An Illiberal State 10 Years in the Making | Magyar Helsinki Bizottság

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TAX NUMBER: 19013983-1-42

The state of play regarding the rule of law in Hungary – summary by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee about the developments of the past 10 years

Since winning the elections in 2010, the populist, right-wing Fidesz-KDNP government has been using its constitutional supermajority to systematically and consciously undermine the rule of law and disrupt the system of checks and balances in Hungary by weakening, eliminating or occupying institutions and actors that can exercise any form of control over the executive branch of power. In 10 years, an “illiberal state” has been built in the middle of Europe, despite the countless warnings and requests by international and regional human rights bodies, numerous infringement procedures, or the Article 7 procedure launched against Hungary.

In our paper, we summarize the most crucial steps of this process. In particular, we present how the government and the governing majority

  • undermined constitutionality and weakened the Constitutional Court;
  • undermined the independence of the judiciary;
  • maintained a deficient legislative process;
  • created an unfair election system;
  • distorted the media landscape;
  • facilitated systemic corruption;
  • undermined academic freedom;
  • attacked civil society organisations;
  • used a smoke screen of hate propaganda to cover rule of law violations; and
  • the human rights violations that have been happening parallel to the above.


The summary may be downloaded here in English:

The State of Play Regarding the Rule of Law in Hungary: an Illiberal State 10 Years in the Making


The German version of the paper is available here.

The Portuguese version of the paper is available here.



Supported by the Swedish Postcode Foundation




The Portuguese version is the courtesy of Andreia Sofia Pinto Oliveira and the Research Centre for Justice and Governance of the Universidade do Minho (JusGov).




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