The new Hungarian Basic Law, which was ratified on 1 January 2012, provoked domestic and international controversy. Of particular concern was the constitutional text's explicit claim that it was situated within a reinvigorated Hungarian legal tradition that had allegedly developed over centuries before its violent interruption during World War II by German invaders, and later, by Soviet occupation. To explore the context and validity of this claim, and the legal traditions which have informed the stormy centuries of Hungary's constitutional development, this book brings together a group of leading historians, political scientists and legal scholars to produce a comprehensive history of Hungarian constitutional thought.
Ranging in scope from an overview of Hungarian medieval jurisprudence to an assessment of the various criticisms levelled at the new Hungarian Basic Law of 2012, contributors assess the constitutions, their impacts and their legacies, as well as the social and cultural contexts within which they were drafted. The historical analysis is accompanied by a selection of original source materials, many translated here for the first time. This is the only book in English on the subject and is essential reading for all those interested in Hungary's history, political culture and constitution.
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