Orban’s Law

By Vitalij Potnikov

Hungary hasn’t yet become an authoritarian state, but if the Prime Minister wishes so, it will.


Despite warnings from Brussels and other European capitals, opposition and youth protests, and agitated reports in Mass Media, Hungarian Parliament has adopted amendments to the Constitution, turning the country into the most exotic state of the European Union regarding the powers of authorities.


The main innovation is considered as actual limitation of authorities of the Constitutional Court of the country. The Constitutional Court shall acquire the right to review the General Law of the country independently, but this concerns only procedures. But even the Constitutional Court will not be able to decline a law, that gained the support of two third of deputies of the Parliament of Hungary and introduces amendments into the Constitution. Considering, that the Orban’s party has two thirds of deputies in the Parliament, we can easily state that there is no Constitutional Court in the country anymore and Orban can do whatever he wishes. On the eve of the Parliamentary session the ex-President of Hungary László Sólyom in the article for the paper Nepszabadsag noted, that “such majority gains the possibility under the color of reforming of the Constitution to adopt any law even if it absolutely contradicts the other articles of the General Law”. No one listened to the former head of the state as well as the other criticizers although  Sólyom was quite precise characterizing the essence of the reforms in process.


Another important part of the changes was the attack of Viktor Orban against universities, which the Prime Minister perceives as the disseminators of dangerous freethinking and oppositional spirits. The changes shall limit autonomy of the high school establishments and shall oblige the graduates to work for a certain period in the motherland or to reimburse the education cost for the state. The state can now chase homeless people – authorities can ban permanent living in a number of public places. And although homeless people are not considered a priori those violating the law, they can bear responsibility if they live in the “wrong place”. The Constitution purposefully specifies that Hungary gives preference to the traditional model of a family. Other forms of living together are not  prohibited, but a drawn out of the frames of the law – and the case is not only about same-sex unions, but also about not registered marriages and childfree couples, as the General Law says now about “marriage and relations between parents and children” as a national tradition.


It’s easier to deal with unwanted reporters and Mass Media: amendments specify that protection of human dignity of communities can limit the freedom of self-expression, and individuals can appeal to the court on cases of “hatred speeches”, directed to any specific community. The Constitution itself by this shall judge one such “community” – Communists: the amendments introduce a provision, judging communism, although formally this doesn’t expose liability for oppositional Socialistic party – the successor of Hungarian Socialistic Worker’s Party of János Kádár.


Although, it takes time and serious expertise to list every item included into the “Orban Law” and perform thorough legal analysis. Yet one thing is clear: Hungary hasn’t yet become an authoritarian state, but if the Prime Minister wishes so, it will. There are no limiting factors already – unless only the European Union. The European Commission yet till adoption of the amendments warned, that it would undertake legal measures, if the Constitutional amendments in Hungary are adopted. "We need to be sure that our objections are considered. If this doesn’t happen than we have a number of instruments and in case of need we’ll use those instruments, - declared the representative of the European Commission. –We should be sure that the EU member-states follow the laws, which they are liable to follow”.

Now Brussels has to define and get sure, that in cases, if the power has no domestic restrictors, than it is not that simple to influence it from European corridors of anarchy.


Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from politcom.ru