Illegal Legality and the Façade of Good Faith – Migration and Law in Populist Hungary

Hoffmann, Tamás (2022) Illegal Legality and the Façade of Good Faith – Migration and Law in Populist Hungary. Review of Central and East European Law, 47 (1). pp. 139-165. DOI 10.1163/15730352-bja10059

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Hungarian migration regulation has undergone a radical transformation since 2015, resulting in a system that essentially deprives asylum seekers of any international protection. This was a strategic move by the government to portray itself as the defender of Hungary and even Europe of the menace of uncontrolled migration. This article critically analyzes this transformation by first giving a comprehensive account of the major legislative changes and showing how they were framed to boost the populist political propaganda of the government. Then it argues that even though such populist legalism is in clear contravention of Hungary’s international legal obligations and thus constitute bad faith action, the European Union is still powerless to effectively oppose these measures since its own asylum policies are aimed at maintaining “Fortress Europe”, i.e. restricting irregular migration as much as possible through legal and informal measures. In conclusion, the only real antidote to populist legalism would be acting in good faith.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:migration, populism, Hungary, European Union, good faith
Divisions:Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for International Studies
Projects:NKFIH K129245, H2020 DEMOS (ID: 822590) Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe
ID Code:7364
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:07 Apr 2022 12:07
Last Modified:07 Apr 2022 12:13

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