regensburg)
    1. Konrad Lachmayer (Durham)
    1. Andzrej Stanisław Mączyński (Kraków)
    1. Guido Pfeifer (Frankfurt am Main)
    1. Miklós Szabó
    1. Zoltán Szente
    1. G.J.J. Heerma van Voss (Leiden)
    1. Bernd Waas (Frankfurt am Main)
    1. Fryderyk Zoll (Osnabrück)

Advisory Board

    1. Péter Erdő
    1. Gábor Hamza
    1. Attila Harmathy
    1. László Kecskés
    1. Tibor Király
    1. László Korinek
    1. László Sólyom
    1. Lajos Vékás
    1. Imre Vörös

Acta Juridica Hungarica
P.O. Box 25
HU–1250 Budapest,Hungary
Phone: (36 1) 355 7384
Fax. (36 1) 375 7858

  Indexing and Abstracting Services:

  • Information technology and the Law
  • International Bibliographies IBZ and IBR
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstractss
  • Translation Studies Abstracts
  • Cabell's Directories
  • HeinOnline


Acta Juridica Hungarica
Language English
Year of
changed title
per Year
per Year
Founder Magyar Tudományos Akadémia  
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1216-2574 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2616 (Online)