jtiblog

Blogsite of the Institute for Legal Studies

Report from the roundtable on the impact of COVID-19 on Czech elections and electoral law

2022. August 15. 8:25
Gor Vartazaryan
Law student, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Report from the roundtable on the impact of COVID-19 on Czech elections and electoral law

As part of the international research project funded by the International Visegrad Fund, an English-language roundtable on hybrid format from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Czech elections and electoral law. was organized on 29 June 2022 by doctor Jan Grinc and associate professor Marek Antoš at Charles University, Faculty of Law, Prague. Experts in the field of constitutional law such as prof. Jan Wintr, associate professor Jan Kudrna, doctor Ondřej Preuss attended the roundtable as well as the Director of the Department of Elections at the Ministry of the Interior Tomáš Jírovec, who presented insight from the Department of Elections and other experts.

Report on Policy Roundtable: “Crises and democracy: the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on V4 countries’ electoral systems”

2022. August 05. 9:45
Paulina Jablonska
Law student, Jagiellonian University of Cracow, Poland
Report on Policy Roundtable: “Crises and democracy: the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on V4 countries’ electoral systems”

On 30 June 2022, at the Jagiellonian University Centre for Interdisciplinary Constitutional Studies, a roundtable discussion on “Crises and democracy: the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on V4 countries’ electoral systems” was held on a hybrid format, online participants joined via Webex. It was organised as a Polish Policy Roundtable within the Visegrad research project. The seminar was dedicated to the 2020 presidential elections in Poland and their implications for assessing the integrity of the electoral process and the state of democracy. In the opening remarks, Professor Monika Florczak-Wątor, Head of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Constitutional Studies, welcomed all participants on behalf of the seminar organisers. Then Boldizsár Szentgáli-Tóth, PhD, the principal investigator of the aforementioned project, presented the main idea of the research project and the policy roundtables on Covid and elections.

Report from the Slovak Roundtable on Constitutional Limits to the Right to Vote under the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic

2022. July 25. 9:08
Dominika Kuchárová
Law and Philosophy Student, University of Trnava, Slovakia
Report from the Slovak Roundtable on Constitutional Limits to the Right to Vote under the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic

On June 30, 2022, we held an online Roundtable on the impact of the pandemic on the right to vote in Slovakia. During the meeting, many interesting ideas were expressed, in which the participants focused on the elections taking place in Slovakia during the pandemic. The importance and originality of this meeting is due to the uniqueness of the topic, which has affected and will continue to affect Slovakia. Fortunately, Slovakia has only experienced by-elections to local government bodies. However, these have brought restrictions on the right to vote. The right to vote is regulated in detail and systematically at the statutory level, namely in Act No. 180/2014 Coll. on the conditions for exercising the right to vote and Act No. 181/2014 Coll. on the election campaign. In order to avoid the same situation in the next elections, the legislators came up with a solution to create a law on the special way of voting, and thus, on 10 May 2022, the Government Bill No. 185/2022 Coll. was adopted.

How has the pandemic affected electoral issues in Slovakia?

2022. June 27. 10:50
Dominika Kuchárová
Law and Philosophy Student, University of Trnava, Slovakia
How has the pandemic affected electoral issues in Slovakia?

The dramatic onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, just like other large-scale emergencies, disrupted lives, businesses and communities worldwide as governments responded with extraordinary measures to battle the spread of the virus. While non-pharmaceutical interventions that limit mobility and isolate potentially infected people are designed to keep the pandemic at bay, they also clash with the cornerstone of democracy: regular, free and fair elections. The public discourse over holding massive, in-person elections amid the growing pandemic has been highly contentious in numerous countries.

Czech Chamber of Deputies elections in 2021 in the shadow of the covid-19 pandemic

2022. June 02. 15:05
Richard Beran
Law Student, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Law
Czech Chamber of Deputies elections in 2021 in the shadow of the covid-19 pandemic

The covid-19 pandemic is a topic that has been with us for more than two years and has left an indelible mark on our lives in all areas, including public discourse. It is no different in constitutional and electoral law, where in an unprecedented situation, most of the governments have had to deal with the electoral process in such a way as to uphold the principles of electoral law while at the same time protecting public health as much as possible.

