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Photo: “Budapest: Hungarian Parliament“, by Jorge Franganillo licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Kazai, Viktor Zoltan. “The Misuse of the Legislative Process as Part of the Illiberal Toolkit. The Case of Hungary.” The Theory and Practice of Legislation, June 23, 2021.


The Fidesz-KDNP coalition parties were voted into office in 2010 with a two-thirds majority in the unicameral National Assembly, which gave them significant leeway to implement their political agenda smoothly. Nevertheless, the governing coalition, driven by revolutionary zeal, was determined to put in place major legislative reforms as quickly as possible in the face of every opposition. This attitude led to the instrumentalization of parliamentary legislation which manifested itself in an increasing number of serious irregularities of the legislative process. This article argues that the procedural flaws of parliamentary law-making constitute an infringement of the rule of law principle as it is interpreted in the Council of Europe and the European Union. In order to show that the situation is much more serious in Hungary than the criticisms voiced by the European rule of law mechanisms suggest, we analyze all the constitutional review cases in which legislative acts were challenged on procedural grounds after 2010. Finally, we discuss the outcome of the cases adjudicated by the Hungarian Constitutional Court to see which irregularities were found unconstitutional.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.