ELTE Law Journal

The Case Law of the ECJ and the Internet (2004 – 2014)

It is no exaggeration to say that the new means of communication arising from use of the Internet have, in the past ten years, transformed the world in which we live. Information is now exchanged in quantities and at a speed that would have been unimaginable for previous generations and this explosion in the number and scope of human contacts, often between individuals who have never actually met, has inevitably given rise to a wide range of new legal disputes and questions.

more »

The Influence of Union Law on Hungarian Civil and Commercial Law before Accession, during the Accession Negotiations and thereafter

As the title indicates, I would like to examine the influence of Community law, subsequently Union law, on the Hungarian civil and commercial law in three periods: before the accession of Hungary to the European Union, during the accession negotiations and after accession, while acknowledging that the first period overlaps with the second since the accession negotiations took place, of course, prior to accession. This requires some clarification regarding the terminology to be used. Before accession, the influence of Union law could primarily be understood in terms of the approximation of laws and the alignment of national legislation with Community legislation. Later, while the approximation of national laws was still in progress, a part of Union or Community law directly became part of Hungarian law.

more »

A Comparison of the Contract Sections of the New Hungarian Civil Code with English Law and the Proposed Common European Sales Law

2014 is a year to celebrate in Hungary and the European Union. First, because it marks the tenth anniversary of Hungary’s accession to the EU; and secondly because it has seen the introduction of the new Hungarian Civil Code, a project to which so many of our Hungarian colleagues contributed so much. At the same time it is a fascinating period for contract lawyers and those interested in European private law generally, because we have the possibility of a European measure of general application, the proposed Common European Sales Law (CESL).[1] The proposal is limited in scope: it applies only to sales, the supply of digital content and related services; and, if the amendments proposed by the European Parliament[2] are accepted, it will be limited to distance contracts and possibly even to internet contracts. Nonetheless, if the CESL succeeds it may be just the first in a series of measures that, ultimately, could cover increasing numbers of cross-border contracts. The model proposed is of an ‘Optional Instrument’ that the parties would be free to use or not to use. So it will leave the law of the Member States for domestic transactions entirely untouched – and allow parties to cross-border contracts to use a national law, or where applicable the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG), instead.

more »

Recodification of Private Law in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Netherlands

It is a pleasure to celebrate today the tenth anniversary of Hungary’s accession to the European Union. So much has happened in the course of one or two generations. When I read law in Leyden in the early 1960s, I specialised in the law of the socialist nations.

more »

The French Contract Law Reform in a European Context

How will European law develop over the coming years of the 21st Century? This question was posed by Professor Raoul van Caenegem in 2002. His answer, based on history and comparative law…

more »

The Importance of the Principles of Equality of the EU Member States and Economic Actors in EU law

The Europe Agreements of 1997 and, subsequently, the EU accessions by the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in 2004 are viewed today as an inevitable and logical consequence of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, even at the time of concluding the Europe Agreements, membership of our countries in the Community was by no means a foregone conclusion. Whilst participating in the Europe Agreements negotiations…

more »

The European Convention on Human Rights: Inherent Constitutional Tendencies and the Role of the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is a remarkable institution. Over the past 50 years, it has shown that the protection of human rights is no longer an exclusive matter for national constitutions and national courts. Human rights, as guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), have become an issue in European law and public international law.

more »

The Eastern Way of Europeanisation in the Light of Environmental Policymaking? − Implementation Concerns of the Aarhus Convention-related EU Law in Central and Eastern Europe

The domestic impact of the EU on the Central and Eastern European countries is an essential part of the Europeanisation research agenda. It might be interesting to examine whether the acceding countries transpose, implement and enforce the EU acquis in the same way as do the EU-15 region, or if there is a specific eastern way of Europeanisation. As for the chosen policy area, the extent to which post-Communist countries guarantee certain rights for non-governmental actors regarding environmental matters could be considered as a democratic indicator, since their former state approach usually focussed on economic growth driven by industrialisation, while environmental protection was of a lower priority.

more »

Identification of Civil Procedure Regulatory Needs with a Comparative View

The Government of Hungary launched the review process of the Code of Civil Procedure of 1952 currently in effect. Government Decree No. 1267/2013 (V. 17.) on the codification of civil procedure (the ‘Government Decree’) has ordered that a new Code of Civil Procedure, which satisfies the requirements of international standards regarding litigation in civil and commercial matters, while at the same time promotes the effective and timely enforcement of claims in such cases, be drawn up. The new Civil Code entered into force on March 15, 2014 and, in many ways, it reshapes Hungarian substantive civil law. This is another special driving factor behind the need for procedural reform to ensure a civil procedural environment with rules that enhance the enforcement of civil law claims.

more »

Judicial Dialogue or National Monologue? The International Law and Hungarian Courts

The focus of this study is the application of international law by the Hungarian Constitutional Court and ordinary courts. The purpose of the paper is to reveal whether there is any judicial dialogue or just a national monologue in this field. To achieve this aim, after an overview of the constitutional and legal framework (II), the application of the international treaties (III), international customary law and other sources of international law (IV) will be analysed, and also the interpretation of domestic law in the light of international obligations will be investigated (V) with special regard to ‘judicial dialogue’ (VI).

more »

Some Thoughts on the Changing Faces of Human Dignity in Criminal Law

It was no surprise that, during the preparation of the new Hungarian Constitution, an extensive survey organised by the Government showed wide support amongst the population for life imprisonment without the option of parole. This was duly incorporated in the new Constitution of Hungary in Article IV. para (2). It is also a commonly shared – and most likely correct – opinion among Hungarian criminal lawyers and criminologists that, had the reestablishment of the death penalty been put to question, the majority of the populus would have rendered the same verdict, undoubtedly causing serious constitutional problems in the area of majoritarian democracy versus the 6th and 13th Additional Protocols of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to which Hungary is party.

more »

Elements of Protecting the Reputation of Public Figures in European Legal Systems

Personality rights enjoy strong protection under the various legal systems as a result of 20th century legal developments. For a long time, it did not even occur to anyone that the level of this protection should be differentiated according to the type of statements that are harmful to an individual’s reputation, or that this level should be reduced for certain types of persons. False statements and statements that are harmful to an individual’s reputation were naturally regarded as constitutionally unprotected statements, until the emergence of the idea that certain statements relating to public debates and which may be harmful to the reputation of public figures should be afforded special protection.

more »

Harmonising Tort Law in the European Union: Advantages and Difficulties

The call to harmonise private law and thus, among other areas, also of tort law, can often be heard and several groups of scholars have already been designing future tort law, whether as part of a whole code or as a separate draft . However, it can be questioned whether harmonisation is really a necessity or, at least, brings advantages. Doubts in this respect seem reasonable when looking at the USA: While it is a sovereign state and not only a more or less loose community of national states as is the EU, 50 different legal systems nevertheless exist within the USA.

more »

Unidroit Convention of 1995 and Unclaimed Cultural Property without Provenance

The Unidroit Convention of 24 June 1995 on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (the Convention) entered into force on 1 July 1998. It has been ratified by 14 of the 27 Member States of the European Union, including Hungary where the Convention has been in force since 1 November 1998.

more »

The Legal Relationship between the Parties and the Arbitral Institution

Arbitration is generally defined as ‘a process by which parties consensually submit a dispute to a non-governmental decision-maker, selected by or for the parties, to render a binding decision resolving a dispute in accordance with neutral, adjudication procedures affording the parties an opportunity to be heard’.

more »