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Weekly Update 18 February 2022

Weekly Update 18 February 2022

Dear Friends,

This week saw a significant milestone for the Rule of Law in the European Union. On Wednesday, the Court of Justice of the EU upheld the validity of the regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget, rejecting arguments to the contrary by Hungary and Poland. The judgment means that the European Commission is finally free to adopt guidelines on the use of the regulation. This means the Commission will have a new tool to uphold the Rule of Law that targets the financial interests of backsliding governments. The regulation enables EU funds to be withheld if minimum Rule of Law requirements are not being observed by a Member State.

On Monday 21 February we will co-host a free webinar considering the implications of this judgment. Details of the event can be found at the end of this email. Readers interested in the background of the EU budget conditionality regulation may also wish to read a blog by the Bingham Centre's Maurice Wohl Senior Fellow in European Law, Dr Julinda Beqiraj, who examined the implications of the regulation shortly after it was first adopted in 2020.

Closer to home, last week the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett of Maldon, delivered the Blackstone Lecture 2022. The topic was the hidden value of the Rule of Law and English Law. Lord Burnett cited a Bingham Centre study from 2015 with Hogan Lovells and other partners for his argument that commitment to the Rule of Law reduces fear of corruption and therefore improves economic conditions. The Bingham Centre has more recently engaged with these themes through an event in October 2020 on safeguarding London's standing in international dispute resolution with Baroness Hale of Richmond and Dame Elizabeth Gloster, and through our collaboration on a Prospect magazine special edition on safeguarding the UK's legal excellence in December 2020.

This Update reports on further Bingham Centre activities this week, including the publication of a UK Constitutional Law Association blog post on the 'Brexit Freedoms Bill', a report from the Public and Youth Engagement Programme, a RevDem podcast on COVID-19 and the Rule of Law two years on from the start of the pandemic, and the publication of a complete video of our joint event earlier this month which examined Scotland's attempt to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in the context of wider human rights reforms in Scotland.

You can read the whole Update here.

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