Special legal order was terminated in Hungary as of 18 June 2020, and so, formally, the Government’s extraordinary powers were withdrawn as well. With the termination of the state of danger, the much-criticized1 Authorization Act2 was repealed, along with the close to 150 government decrees that were adopted under the state of danger. However, we cannot bid farewell to the notion of the Government ruling by decree even now, after the ordinary operation of the legal order have been restored, since the Government has preserved important elements of its extraordinary powers also for the ordinary legal order, with a reference to the state of “epidemiological preparedness”. Furthermore, even though the government decrees that were issued under the state of danger, partly using the powers granted by the Authorization Act, were repealed as well, the Government ensured that many of the provisions originally included in these decrees continue to apply. Thus, the nature of exercising political power, namely using, abusing and amending legal rules and various legal institutions with the aim of constantly widening the powers of the executive branch, will not change in the upcoming months, but will simply be exercised within a new legal framework, with reference to the “epidemiological preparedness”. This continuity is ensured by the Transitional Act, 3 adopted by the Parliament on 16 June.
The joint analysis by Amnesty International Hungary, the Eötvös Károly Institute, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union is available below: