Your Guide to the Fourth Amendment

2013. március 27. 10:59
Hugó Fekete
Paprika Politik
Lately, prestigious academics, policy-makers, and NGOs from around the world have expressed their concerns about the state of Hungarian democracy, especially when it comes to the new constitution.

"Most recently, the passage of the fourth amendment to the Basic Law has stirred controversy. It was conceived in particularly inauspicious circumstances. The Constitutional Court, even deprived of itsactio popularis powers, has recently managed to deliver several extremely uncomfortable decisions for the government on controversial issues like voter registration and the regulation of churches. But certainly, its most important decision was the annulment of the transitional regulations of the fundamental law [45/2012. (XII. 29) AB decision]. Perhaps it would not be too daring to call this the “Rubicon-decision,” signaling clearly that the Constitutional Court considers itself only bound by the constitution, not by deference to the Parliament.  But the annulled transitional provisions – supposedly having constitutional power – were substantial and long-term constitutional provisions indeed, which is the reason why the Court annulled them. Parliament’s newest amendment mostly tries to codify these substantive regulations in the fundamental law rather than leave them as ill-defined legislative creations.

Most of the twenty-two articles of the Fourth Amendment contain verbatim versions of the former transitional provisions. Naturally the very necessity of these new regulations will be questioned along with the motives of Parliament, which failed to put them into the constitution in the first place. One must wonder why that happened. For now, however, the provisions are safe, exempt from immediate annulment or frivolous attack. So let us turn our focus to the particular provisions. (...)

Finally, for those who think the Fundamental Law is being abused as a playground for petty party politics, I direct you again to America. When I first saw the constitution of the great state of Florida, the Sunshine State, I thought of it as a sacred legal document. Then I saw Article X: Miscellaneous Provisions, especially Section 21, which limits cruel and inhumane confinement of pigs during pregnancy. First I was astonished, but then I realized that this constitution is a living instrument, and since the people of Florida found this topic important, their legislative bodies responded by putting this provision into their constitution. Thus, despite my rejection of certain amendments, I have full faith in the freedom of the Hungarian people to write their own constitution, amend it whenever they want, and reward or punish the party making changes in the most fundamental law of the land. The Fourth Amendment, then, is an invitation to renewed democratic participation among average Hungarians. The most important thing is that Hungarians take ownership of this political process, and do not cede control of their own constitution to special interests and outside voices."

Az eredeti, teljes írást itt olvashatja el.

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