Gábor Halmai
Eötvös Lóránd University

Religious Rights and Constitutionalism 

Project description:

The proposed research deals with the relationship between religious freedom and different forms of constitutionalism. The study plans to investigate the topic from both a normative/theoretical and an empirical perspective. The normative part of the research starts with the very definition of liberal constitutionalism, and the role of religious freedom in this definition, followed by the characterization of illiberal constitutional approaches, including theocratic constitutionalism. The second part of the project uses empirical research to compare different national constitutional regulations and different results from the adjudication of religious rights. In the empirical part, the work uses recent case studies to analyze the role of religious freedom in emerging but still illiberal democracies, like the one in Egypt, as well those backsliding to illiberal constitutionalism, like the one in Hungary, and also to discuss the likelihood that these two illiberal constitutional models would spread to new sites. 


Gábor Halmai is professor of constitutional law at the Eötvös Loránd Univerity, Budapest/Hungary. In the last three academic years he has worked as visiting research scholar at Princeton University. His most recent book is Perspectives on Global Constitutionalism, Eleven International Publishing, 2014. He is the national director of the European Masters Program in Human Rights and Democratization in Venice/Italy, and was member of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency's Management Board based in Vienna/Austria (2007-10), vice-chair of the Hungarian National Election Commission (2006-10), and chief counsellor to the President of the Hungarian Constitutional Court (1990-96).