2019/ 2020

László Detre

Mobility Phase: Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg

The Rule of Law Checklist - A starting point to interpret Article 2 of the TEU?

Photo: Joanna Scheffel

László Detre graduated from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Faculty of Law in 2010. Right after he started his career at the Constitutional Court of Hungary and ever since he has been working there as a legal adviser. László’s duties range from drafting decisions of the court to providing cooperative legal studies. He was appointed as the liaison officer to the European Commission for Democracy through Law (‘Venice Commission’) in 2017. The very position requires László to maintain professional relationship with the Venice Commission and other constitutional courts. In this regard, László represented the Constitutional Court of Hungary at international conferences in Yerevan, Karlsruhe, Lausanne and in Rome. It shall also be highlighted that László spent a three-month traineeship at the Secretariat of the Venice Commission in 2018 and in 2019, he participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program ‘Rule of Law and the U.S. Judicial System’, organized by the State Department of the United States. Besides his professional career, László got a Masters of Law degree in 2017 at the Eötvös Loránd University from European Human Rights. László’s academic interests focus on various constitutional and European law issues with special attention to the challenges of the rule of law.

The Rule of Law Checklist - A starting point to interpret Article 2 of the TEU?

It is fair to say that interpreting the rule of law within Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), a value common to the Members States, is the ‘Gordian knot’ of the European constitutional law. Strictly speaking, difficulties arise when the Member States’ commitments, not the functioning of the Union is at stake. In this regard, no clear ‘Europeanized’ content has been developed and there are several reasons why. The understanding of the very principle differs in the various legal systems and it is not even static. However, it is still an obligation to comply with and since it requires ‘systematic’ respect, the possible ‘Europeanization’ would reach the heart of the national constitutional traditions. Fortunately, the comparative work of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) thrives to identify common European standards and the Rule of Law Checklist is a great example of that. The Checklist enrolls questions within six benchmarks that may lead to the common factors of the rule of law. That is to say, the Checklist may be a great asset to find Europeanized elements of the rule of law and as such, to interpret Article 2 of the TEU.