The newest judge of the Hungarian constitutional court: A man jointly supported by Fidesz and Jobbik

You may recall that Viktor Orbán “packed” the Constitutional Court in July 2011. He nominated and parliament approved four new judges, increasing the size of the court from eleven to fifteen. Since then there was another Fidesz-KDNP appointee, László Salamon, who replaced Mihály Bihari who had to retire because he reached the age of seventy. László Salamon prior to his appointment was a KDNP member of parliament. So much for even the semblance of impartiality and independence. Another sitting judge, András Holló, will turn seventy in April, which provided an opportunity to further tip the Constitutional Court in Orbán’s favor.

The earlier Orbán appointments were criticized because the appointees didn’t have the necessary qualifications. Moreover, it was clear that these people were fully committed to the current government. Indeed, for the most part these four new judges have voted as a bloc in favor of the government’s position.

Imre Juhász / MTI, Photo László Beliczay

Imre Juhász / MTI, Photo László Beliczay

The new appointment, announced on March 19 and voted on the next day, is perhaps the most unacceptable of all. It looks as if Fidesz-KDNP and Jobbik struck a deal to appoint Imre Juhász, who is considered to be close to Jobbik. Here are some headlines that tell a lot about the general perception: “The right hand of Krisztina Morvai will be the new judge of the Constitutional Court,” “Fidesz and Jobbik made a deal,” “Imre Juhász is only a gesture to Jobbik.”

So, who is this Imre Juhász? Yes, he has a law degree. Shortly after graduation in 1986 he started teaching civil procedure at his alma mater, ELTE’s law school. First as a T.A. and from 1992 on as an assistant professor and later as an associate professor. Eventually he received a doctorate in law.

He became well known not because of his teaching activities but because he was one of the founding members of the Civic Legal Committee (Civil Jogász Bizottság). The committee’s shining light was Krisztina Morvai, who later became a prominent member of Jobbik and today serves as one of the party’s members of the European Parliament. I might add that the second star of this committee was Zoltán Balog, currently minister in charge of education, health, culture, sports and everything else under the sun. This unofficial far-right “committee” was set up to investigate the events of the September-October 2006 riots, especially the activities of the police. There was also an official investigating committee comprised of former police chiefs, sociologists, lawyers, and historians under the leadership of Katalin Gönczöl (Gönczöl Bizottság) that arrived at a critical but balanced assessment of the events.

Not so Morvai’s committee, whose seemingly sole purpose was to assist Viktor Orbán in discrediting Ferenc Gyurcsány and his government. I must say that they were very successful. They managed by repeated and noisy accusations to falsify the history of those days. Moreover, by now most people, including liberals and socialists who ought to know better, swear that there was a concerted police attack on innocent bystanders.

Balog already received his much deserved reward for services rendered. He is one of the most powerful ministers in Orbán’s government and perhaps the closest to the prime minister. Since Krisztina Morvai joined Jobbik, she cannot be openly supported by the present government, but surely Viktor Orbán must be grateful to her for the terrific job she did. The book the committee published was translated into English, and I understand that it was one of the two books Gergely Gulyás handed to Senator Ben Cardin at the U.S. Helsinki Commission’s hearing the other day. And now Imre Juhász receives a top job from the grateful Viktor Orbán.

MSZP, DK, and PM (Párbeszéd Magyarországért) boycotted the parliamentary committee that considered Juhász’s nomination. Only Fidesz, KDNP, and Jobbik MPs were present, and they enthusiastically endorsed Juhász. Tamás Gaudi-Nagy (Jobbik) explained that his party didn’t have an official candidate, but they can heartily endorse Juhász. Indeed, it would have been strange if they didn’t.

