Is there still “rule of law” in Poland and Hungary?

Image: January 2020 Poland Rally

Is there still “rule of law” in Poland and Hungary?

Tuesday, 9 February 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Online Event
Adam Bodnar (SWPS University of Humanities and Social Sciences, Warsaw), Zsolt Enyedi (Central European University and Politics and International Relations, Oxford) and Marta Bucholc (Faculty of Sociology, University of Warsaw)
Timothy Garton Ash (St Antony's College, Oxford)
Marcin Walecki (Europaeum Visiting Fellow, St Antony’s, Oxford)
ESC Core Seminar Series

The discussion about a rule of law conditionality on the disbursement of EU funds has focused attention sharply on issues around the rule of law in East Central Europe, and particularly in Poland and Hungary. Three leading experts discuss what is the condition of the “rule of law” in Poland and Hungary, measured both against general criteria for the “rule of law” and the specific conditions outlined by the EU.

Adam Bodnar, professor of SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities. Lawyer, expert in the field of constitutional law and human rights. Since 2015 the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights. In 2010–2015 he was vice-president of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. He cooperated with numerous non-governmental organizations, incl. Panoptykon Foundation, ClientEarth Poland and Professor Zbigniew Hołda Association. In 2014-2015 he was member of the Board of Trustees of the UN Fund for Victims of Torture. Author and co-author of numerous scientific publications in the field of law, especially human rights. His doctoral thesis entitled "Multi-level society. The status of an individual in the constitutional sphere." was awarded in the competition organized by the Sejm Review. In 2019, he obtained the degree of doctor with habilitation. His thesis was published in the book "Execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Poland. Institutional dimension" (Wolters Kluwer). For the defense of judicial independence and vulnerable minorities he and his office received the Rafto Prize (2018) and Rule of Law Award by the World Justice Project (2019). In 2020 he was honoured with the French Order of the Legion of Honor with the rank of Chevalier. In the same year, he was awarded with the Crown of Equality Award by the Campaign Against Homophobia and the Award of the Janina Paradowska and Jerzy Zimowski. At the SWPS University, he conducts lectures on human rights, as well as classes on the implementation of constitutional standards and analysis of current problems in Polish law.

Zsolt Enyedi is Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford and Professor at the Political Science Department of Central European University. He published widely on party politics, political attitudes, comparative government, church and state relations, and political psychology (especially authoritarianism, prejudices and political tolerance). His articles appeared in journals such as European Journal of Political Research, Political Studies, Political Psychology, West European Politics, East European Politics, Party Politics, Europe-Asia Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, Democratization, Journal of Legislative Studies, Perspectives on Politics, Social Thought and Research, Journal of Political Ideologies, East European Politics and Societies and Cultures and European Review. Zsolt Enyedi was the 2003 recipient of the Rudolf Wildenmann Prize, the 2004 winner of the Bibó Award and in 2020 he received the award of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In the past he held research fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Kellogg Institute (Notre Dame University), the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) and Johns Hopkins University. Between 2016 and 2020 he was pro-rector of Central European University.

Marta Bucholc works at the Faculty of Sociology of the University of Warsaw. From 2015 through 2020 she was research professor at Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Studies 'Law as Culture' at the University of Bonn. She is Associated Researcher (chercheuse associée) at the Centre de recherche en science politique, Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles. In 2018, she was Visiting Bye-Fellow of Selwyn College, University of Cambridge. She graduated in sociology, philosophy and law, and she obtained her habilitation (2014) and her Ph. D. (2006) in sociology at the University of Warsaw. Her research focus is sociology of law and historical sociology. She is the principal investigator in a research project 'National habitus formation and the process of civilization in Poland after 1989: a figurational approach' funded by Polish National Science Centre (2020-2025). Recent publications include: Law and Liberal Pedagogy in a Post-Socialist Society: The Case of Poland, Journal of Modern European History, 2020 (online first), Schengen and the Rosary. Catholic religion and the postcolonial syndrome in Polish national habitus, Historische Sozialforschung/Historical Social Research 45 (1) 2020: 153-181, Commemorative Lawmaking: Memory Frames of the Democratic Backsliding in Poland After 2015, Hague Journal on the Rule Law (2019) 11:85-110.

Professor Timothy Garton Ash (St Antony's College, Oxford) will chair this event.

Dr Marcin Walecki (Europaeum Visiting Fellow, St Antony’s, Oxford) is Convenor.

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