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Orbán and the Self-Asphyxiation of Democracy

It came as no big surprise that Orbán has used COVID-19 to dismantle further the checks and balances that are an integral part of any functioning democracy. On 30 March 2020, with the authorization of the Hungarian Parliament (in which the government has a large majority), an Act was passed, which effectively gave the government sweeping powers to rule by decree. It is not unusual in times of emergency for the executive branch to revert to extraordinary measures, though in this case they have a Hungarian twist: the new law is of indeterminate duration (though Parliament can end it when it sees fit – in the case of Hungary de facto when the Executive sees fit) and the powers granted exceed those necessary to deal with COVID. More ominously, alongside that enabling law, the Penal Code was amended, permanently, to introduce two new crimes – punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment for any activity that interferes with the government in the discharge of its emergency responsibility and for any publication ‘distorting the…

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A Less Exclusive Submission Process; In this Issue

A Less Exclusive Submission Process Authors who have ever submitted a manuscript to EJIL will invariably describe our peer review system as a lengthy, often protracted, perhaps even frustratingly long process. By its very nature, peer review, when undertaken in a serious and thorough manner, takes time. All manuscripts submitted to EJIL undergo a first in-house…

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Editorial: The Legality of the Israeli Annexation – Redux

Once the American Administration recanted its long standing position as regards Israeli settlements, one could expect, as day follows night, that a shift on annexation would also follow, much to the delight of the Israeli government. It played well to the internal political agenda of both governments. In the case of settlements the State Department at least…

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How We Stop Talking Past Each Other: A Rejoinder to Hoekman and Nelson’s Reply to My Article on Narratives about Winners and Losers from Globalization

When Donald Trump was elected to the US presidency, the instinctive reaction of many public officials, trade economists and international economic lawyers was to fight back. And fight back they did – in reports, op-eds, blog posts, and interviews. It did not appear as though it would be particularly hard to win the argument: Trump’s economic illiteracy was…

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New Issue of EJIL (Vol. 30 (2019) No. 4)- Now Published

The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law  (Vol. 30 (2019) No. 4) is now out. As usual, the table of contents of the new issue is available at EJIL’s own website, where readers can access those articles that are freely available without subscription. The free access article in this issue is Michelle…

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