Voting at embassies and consulates during the 2022 parliamentary elections in Hungary - New problems caused, and long-existing concerns intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic

2022. May 10. 11:55
Judit Takács
Law Student, ELTE Faculty of Law
Voting at embassies and consulates during the 2022 parliamentary elections in Hungary - New problems caused, and long-existing concerns intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic

On 3 April 2022 Hungary organised its first parliamentary elections since the appearance of COVID-19. As the country had not staged any general elections during the pandemic before, this was the first time that it had to face and answer to the new challenges of conducting a general vote under the special conditions entailed by the public health emergency. (Nonetheless, by-elections had been held since the beginning of the pandemic, before the 2022 general elections, like the parliamentary by-elections in October 2020 in Tiszaújváros. Besides, the April elections were not the only ones held in 2022 either, as on 8 May 2022 by-elections of some mayors were conducted in eleven smaller settlements. Those by-elections were originally scheduled to November 2020 but were postponed due to the announcement of the second stage of state of emergency under the pandemic.) The coronavirus related problems practically cover the whole electoral process, including the election campaign, sanitary concerns at the polling stations, the method of ballot counting, exercising the right to vote under quarantine or voting from abroad.

Primary election in the shadow of the pandemic

2022. April 19. 9:51
Lili Karácsony
Law Student, ELTE Faculty of Law
Primary election in the shadow of the pandemic

The coronavirus disease (COVID19) posed unprecedented challenges to our society in all aspects of life. It caused enormous changes in our everyday routines, but it also presented grave challenges to the governments of all countries and raised several questions related to the faults of legislative solutions. Within a few days, the world as we knew it changed completely, and even the most common activities became sources of danger, and therefore required rapid and efficient regulations. Many fundamental rights had to be re-evaluated and limited in favour of society’s interest that undoubtedly had significant impacts on elections as well. 

AI-Driven Healthcare Technologies and Algorithmic Gender Bias: A Need for Data Feminism - An Overview of Pin Lean Lau’s Seminar Talk at TK MILAB

2022. March 28. 12:19
Márton Vida
BA student, CEU
AI-Driven Healthcare Technologies and Algorithmic Gender Bias: A Need for Data Feminism - An Overview of Pin Lean Lau’s Seminar Talk at TK MILAB

Pin Lean Lau held the final talk of the Artificial Intelligence National Laboratory (MILAB) online seminar series in 2021. She is a researcher at the Brunel University of London, and holds a PhD in Law from Central European University. She introduced an ongoing project of hers concerning the regulation of AI bias in healthcare. Her main goal was to explore how AI bias may occur in healthcare technologies, and how such biases may be avoided through better regulation and data science.

'Do you feel in charge?' Underlying assumptions behind legal information retrieval - An Overview of Jakub Harašta Seminar at TK MILAB

2022. March 21. 14:40
Rand Al Hussaini
trainee, CSS ILS
'Do you feel in charge?' Underlying assumptions behind legal information retrieval - An Overview of Jakub Harašta Seminar at TK MILAB

As part of the TK MILAB online research seminar series, Jakub Harašta held a seminar on the issue of legal information retrieval, focusing on the assumptions behind legal information retrieval, his main argument was whether the retrieved information has any useful value or relevance to the users, how the data are presented to the users, and how the assumptions can be communicated. In addition, the question of transparency and the necessity it holds. Consequently, he advocated the need for data feminism. Intersectional feminism, he asserts, can reorient the way we think about and manage algorithmic data in healthcare, as well as challenge and modify power differentials that impact bias and under-representation dynamics.

In Search of Effectiveness and Fairness in Proving Algorithmic Discrimination in EU law - An Overview of Ljupcho Grozdanovski’s Seminar at TK MILAB

2021. August 09. 22:32
Márton Vida
CEU, BA student
In Search of Effectiveness and Fairness in Proving Algorithmic Discrimination in EU law - An Overview of Ljupcho Grozdanovski’s Seminar at TK MILAB

As part of the TK MILAB - Institute for Legal Studies research seminar series, Ljupcho Grozdanovski held a seminar on the legal issues of proving discrimination as caused by the use of AI. Focusing on proof and evidence, his main argument was that current EU law fails to satisfy the requirement of effectiveness on the side of the claimants, and that of fairness on the side of the respondents. As a result, he advocated the lifting of algorithmic opacity and a revision of the notion of human agency, so that the requirements of a fair trial and due process are met.

