A chapter in the volume The Role of Courts in Contemporary Legal Orders edited by Martin Belov has just been published by Eleven Publishing. “Dissenting Coalitions at the Hungarian Constitutional Court 1990-2018” authored by Kálmán Pócza, Gábor Dobos and Attila Gyulai discusses three phases in the history of the Court through an analysis of dissenting opinions in politically relevant cases and reveals the changing level of polarization among judges.
A classical model of judicial behaviour has been tested by the researchers of the JUDICON-EU project. Kálmán Pócza presented a paper entitled Attitudinal model applied to the judges of the Hungarian Constitutional Court. A refined analysis of judicial behavior from 1990 to 2018 at a conference in Ljubljana.
JUDICON project members presented a paper at the ECPR General Conference in Wroclaw. The paper entitled Institutional Reforms and Judicial-Legislative Relations in Hungary revealed how institutional changes in the competences and composition of the Hungarian Constitutional Court affected the practice of constitutional adjudication after 2010. It was argued that the strength of decisions and judicial coalitions within the court did not change radically despite a right-wing supermajority in parliament and a right-wing majority at the court until court-packing resulted in a majority of new judges elected after 2010. With the already sitting judges marginalized, instead of an institutional logic the attitudinal model can explain judicial decisions.
The book launch of Kálmán Pócza (ed.): Constitutional Politics and the Judiciary. Decision-making in Central and Eastern Europe (London/New York: Routledge, 2019) will be held at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on February 28th. The book and the JUDICON research project will be presented by Kálmán Pócza. At the event, a roundtable about constitutional courts in Central Europe will include Renáta Uitz (CEU), Zoltán Pozsár-Szentmiklósy (ELTE) and Botond Bitskey (secretary general of the Hungarian Constitutional Court).
Constitutional Politics and the Judiciary: Decision-making in Central and Eastern Europe (edited by Kálmán Pócza) was released on 28th November 2018 at Routledge. The volume uses the methodology and database of JUDICON project.
Recent confrontations between constitutional courts and parliamentary majorities, for example in Poland and Hungary, have attracted international interest in the relationship between the judiciary and the legislature in Central and Eastern European countries. Several political actors have argued that courts have assumed too much power after the democratic transformation process in 1989/1990. These claims are explicitly or implicitly connected to the charge that courts have constrained the room for manoeuvre of the legislatures too heavily and that they have entered the field of politics. Nevertheless, the question to what extent this aggregation of power has constrained the dominant political actors has never been examined accurately and systematically in the literature. The present volume fills this gap by applying an innovative research methodology to quantify the impact and effect of courts’ decisions on legislation and legislators, and to measure the strength of judicial decisions in six CEE countries.
A comprehensive volume using the JUDICON methodology and database will be published this autumn at Routledge. The book ‘Constitutional Politics and the Judiciary: Decision-making in Central and Eastern Europe’ edited by Kálmán Pócza includes a detailed description of the approach adopted by the project as well as studies on the practice of the constitutional court of the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. For the full table of contents and pre-order options please, visit the site of the publisher.
Four papers were presented in Law and Courts section of the 2018 ECPR General Conference in Hamburg, Germany. The panel, titled Politics and Courts in Central Europe, included presentations based on research by the JUDICON project: 1. Attitudinal Model Applied to the Hungarian Constitutional Court. A Refined Analysis of Judicial Behavior from 1990 to 2015 (Kálmán Pócza and Gábor Dobos); 2. Politically Salient Issues before the Hungarian Constitutional Court. An Empirical Analysis 1990-2015 (Attila Gyulai and Kálmán Pócza); 3. Powerful Court Decisions. The Case of the German Constitutional Court (Oliver W. Lembcke); 4. Safeguarding the Democracy from Inside: The Story of the Constitutional Court and the Parliament in Czechia (Katarína Šipulová)
The paper of Eric Láštic and Max Steuer was accepted for presentation at the IPSA World Congress in Brisbane, Australia (July 21-25, 2018). The paper uses the methodology and dataset generated within the JUDICON project that allow to identify how the Slovak Constitutional Court has positioned itself vis-à-vis changing legislative majorities between 1993-2015 and whether there has been a period in which it used its legislating capacities beyond the average standard.
The article “How to measure the strength of judicial decisions?” (pdf) by Kálmán Pócza, Gábor Dobos, and Attila Gyulai has been published in the German Law Journal, Volume 18, No. 6.
A paper discussing the methodological framework as well as the analysis of initial Hungarian data has been accepted for publication in the German Law Journal. The paper titled “How to measure the strength of judicial decisions?” written by Kálmán Pócza, Gábor Dobos, and Attila Gyulai covers the approach elaborated by the JUDICON project.