English Articles Only

    • The European Commission’s Activation of Article 7: Better Late than Never?

      ‘The European Union is first and foremost a Union of values and of the rule of law. The conquest of these values is the result of our history. They are the hard core of the Union’s identity and enable every citizen to identify with it. The Commission is convinced that in this Union of values it will not be necessary to apply penalties pursuant to Article 7 of the Union Treaty ...

      Verfassungsblog- 92 Leser -
    • The Commission takes a step back in the fight for the Rule of Law

      (1) Media reports of 20 December 2017 almost dwarfed the news of the Commission moving to initiate the judicial stage of the infringement proceedings against Poland based on Article 258 TFEU, in relation to certain provisions of the Act on the Common Courts System (the CCS Act). Under these proceedings, the breach of EU law may be established by the CJEU much faster than in t ...

      Verfassungsblog- 70 Leser -
    • 30 days, six months… forever? Border control and the French Council of State

      For Christmas 2017, the French Council of State – the Supreme Court for administrative matters in France – gave a nasty present to those attached to the free movement of persons in the Schengen area. In a ruling issued on 28 December (see here, in French), it upheld the decision of the French Government to reintroduce, for the ninth time in a row, identity control at its “internal” borders, i.

      Sébastien Platon/ Verfassungsblog- 64 Leser -
  • Final Thoughts on Mnemonic Constitutionalism

    … in light of its parallel rehabilitation of the “good tsar” killed by Bolsheviks and revival of religious Orthodox obscurantism, once successfully supressed by the same communists. Why Ukrainian Memory Laws Stand Out as Possibly Only Justifiable at the Moment? In this respect, Ukrainian de-communization laws were clearly adopted as an attempt…

    Verfassungsblog- 59 Leser -
  • Memory Politics and Academic Freedom: Some Recent Controversies in Greece

    … or grossly trivializing crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” (Article 1(1)(d)). In a number of EU Member States, similar legislation precedes this decision. Legislation of this kind expresses our collective malaise towards atrocities committed by mankind. Nevertheless, it inevitably leads to imposing an official version…

    Verfassungsblog- 61 Leser -


  • So much Love

    … In the unsentimental world of constitutional law we rarely engage in romance. But I have to say, what is going on between the ECJ and the German Federal Constitutional Court is touching my heart. That old couple, together for ages. We love them both very dearly and their horrific periodical quarrels have been such a pain to watch, and every once…

    Maximilian Steinbeis/ Verfassungsblog- 68 Leser -
  • The Kundera Case and the Neurotic Collective Memory of Postcommunism

    … in the present only reaffirms them and confirms the unjust status of their victims. Not to contend with the past injustices thus compromises the legitimacy of the present system of positive law. To deal, or not to deal with the past, indeed, is an important question. However, it is also inseparable from questions of which past is to be dealt…

    Verfassungsblog- 51 Leser -
  • Memory Wars of Commercial Worth – The Legal Status of the Red Star in Hungary

    … In March 2017, the Hungarian government introduced a proposition to expand the prohibition on the public display of totalitarian symbols. The public use of five symbols – the swastika, the SS runes, the Arrow Cross, the hammer and the sickle and the five-pointed red star – has been illegal in Hungary since 1993, with the exception of displays…

    Verfassungsblog- 40 Leser -
  • Memory Politics in Hungary: Political Justice without Rule of Law

    … one, reflects the position of these illiberal populist regimes towards the rights of their citizens. As it is demonstrated in a recently published excellent collection of essays on memory laws, the legal governance of history shapes the public understanding of the past in other parts of the world as well. References [ + ] 1. ↑ Here I refer…

    Gábor Halmai/ Verfassungsblog- 57 Leser -
  • Memory Laws: Historical Evidence in Support of the “Slippery Slope” Argument

    … tendency, for it openly protects the memory of an oppressive regime against that of its victims. The only similar legislation is Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which, in 2005, criminalized insults to the Turkish state and which is normally used against those who recognize the extermination of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as a genocide…

    Verfassungsblog- 39 Leser -
  • Is the Crime in the Eye of the Beholder?

    … In February 2017, in a decision which was quickly translated into English, the French constitutional council ruled as unconstitutional a law that prohibited the usual consultation of terrorist websites. A few days later, the Parliament reinstated a modified version of this offense. It was, however, struck down again by the Constitutional Council…

    Thomas Hochmann/ Verfassungsblog- 72 Leser -
  • Law and Historical Memory: Theorising the Discipline

    … governments are using education, media, and culture to cast their states only as victims of major atrocities, never as perpetrators. Increasingly severe punishments threaten – and thereby silence – critical voices that would call attention to those states’ often egregious complicities in crimes against humanity. (To be sure, we ought not to exaggerate…

    Verfassungsblog- 74 Leser -
  • The Right to the Truth for the Families of Victims of the Katyń Massacre

    … to approaches taken in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. However, as the example of the families of Katyń victims shows, solutions successful for one group of victims are not always applicable in a different context. The article was first published in “Res Publica Nowa” nr 3/2017 and translated into English with support from the Polish…

    Verfassungsblog- 70 Leser -


  • Memory Laws and Security

    … of some Poles perpetuating and being complicit in WWII crimes is rebutted by many in Poland, and heroic and martyrologic narratives about Polish history and Poles in European history are preferred by the current right-wing government. From this perspective, national identity is secured and preserved only when a singular version of the past is shared…

    Verfassungsblog- 88 Leser -
  • Law and Memory

    … Hanna Arendt warned that the fragile truth of historical facts was vulnerable not only to being forgotten but also to manipulation (Arendt, Human Condition, Chicago University Press 1958, p. 232). However, she was probably not referring to a necessity to introduce so-called memory laws, which represent an attempt by governments to legally…

    Verfassungsblog- 58 Leser -
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