From what Juhász said in his hearing before the committee, we can have no doubt that he will be an obliging appointee. He doesn’t have any problems with the new restrictions on the constitutional court. If earlier decisions cannot be used, no problem. One must follow the new constitution without considering any legal renderings of the past. He also seems to be enamored with the “historical constitution,” which should receive much greater emphasis than it does currently. As far as the limits of the constitutional court are concerned, Juhász endorses the absolute supremacy of parliament. As we know from Kim Scheppele’s argument, this means the elimination of checks and balances and can lead to tyranny. He talked about his plans to defend the rights of Hungarians in the neighboring countries, something that I find difficult to comprehend. He as a member of the Hungarian Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction across borders. If Juhász actually means what he said to the committee, we may well be faced with a lot of unpleasantness between the Hungarian government and its neighbors.

Another hobbyhorse of Juhász is the repeal of the so-called Beneš doctrine. In his curriculum vitae Juhász called attention to his efforts when he referred to the two petitions he delivered to the European Parliament. The first in 2007 and the second in 2012. He handed in the more recent one jointly with Alida Hahn-Seidl, the representative of the Hunnia Baráti Kör (Hunnia Fraternity).

Gergely Bárándy, MSZP’s legal expert, called the nomination a hoax (kutyakomédia) in which his party will not participate. Gergely Karácsony announced that PM members will not pick up their ballots. DK announced the boycott even earlier. So, when it came to the final tally there were only 298 members present, of whom 286 members voted for Juhász and 12 voted against him. As far as I know, LMP remained in the chamber. And, by the way, over the weekend LMP decided that they will not negotiate with Gordon Bajnai’s Együtt 14 or any other opposition party.

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rossz rossz rossz
Guest

Re: Antikrisztinia Morvay – will she be expelled from rosszik? Some race problems? Or she is already out of the rosszik?
Is Juhasz arian+? He must show his truth certificate!

Pujol
Guest
Orbán not only increased the number of judges from 11 to 15, but in addition when Orbán took over 2 places were unfillled so Orbán actually appointed 6 judges in the first round and now two further (including most recently Juhász) as two older judges left. This means that out of the 15 members 8 were hand picked by Orbán himself. Out of the remaining 7, 4 are reliable conservatives though arguably somewhat less partizan than the 8 new members, still they are conservative and so altogether there are 3 left-leaning judges. (from the 15). You can bet your life on it that should there ever be an opposition government (with less than 2/3s) it would be shred pretty soon. These judges (the majority for sure) are not judges in the traditional sense, that is also something foreigners may not get. They are puppets who consult with their politician friends (taskmasters) regularly, they are there only to serve the cause. In other words all those opposition people defending the constitutional court: they are effectively defending a Fidesz-packed second chamber. This court should be abolished and recreated with other, independent members, because an opposition government and indeed the people of Hungary… Read more »
Pujol
Guest

I would not waste too much time on LMP — although Fidesz may give them money and resources, so that LMP can participate in the elections – solely – to take away votes from Bajnai/MSZP. LMP would accept all these and would be too naive to realise that it has been used (although Schiffer may even get a mandate from Fidesz).

Otherwise, LMP is finished. Finito. There is no way they can survive the new election system.

Member

The Fidesz parliament made a new, “exceptionally urgent” law, submitted only on March 25, and accepted on March 26 that makes it legal for Fidesz employees to go to every home in the country and ask people to sign up to support Fidesz initiatives.

http://www.parlament.hu/irom39/10520/10520.pdf

If you refuse to sign, they can put you on a negative list and there is a good chance that they will discriminate against you in the future.

The Fidesz appointed database ombudsman Peterfalvy said a week ago that this would not be right, but now he changed his mind.

http://www.nepszava.hu/articles/article.php?id=632972&referer_id=toplist

http://fsp.nolblog.hu/archives/2013/03/26/Peterfalvi_hazrol_hazra_aggodik/

The Fidesz state is not only a dictatorship, but it is becoming a totalitarian state!

Member

To understand the absolute rubber stamp nature of the current Hungarian Parliament, and the complete elimination of any democratic debate, look at the timetable:

Bill submitted at 2:01 PM on March 25, 2013
Bill made law at 9:38 AM on March 26, 2013

http://parlament.hu/internet/plsql/ogy_irom.irom_adat?p_ckl=39&p_izon=10520

petofi
Guest

Talk about Democracy not being ‘exportable’! There are many examples of that (Russia is a case in point) but no one country has shown the sheer un-fitness for it that Hungary has exhibited.
Its 20 years of democracy was shredded in record time as people reverted to the cheating, lying, back-stabbing that Hungarians knew so well (and were so comfortable with) during the 45 years of communism.

