Lunch seminar with Laurent Pech


“How to capture courts, build an autocracy and get away with it – Lessons from Hungary and Poland”

The seminar will focus on the issue of ‘rule of law backsliding’ in the EU. Its primary aim is to explain the mechanisms and processes whereby populist politicians with authoritarian leanings have sought to build ‘democratorships’. The presentation will highlight how would-be autocrats tend to prioritise the immediate capture of national constitutional/supreme courts before seeking to capture the rest of the judiciary and dismantle key offices which may resist their consolidation of power through formal and informal means. In the EU, two countries have raised and continue to raise the most serious concerns in this respect: Hungary, and Poland. ‘Rule of law backsliding’ is therefore no longer a theoretical concern but an actual and pressing problem as well as one of the utmost practical importance in the interdependent and interconnected legal system of the EU. An overview of the EU institutions’ answers (or non-answers) to this problem and present possible solutions regarding the way forward will also be offered.

All interested are welcome to attend. Registration is not necessary.