On 24 February 2022 the Ferenc Mádl Institute of Comparative Law, together with the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University, the Central-European Association for Comparative Law, as well as the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Miskolc Regional Committee, Committee of Legal Sciences organized a webinar in the framework of the EU program Conference on the Future of Europe, titled “Constitutional Values”. The webinar brought together academics, who gave presentations regarding their article published in the first volume of 2022 of the Central European Journal of Comparative Law, available here.
The conference was moderated and opened by Professzor János Ede Szilágyi, Head of the Ferenc Mádl Institute of Comparative Law, who greeted our guests and the speakers.
The online conference started with the presentation of Professor Balázs Schanda (Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary) titled „The Christian Roots of Hungary’s Fundamental Law”, in which Professor Schanda analyzed the call for Christian heritage in the text of the Fundamental Law. Such as the invocation of Saint Stephen and Christian Europe in the National Avowal, the order to protect Christian culture, the issue of education based on Christian culture, as well as the first line of the National Anthem, which is also the first sentence of the Fundamental Law. According to Professor Schanda the real question is whether there is a general agreement behind the values laid down by the Fundamental Law. Do these Christian roots live?
In his presentation „Christian Values in the Constitutions of Serbia and Greece—A Comparative Overview” Assistant Professor Dalibor Đukić (University of Belgrade, Serbia) made a comparative analysis of the current Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and the Constitution of Greece, with the aim of identifying the Christian values comprised in their constitutional provisions. According to Assistant Professor Đukić both constitutions contain several norms with Christian origins and foundations, however the Constitution of Greece comprises more provisions that demonstrate close connections between the state and Christianity, which is a consequence of the fact that in Greece, there have been no interruptions in the continuity of the constitutional tradition, unlike the case with Serbia during the communist rule.
Our next presenter was Associate Professor Frane Staničić (University of Zagreb, Croatia) with the title „Christian Values in the Constitutions of Croatia and Slovenia—A Comparative Overview.” Associate Professor Staničić compared the constitutions of two very similar and closely connected states and presented that notwithstanding their different constitutional setup of state-church relations, Croatian and Slovene constitutions do not differ much with regard to the presence of Christian values in them.
The following presentation was that of Associate Professor Attila Varga (Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Cluj, Romania), titled „Christian Values and the Protection of the Family in the Romanian Constitution and the Case Law of the Romanian Constitutional Court.” This presentation focused on the moral and political values of the Romanian constitution, their Christian spirit and origin, and the related theoretical and constitutional interpretations. In the presentation Associate Professor Varga concentrated on human dignity, the free development of the human personality, and justice as the main values, as well as the fundamental rights related to them and the principles that define the organisation of the state. The presenter analysed in particular the Christian constitutional and civil law rules governing the family and the marriage on which it is based.
In the presentation of Dr. Dawid Kostecki (The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland), titled „Axiology of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997: Some Reflections” the importance of the decoding of the constitutional values forming the foundation of the Polish legal system was emphasized. According to Dr. Kostecki the interpretation of a legal text should keep pace with the times; this is why a dynamic interpretation is extremely relevant.
As the last presenter Associate Professor Ilan Wurman (Arizona State University, Phoenix, USA) set the stage with his thoughts of fundamental rights protection in the United States in his presentation titled „Subsidiarity and Fundamental Rights Protection in the United States.” According to the presenter the Fourteenth Amendment, while guaranteeing the fundamental right to equality, otherwise respected the principle of subsidiarity even in the protection of fundamental rights, and provides insights for the ongoing European debate over fundamental rights protection.
The conference was closed by a discussion, during which the lecturers could respond to each other’s presentation and also the audience had the opportunity to ask the presenters. For instance Professor Balázs Schanda answered a question regarding the Hungarian church laws. Thus the webinar ended with an unbound conversation.