The Hungarian government first acquired excessive emergency powers with a view to the pandemic in the spring of 2020: it declared a “state of danger” (veszélyhelyzet), a special legal order regime, while the governing majority transformed the legislative framework in a way that the Government had a carte blanche mandate to override any Act of Parliament via emergency government decrees once a state of danger was declared. The Government has been maintaining a “rule by decree” system ever since, with only a few months of intermission, lately using the war in Ukraine as a pretext for keeping its excessive regulatory powers. The constitutional and statutory framework governing the various special legal order regimes was amended as of 1 November 2022, and these amendments cemented the very problematic practices developed during the pandemic in relation to the state of danger. The state of danger declared with a reference to the war in Ukraine is currently extended until 29 May 2023.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s new paper summarizes the main concerns regarding the state of danger, presents the current legal framework and its evolution, provides examples of the inappropriate use of emergency decrees, and forms recommendations to remedy shortcomings.
Our paper is available here:
Government gains excessive powers from forever renewable state of danger (24 February 2023)