On 17th June 2021, the annual joint conference entitled ’Harmonization of Serbian and Hungarian (Domestic) Law with the European Law and Cross-Border Cooperation’ was organized for the eight time. This year, the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences hosted the event on a digital platform.
The participants were first greeted by Erzsébet Csatlós, dean’s repporteur for international affairs, then by the welcome speeches of Prof. Dr. Márta Görög, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Szeged and Prof. Dr. Slobodan Orlović vice-dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Novi Sad.
The conference continued in three sections – we could see presentations about basic rights in Section A, in Section B we had state affairs, criminal law and local self-government and Section C’s presentations were all about economic affairs. All of them were held in English and most of them were followed by lively debates. During the event, we were able to gain insight into various interesting topics, such as children’s right to a personal relationship with their grandparents during the isolation, protection of foreign investments amidst COVID-19, crime during COVID-19 and cross-border cooperation etc. All presentations provided us with a comprehensive picture of the current changes and upcoming trends taking place in Europe regarding law, economics and politics.
Section A was opened by Gordana Kovaćek-Stanić’s presentation entitled ’The Right of the Child to Personal Relationship with his/her Grandparents during the Isolation’, followed by Senad Jašarević’s about the ’Protection of Children in Labor Area in France, Austria and Serbia’. Right before the first break, we had the opportunity to listen to József Hajdú, who analyzed the issue of ’Improving the Implementation of Social Rights in Europe by Reinforcing the European Social Charter System’ while Zsuzsanna Juhász gave an insight to the situation of prisons in Hungary during the pandemic. The first break was followed Rida Zulfiqar who talked about ’Serbian Law Policy Comparison of Gender Equality and Human Rights with Hungarian Legal Framework’, Csatlós Erzsébet’s presentation about the ’Administration of Consular Protection’, Luu Tuan Anh’s one about ’Public Health and Restrictions on the Free Movement of People in the European Union’ and Pongó Tamás’s presentation about ’The Freedom of Speech’ in the light of the Facebook Oversight’s Board Decision - all of these analyzed their respective topic in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second break was followed by presentations by Adrienn Lukács and Tayfun Tümtürk on similar topics: working from home during the pandemic – aspects of data protection and employee privacy. Last but not least, Katalin Visontai-Szabó closed the session with her analysis on the relationship between the pandemic and domestic violence.
Section B was chaired by Prof. Dr. Zsolt Szomora, head of the Institute of Public Law of the Faculty of Law of the University of Szeged. This section also featured topics related to the different situations caused by the pandemic – the discussion revealed a lot of information as we could hear about problems that affect us, but in a new perspective, from the point of view of our Serbian colleagues. The presented topics were examined in their legal aspects, including changes affecting local governments from an administrative perspective, as well as in the point of view of criminal law. At the end of the lectures, there were debates about the presentations, allowing the participants to discuss them.
Section C was chaired by Prof. Dr. István Csongor Nagy, head of the Department of Private International Law of the Faculty of Szeged of the University of Szeged. The section’s presentations were mostly about economic issues – they were very interesting to follow, especially from the perspective of the Serbian professors. Dušan Nikolić talked about the ’Legal Aspect of Wine Declaration and Labeling’, Ljubomir Stajić could not attend the conference, so he was substituted by, Nenad Stajić, his brother – his presentation examined the issue of ’Security and Legal Aspects of the Protection of Power Infrastructure in the Republic of Serbia’. Then we had Maja Stanivuković, who held her lecture about ’Key Elements for Reform of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Clause in the 2014 Model Bilateral Investment Treaty of Serbia’, followed by Sanja Đajić’s presentation about ’Renaissance of the Good Faith Principle in Recent International Investment Arbitration and Treaty-Making’, Muhammad Abdul Khalique and his take on the ’EU’s Proposed Multilateral Investment Court: Will this Solve the Problems of Current ISDS System?’ issue, Bojan Pajtić’s lecture about the ‘Prevention of Unfair Competition in Serbian and Hungarian Law and Legal Business Practice’. The section was finished by Narmin Miriyeva’s take on ‘The Legal Impact of COVID-19 on Online Consumer Behavior’.
Our academic event provided an excellent opportunity to enrich the participants’ perspectives about the discussed topics and its success is proven by the fact that despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, its’ goals were achieved as the participants were able to establish a connection between the two countries’ legal system, followed by discussions and the honest intention to get to know each other’s different take and point of view on the analyzed issues.
Evelin Bordás, Kíra Daniella Sindel and Arnold-István Szántó