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Weekly Update


We are living in a time where politicians, whose work has always profoundly affected the Rule of Law, are explicitly referring to it as a concept.

Last week's House of Lords debate on the second reading of the UK Internal Market Bill saw no fewer than 103 such references, by peers from all sides of the political spectrum.

Members of the EU Parliament and governments of the 27 member states are currently engaged in another momentous Rule of Law debate, which has nothing to do with Brexit. For several years, there has been discussion of introducing "Rule of Law conditionality" into EU budgets, which would enable the disbursement of EU funds to be halted when a member state breaches or threatens the Rule of Law. This week, reports have suggested that negotiations may be close to producing a decision  on the conditionality mechanism - including the crucial questions of what Rule of Law violations will trigger it, and who decides when such violations have occurred.

In parallel, the governments of Hungary and Poland, two EU member states which have faced some of the most serious and sustained criticism of their Rule of Law track records in recent years, have discussed their plans to establish a Rule of Law Institute.  'We need to show Europe that there might be an alternative interpretation', Hungary's Foreign Minister, Judit Varga, said this week. Implicit in this statement is an acknowledgement that the Rule of Law matters. While detailed plans for the institute remain to be seen, the Bingham Centre will take a close interest in it.

Read our full Weekly Update here , which lists some of our week's activities on Rule of Law we have been involved in. 

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