As a civil society actor, the Common Sense Society seeks to elevate principles in the conversation over the new constitution and emphasize the nature of human freedom and the proper relationship between the individual/society and the state. The coming months will feature a series of public debates, educational events, research papers, private advocacy meetings, and media items intended to elevate fundamental principles of liberty in both the public discourse and the drafting process. For more information, see featured CSS events and publications below, or visit the resource page.

The overarching goal of our efforts is to ensure that Hungary’s new constitution is neither an extended piece of legislation nor a partisan document, but a principled and legitimate constitution of liberty.

Featured Publications


Related Past Events

Hungary’s Checks and Balances: Alive and Well? (May 31, 2012)
CSS  held an off the record discussion with Constitutional Court Justice dr. Péter Kovács to delve into the realities of Hungary’s new constitutional power structure and the political importance  of the new Basic Law’s judicial interpretation. Dr. Sándor Udvary, advisor to the Constitutional Court will moderate the discussion.

Debate: should voting rights be extended to Hungarians abroad? (November 2, 2011)
Our two guests from Slovakia, Lucia Papayova (Anton Neuwirth Kollegium) and Ákos Melecske (Roundtable of Slovakian Hungarians) argued in affirmative and our Hungarian debaters, András László Pap (CEU) with Péter Józsa (HHRF) argued against the resolution.

Should the Hungarian State Support Churches…at all? (September 21, 2011)
At our Liberty Forum, panelists Péter Hack (ELTE – School of Law), Renáta Uitz (Central European University) and Orsolya Salát (ELTE – School of Social Sciences) and moderator Marion Smith (Common Sense Society) addressed the long-standing and highly debated topic of the Role of the State and Church.

Hungary’s New Constitution: Prospects for Liberty and the Rule of Law (March 21, 2011)
CSS’ first international event held at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC and was co-sponsored by the Hungarian-American Coalition. The panel featured H. E. János Csák (Hungarian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Member, National Consultation Committee on the Constitution), József Szájer (MEP and Head, National Consultation Committee on the Constitution), Maximilian Teleki (President, The Hungarian-American Coalition) and Robert Alt (Senior Legal Fellow and Deputy Director, Center for Legal & Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation). The panel was moderated by CSS president Marion Smith.

Should the Holy Crown Doctrine be Included in the Constitution Preamble? (January 26, 2011)
professor Tóth Zoltán József, renown scholar of the Holy Crown Doctrine explained the centurys old concept to the members of the Common Sense Society. We discussed the relevance of the doctrine to the constitutional reform process, its relation to the separation of church and state, its adaptation possibilities to the current legal framework and whether it has a place in the Preamble of our Constitution.

Assessing the New Constitution Draft Document (December 7, 2010)
Dr Péter Hack, professor of law at ELTE university spoke at the fourth Constitution of Liberty event and lead a discussion on the draft document of the new constitution published by the Parliament’s ad hoc drafting committee on December 1, 2010. The event assessed the main prospective changes in the text of the Constitution and the technical aspects of the drafting process.

Separation of Powers and the Rule of Law in the New Constitution (November 29, 2010)
The third event of our Constitution of Liberty program featured a panel with Sándor Udvary (Károli University) Pál Sonnevend (ELTE University) and András Varga Zs. (Pázmány University) moderated by András Jakab (Pázmány University).

The Federalist Papers – Separation of Powers (November 10, 2010)
Randy Grinnan moderated a discussion of CSS members on Federalist Papers No. 47 and No. 85. The subject of separation of powers is of great importance as Hungary considers the future constitutional structure of the government. Please read prior to the event and bring the copy of the text in some form.

Should Hungarys Constitution be Reformed or Transformed? (October 18, 2010)
Our guest debaters were András Jakab (Associate Professor of Law at Pázmány University and editor of the Commentary of the Hungarian Constitution) and István Stumpf (professor of political science at ELTE university Faculty of Law and judge on Hungary’s Constitutional Court). András Jakab argued that Hungary’s new constitution should reflect modest constitutional reform while István Stumpf argued for a more radical transformation of Hungary’s constitution. In addition to our keynote debaters, there were also lively speeches from the floor. This was the second debate of our “Constitution of Liberty” project, a new initiative to raise public awareness about key constitutional concepts and debate the essential questions of Hungary’s political principles.

Does Hungary Need A New Constitution? (September 29, 2010)
This event was the first debate in Common Sense Society’s Constitution of Liberty Project. Guest debaters István Hegedűs (HES – Hungarian Europe Society) and Tamás Szigeti (TASZ – Hungarian Civil Liberties Union) argued in opposition to a new constitution. While Marion Smith (CSS) and Benedek Varsányi (CSS) argued in favor of a new constitution. CSS will host regular debates on important topics related to Hungary’s constitutional process.

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