Fact is, there is no temper or understanding for ‘accommodation’ which is a prerequisite for democratic processes to work.
The Hungarian experience is ‘screw before you are screwed’.
For such folk, Machiavelli had it right–a Prince, or the modern
version, a dictator.

petofi
Guest

Culture and Orbanizmus

We went to the MUPA for Handel’s Messiah–an English piece with English soloists.
So here’s what the program looked like:
— 9 pages of Hungarian text of explanation and interviews with a 1 page summary in English tagged on at the end. God forbid that equal space be given to ‘foreigners’!
If that isn’t disgusting then I don’t know what is.

Of course, noting that floor tickets were selling for 12,500 HUF, it
took no great detective powers to suspect that mostly Fideszers–cultured, connected, Catholic and with dispensable income galore–would make up the majority of the sophisticate crowd.

Talk about ‘pearls before swine’…

Nick
Guest

Mr Petöfi, I think you are being a little unreasonable expecting the program to be half in English. This is Hungary after all and the local language is Hungarian.

Guest

Győr Calling!

Petofi! Thanks for looking after and defending the English! But I assume that the Messiah was sung in the original English? – Even though Handel was German (but the original Anglophile!).

I would not have expected special treatment as a visitor, more than, say, German or Italian visitors.

12,500 HUF (£35) does seem expensive if by ‘floor’ tickets you mean standing? At the ‘Proms’ at the Albert Hall, for example the ‘prommers’ get tickets for £5 (1,750 HUF) – and a truly international program. I assume you have seen the fun of the ‘Last Night of the Proms’?

Must have been a great event nevertheless.

And imagine Messiah in Hungarian!!

(What’s ‘Alleyluya’ in Hungarian?)

Regards

Charlie

Guest

Győr Calling!

Pujol! Just like to say Hello!

I’ve not read you before under this name – but your contributions are very perspicacious!

Thanks!

Regards

Charlie

Member

The background of the propaganda campaign of “Fidesz reduces the electricity,gas and heating prices” is explained here:

http://index.hu/belfold/2013/03/27/rezsicsok/

Zsuzsánna Formanekné Nagy
Guest

Az LMP létrejöttét igazán senki nem tudja, csak az a pár ember, aki megalapította. Nekem elég gyanús, hogy tevékenységük eredménye valahogy mindig a fideszt segítik. Schifferről az a véleményem, hogy -bár kiállt a családja mellett-, szégyenli baloldaliságukat és mindent megtesz annak érdekében, hogy minél távolabb kerüljön a baloldaltól. A Fidesznek szüksége van rájuk, mert az ellenzéket bomlasztja. Ha ne adj Isten a fidesz nyer, az LMP, mint, Kisgazdák, MDF teljesen el fog tűnni.

