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School of Law

'Rule of Law Backsliding in the EU: What it is and what must be done about it?’

When: Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Where: Online,

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EUPLANT logo sat above the Erasmus+ logo which states 'with the generous support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European UnionThis lecture is hosted by EUPLANT and the Association des Juristes Queen Mary Sorbonne (AJQS). It will focus on the issue of ‘rule of law backsliding’ in Europe which can be defined as the process through which elected public authorities deliberately implement blueprints designed to systematically weaken, capture and/or annihilate internal checks on power. This process facilitates the establishment of de facto electoral autocracies and one-party states. In the EU, Poland and Hungary have raised particular concerns in this respect and they are now both subject to Article 7(1) TEU proceedings.

Rule of law backsliding’ is therefore no longer a theoretical concern but a clear and present danger which risks fatally undermining a common legal framework which the European Court of Justice has described as ‘a structured network of principles, rules and mutually interdependent legal relations linking the EU and its Member States, and its Member States with each other’. Before presenting possible solutions regarding the way forward, an overview of the EU institutions’ answers (or non-answers) to this problem will be offered.


Laurent Pech is Professor of European Law, Jean Monnet Chair of European Public Law (2014-17) and Head of the Law and Politics Department at Middlesex University London. Laurent is also a Visiting Professor of Law at Bordeaux University, an expert for eLabEurope, and a member of the editorial board of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law as well as a member of the scientific board of the Montesquieu Law Review. He has been a visiting professor at many institutions, including his alma mater: Aix-Marseille University. In 2018, Professor Pech was appointed Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute. He is currently a member of a H2020 funded four-year multidisciplinary research project on "Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law" (RECONNECT).

Professor Pech specialises in EU Public Law and has lectured in a variety of subjects including EU Constitutional Law, EU Internal Market Law, EU Competition Law and EU Fundamental Rights Law. His current primary area of research is rule of law backsliding in Europe.

**Please note this is an online event and joining details will be sent to all registrants on the day of the event.