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28 May 2024

International Experts Analyze Patterns of Rule of Law Backsliding in Europe

On May 27, 2024, the Group of Independent Lawyers and Democracy Index - Georgia, with USAID Rule of Law Program support, organized an international online discussion on the threats to rule of law in Eastern and Central European countries. Twenty-four participants, including legal professionals, judiciary experts, and NGO representatives attended the meeting.

Speakers, Peter Čuroš from Via Iuris and the Polish Academy of Sciences, and Jim Moliterno from Washington and Lee University, provided valuable insights into the challenges posed by populism in Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary and its implications for the rule of law. They highlighted the systematic erosion of the rule of law in these countries and drew parallels with similar trends observed in Georgia.

Peter Čuroš offered a review of recent legislative developments in Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, emphasizing the impact of systemic interventions in the judiciary and limitations imposed on civil society organizations. Jim Moliterno provided a historical overview, particularly focusing on efforts to uphold the independence of the judiciary in Slovakia. While acknowledging positive reforms, Moliterno stressed the ongoing challenges in ensuring the rule of law.

Participants explored legislative parallels between Slovakia and Georgia, particularly concerning the legislation that could stigmatize organizations receiving foreign funding and pose a threat to democratic principles.

The discussion is a part of an ongoing series organized by the International Network of Judicial Reformers, aimed at facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration among legal professionals worldwide. Presently, the network comprises 59 members from 23 countries across Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the USA.


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