55 Acta Jur. Hng. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/ajur55 and id is 1 raw text is: 

1216-2574/USD 20.00                              ACTA JURIDICA HUNGARICA 55, No 1, pp. 1-20 (2014)
 2014 Akademiai Kiad6, Budapest                                 DOI  10.1556AJur55.2014.1.1

                   The Constitutional Landscape after
          the  Fourth and Fifth Amendments of Hungarian
                               Fundamental Law*

                                       IMRE  VOROS

Abstract. The essay analyses the fourth and fifth amendments of the Hungarian Fundamental Law with special
respect to the opinion of the Venice Commission and the resolution of the European Parliament. It will be pointed
out that the fourth amendment transferred several legal regulations into the Fundamental Law which were
previously qualified as unconstitutional by the Hungarian Constitutional Court. The Fundamental Law contains at
the same time the declaration of a fundamental right and the unconstitutional limitation of it by the latter regulation.
The inconsistency is evident, therefore the Constitutional Court has to choose in the future between the
contradictory constitutional regulations. A possibility to solve this dilemma could be the separation of the legal
norms of the constitution as lex generalis (e.g. rule of law, human dignity) and lex specialis which could not
derogate the lex generalis, and cannot be applied accordingly.

Keywords: amendment of the constitution, constitutionalism, democracy, Constitutional Court, in consistency of
the constitution, limitation of fundamental rights, Venice Commission


                             INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

1. In terms of Hungarian  constitutional law and the public law system, 2013 seemed  to be
as eventful as the previous three years of the country, which had brought radical changes in
the constitutional system. The Fourth  Amendment of Fundamental Law (Vincze 2012) -
passed on  March  25, 2013 - was  reviewed  by a Constitutional Court decision on May  24,
2013, which  was  quickly followed  by the Opinion  of the Venice Commission   on  June 17
and  lastly the European Parliament  passed  a Resolution on  the situation of fundamental
rights: standards and practices in Hungary  (July 3, 2013).1 Then  in September  2013, the
Fifth Amendment   of Fundamental  Law  was  passed, only six months after the Fourth.
     2. It is of no coincidence that the situation of Hungarian constitutionality is within the
focus of the  European  Council  and European   Parliament again: now   the time is ripe to

       This article was founded by Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung.
     1 12/2013 (V 24) AB decision (May 21, 2013); Opinion 720/2013 (17 June 2013) on the Fourth
Amendment   to the Fundamental Law of Hungary. Adopted by  the Venice Commission at its 95th
Plenary Session (Venice, 14-15 June 2013). <<http://www.venice.coe.int/WebForms/documents/by
opinion.aspx>>; European Parliament resolution of 3 July 2013 on the situation of fundamental rights:
standards and practices in Hungary (pursuant to the European Parliament resolution of 16 February
2012)    <<http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2013-

Imre VOROS, Member  of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest)
(Received: 30.09.2013; revision received: 15.11.2013; accepted: 24.01.2014)

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