Combo
Guest
Tappanch: note that Bajnai also realised that as much as high intellectuals and western gentlemen hate “populism”, people love it and it works (and they elect), hence “the egg is 28 (under Bajnai) vs. 45, the rest is bullshit” campaign. Orbán like all politicians don’t care about the future, it is the time of the unknown (it is exactly in politcs where you can never tell the future), the now needs to be won and then we figure out later. If a politician is too ‘orward-looking’ (meaning does not care about the present problems of the people) he will not be rewarded. Fidesz will do anything to get reelected, this utility campaign is only the beginning, if it does not work, they will settle on some other sector. But if they get such hype articles as the linked Index article that also increases their triumph, for it is not the actual utility fee decrease that matters but rather that fact that more and more people think that Fidesz is doing well and is doing something right (and in that these articles help a lot) and the oppoistion has no ideas. The preception is what matters, as that is actualy reality… Read more »
Leftist origins of National Socialism
Guest
Leftist origins of National Socialism
Once and for all: The leftist origins of National Socialism The debate about where Nazism should be placed on the political spectrum has enjoyed a renaissance of late. The answer is so obvious that we really needn’t have bothered. Okay, let’s pause for a minute, note the above title, and have a collective ‘face palm’ over how absurd it is that this article even needs to be written in the first place. But it does. This debate has never gone away of course; but recent weeks have been something of a renaissance – largely thanks to the bizarre suspension (and eventual – and sensible – reinstatement) of Dr. Rachel Frosh from the Conservative Party candidate list due to a retweet linking Nazism to socialism. This rather embarrassing affair is in fact a sad and clear indictment that the words ‘never again’ are little more than a hollow slogan. For if we refuse to accept, and more importantly challenge, the ideological origins of a movement that culminated in the systematic murder of millions of innocent human beings, there is absolutely no way we can prevent the same from happening again. The easiest way of proving that the origins of Nazism are… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Nick :
Mr Petöfi, I think you are being a little unreasonable expecting the program to be half in English. This is Hungary after all and the local language is Hungarian.

Wrong.
Of course, you are Hungarian and you wouldn’t understand courtesy and such ‘western’ notions, huh? It wouldn’t occur
to you that the many westerners speak English rather than the Turul language of Hungarian. Courtesy dictates that you pass on to these ticket buyers the same information you give to ‘superior’
Hungarian concert goers.

The local language is ‘moronic discourtesy’ raised to the power of n.

KisKlambiobio
Guest

And how does the previous comment has anything to do with the topic?

(Please don’t answer).

I certainly don’t want to read such comments when the topic is about a current event, that is the election of partizan (Jobbik-leaning) judges to the Hungarian constitutional court.

KisKlambiobio
Guest

Obviously I meant that long comment from Leftist origins.

petofi
Guest

CharlieH :
Győr Calling!
Petofi! Thanks for looking after and defending the English! But I assume that the Messiah was sung in the original English? – Even though Handel was German (but the original Anglophile!).
I would not have expected special treatment as a visitor, more than, say, German or Italian visitors.
12,500 HUF (£35) does seem expensive if by ‘floor’ tickets you mean standing? At the ‘Proms’ at the Albert Hall, for example the ‘prommers’ get tickets for £5 (1,750 HUF) – and a truly international program. I assume you have seen the fun of the ‘Last Night of the Proms’?
Must have been a great event nevertheless.
And imagine Messiah in Hungarian!!
(What’s ‘Alleyluya’ in Hungarian?)
Regards
Charlie

Aw c’mon, Charlie, don’t toddy to Hungarians–they don’t respect it and consider it signs of weakness.
The fact is that the oratorio was in English, the soloists were English (at least 2 of them) and the ‘language of modern travel’ is English. So, not the same category as German or Italian, if you please. In this instance, courtesy and decency demanded that the program, if bilingual, should be of equal length…

Member

For the record:

Foreign reserves of the Hungarian National Bank at the time of Chairman Simor’s departure, on 02-28-2013:

35,896.8 billion euros

National debt of Hungary on 02-28-2013

32,414.3 billion euros in foreign currency and an additional
41,810.7 billion euros in Hungarian forints

Pete H.
Guest

@Petofi, we know you don’t like Hungarians and believe they are inferior. But you are being unreasonable when you start looking for evidence of your belief in a concert program flyer.

@ Leftist origins of National Socialism, a link to Ed Kozak’s confused attempt to link progressivism and nazism would have been more than sufficient. And if you do cherish property rights and all things traditional, why no attribution for your cut and paste “comment”?

