Constitution for a Disunited Nation

More than two decades after the post-communist constitutional transition, Hungary got into the spotlight again. As a result of the 2010 elections, the governing majority gained two-thirds of the seats in parliament, which made constitutional revision exceptionally easy, bypassing extensive political and social deliberations. In April 2011, on the first anniversary of the 2010 election, a brand new constitution was promulgated, named the Fundamental Law.

This collection (pdf) edited by Gábor Attila Tóth is the most comprehensive account of the Fundamental Law and its underlying principles. The objective is to analyze this constitutional transition from the perspectives of comparative constitutional law, legal theory and political philosophy. The authors outline and analyze how the current constitutional changes are altering the basic structure of the Hungarian State. The key concepts of the theoretical inquiry are sociological and normative legitimacy, majoritarian and partnership approach to democracy, procedural and substantive elements of constitutionalism. Changes are also examined in the field of human rights, focusing on the principles of equality, dignity, and civil liberties.

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“Constitutionalism as a democratic practice to safeguard human rights can never be taken for granted. This book takes constitutionalism seriously – it is a guiding light for Hungary and beyond, and a forceful, enlightened intervention in complicated political times” – Susanne Baer, Justice, Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

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