The role of the historical constitution in Hungarian constitutional law

2021. April 22. 11:26
Anna Gera
joghallgató ELTE ÁJK
The role of the historical constitution in Hungarian constitutional law

The Fundamental Law of Hungary, adopted by the majority votes of conservative parties twenty years after the democratic regime change in 1989, contains an article that provides the following: “The provisions of the Fundamental Law shall be interpreted in accordance with their purposes, the National Avowal contained therein and the achievements of our historic constitution.”[1] As the Fundamental Law is regarded to be the constitution of Hungary, this rule creates a strong bond between the  historical legal tradition and the legislation in force, and does so with a concept of “the achievements of our historic constitution” which is yet to be defined. Although the fact that the probable intention of the constitution-drafter Parliament can be identified by reading the preparatory works, the current practice faces challenges in interpreting the aforementioned constitutional provision.

Migration and the rise of populism: changes in the migration policy of Germany and Italy

2021. February 16. 23:24
Andrea Crescenzi
Réka Friedery
researcher, Institute for International Legal Studies (ISGI), National Research Council of Italy (CNR); research fellow, Centre for Social Sciences Institute for Legal Studies (CSS ILS)
Migration and the rise of populism: changes in the migration policy of Germany and Italy Migration and the rise of populism: changes in the migration policy of Germany and Italy

Migration policy overlaps other policy areas, for example integration policy, interior policy, defence policy and anti-discrimination policy. As a response to the sudden influx of migrants in 2015, and parallel to rising populistic movements, Germany and Italy started to adapt radical policies and measures in connection with immigration. Italy, as a frontline country, and Germany, as the destination country have adopted permissive measures as well as restrictive measures. Hence, in the following we analyse some of the main measures from the above mentioned areas to demonstrate that they intended either to thwart the rise of populistic movements in connection with migration or were favoured by populistic movements in the sense that they intended to curb immigration.

Some Thoughts About National Restrictions on Free Movement Between Member States During the COVID-19 Pandemic

2020. August 07. 22:34
Réka Friedery
research fellow, CSS Institute for Legal Studies
Some Thoughts About National Restrictions on Free Movement Between Member States During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Not long ago, the European Union was confronted by an influx of migrants where Member States reacted with different measures, and the EU saw many of its Member States turning to border control to handle third-country migration. However, this time not a new migration wave but an epidemic has resulted in never-before-seen protection measures not only in the EU but worldwide.  Although in recent years the EU has faced several health issues such as the pandemic influenza (H1N1) or the E. coli outbreak in Germany, the Covid-19 pandemic generated such a threat that Member States were forced to restrict free movement among themselves on the ground of public health. Nevertheless, free movement of persons between Member States and the limitation of this freedom have multiple layers and some might wonder whether such restrictions are compatible with EU law.

Hate Speech in Political Communication

2020. July 20. 22:23
Judit Bayer
Associate professor, Budapest Business School, Faculty of International Relations; Schumann Fellow, University of Münster
Hate Speech in Political Communication

Political speech is free. At the same time, one should be aware that it transmits powerful messages to people who feel represented. Political correctness prevented the dissemination of racist allegations in the second half of the 20th century, and beyond. In recent decades, this kind of political correctness has been labelled by populistic politicians as the tyranny of a corrupt elite who claim to represent the "real" opinion of the majority. They also suggest that intolerant views have been suppressed through the spiral of silence – even though the contrary: denigrating speech on minorities is known to silence and intimidate those. My hypothesis is that the representation of extremist views by persons in the political power grows the popularity of those views.

Hate Crimes in Hungary During the Coronavirus Outbreak

2020. June 04. 16:34
Petra Bárd
Erik Uszkiewicz
ELTE Faculty of Law, MTA-ELTE Lendület SPECTRA Research Group
Hate Crimes in Hungary During the Coronavirus Outbreak Hate Crimes in Hungary During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic does not only take human lives, but it overburdens the healthcare system, jeopardizes the economy, and leads to the virulence of rumours and fake news. At the same time, we are also witnessing the spread of hatred. Bias motivated incidents and crimes against people with South-East Asian descent are spreading in Europe, and hate crimes occur against Europeans and Americans in Africa. Elderly people who are said to be the most vulnerable from the virus and those who are sick are also stigmatized and harassed.

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