petofi
Guest
Leftist origins of National Socialism : Once and for all: The leftist origins of National Socialism The debate about where Nazism should be placed on the political spectrum has enjoyed a renaissance of late. The answer is so obvious that we really needn’t have bothered. Okay, let’s pause for a minute, note the above title, and have a collective ‘face palm’ over how absurd it is that this article even needs to be written in the first place. But it does. This debate has never gone away of course; but recent weeks have been something of a renaissance – largely thanks to the bizarre suspension (and eventual – and sensible – reinstatement) of Dr. Rachel Frosh from the Conservative Party candidate list due to a retweet linking Nazism to socialism. This rather embarrassing affair is in fact a sad and clear indictment that the words ‘never again’ are little more than a hollow slogan. For if we refuse to accept, and more importantly challenge, the ideological origins of a movement that culminated in the systematic murder of millions of innocent human beings, there is absolutely no way we can prevent the same from happening again. The easiest way of proving… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Pete H. :
@Petofi, we know you don’t like Hungarians and believe they are inferior. But you are being unreasonable when you start looking for evidence of your belief in a concert program flyer.
@ Leftist origins of National Socialism, a link to Ed Kozak’s confused attempt to link progressivism and nazism would have been more than sufficient. And if you do cherish property rights and all things traditional, why no attribution for your cut and paste “comment”?

Who can like these ‘gutless sheep’ who tolerate the destruction of their country for some gobbledygook nonsense of Nationalism and Populism. A people without morals, decency, or intelligence.
And I’m a Hungarian saying this!

petofi
Guest

tappanch :
For the record:
Foreign reserves of the Hungarian National Bank at the time of Chairman Simor’s departure, on 02-28-2013:
35,896.8 billion euros
National debt of Hungary on 02-28-2013
32,414.3 billion euros in foreign currency and an additional
41,810.7 billion euros in Hungarian forints

Well, Cyprus, here we come; it shouldn’t be long now.
And then mother Russia can come and save us.
Get out your Stalin pictures; they’ll be going back on the walls
in the classrooms of the nation (with a little Putin jobby beside it.)

Member

Left and right are one-dimensional terms.

But Fidesz is against equality in every dimension:

income [flat tax]
economic rights [new labor laws]
individual legal and human rights [abolished constitution]

I would not call this a left-wing agenda!

Pete H.
Guest

petofi :
Hats of to this guy, whoever he is. This is marvelous stuff–clear,
concise. I feel like I got a magical entree into the mind of a brilliant political philosopher.
More, please.

Seriously? You are joking, right? It is full of historical inaccuracies, false equivalencies, and strained historical links. The writer sounds more like a monarchist than a traditional conservative. What a wonderful world it would be if we all lived under Christian monarchies.

petofi
Guest
Pete H. : petofi : Hats of to this guy, whoever he is. This is marvelous stuff–clear, concise. I feel like I got a magical entree into the mind of a brilliant political philosopher. More, please. Seriously? You are joking, right? It is full of historical inaccuracies, false equivalencies, and strained historical links. The writer sounds more like a monarchist than a traditional conservative. What a wonderful world it would be if we all lived under Christian monarchies. Actually, one of my few sans-irony comments: I was/am impressed. It made sense to me. As for Christian monarchies, what’s wrong with them? Far better than democracy for people who haven’t the faintest notion of the responsibilities it entails; or, are prepared to live up to those responsibilities. Democracy is a delicate creature. You need advanced societies to attempt it and even then it can be perverted by interest groups and highly paid lobbyists, as it is in the States. Still, it’s the way of progress, and as Churchill once said, it’s a lousy system but the best of the lot. All in all, I’d rather live in the US than in Russia. As for Hungary, it’s a toss-up between it and… Read more »
Guest

It seems to me that the (irrelevant) comment by Mr/Ms Leftist Origins is based on the false assumption that Left and Right are extremes of the political spectrum. The political spectrum has no extremes. It is a circle.

Guest

Győr Calling!

Zsuzsánna Formanekné Nagy for once Google translate was more understandable and I think I got the sense of what your are saying!

“LMP is established no one really knows just the few people who founded. I’m rather suspicious of their activities somehow the result of help to Fidesz. Schifferről it is my opinion that, while he stood next to his family, baloldaliságukat ashamed and will do everything in order to get farther away from the left. The Fidesz needs them, because it disrupts the opposition. God forbid if Fidesz wins the LMP as, Smallholders, MDF will disappear completely.”

Regards

Charlie

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