Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law

Miscellaneous

Constitutional Rights in the Time of Pandemic

The Experience of Hungary

Keywords state of emergency, emergency powers, restriction of fundamental rights, Fundamental Law, Constitutional Court of Hungary
Authors Lóránt Csink
Author's information

Lóránt Csink
Lóránt Csink: associate professor of law, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest; counselor, Constitutional Court of Hungary, Budapest.
  • Abstract

      Special circumstances may require special measures. This article is to highlight the importance of constitutional rights, also in the time of a pandemic. Its hypothesis is that constitutional rights are not luxuries one can only afford in peacetime, they are much rather at the core of civilization and democracy. History shows that a world without rights may easily turn into a nightmare. The article first focuses on the Hungarian constitutional basis of the state of emergency (Section 2). Next, it analyses the text of the constitution with respect to the limitation of fundamental rights and elaborates on the various interpretations through the lens of the case-law of the Constitutional Court (Sections 3-4). Finally, the article concludes that despite the rigid wording of the Hungarian Fundamental Law, constitutional rights can be restricted only if the restriction meets the necessity-proportionality test (Section 5)

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