Dissenting Coalitions in Politically Relevant Cases at the Hungarian Constitutional Court 1990-2018

The paper investigates three phases in the activity of the Hungarian Constitutional Court through an analysis of dissenting opinions in politically relevant cases. Dissenting opinions reveal judicial behavior which, according to the attitudinal model, might be linked to the political position of the parties that nominated the judges. Beyond examining individual decision-making, the article applies network-analysis to identify whether patterns in dissenting opinions might be differentiated according to political positions and a left-right partition. According to our findings, political blocs did not emerge and become dominant after 2010; rather, this phenomenon was already present during the second phase of the Court (1999–2010) as the judges could be differentiated along the political positions they adopted in their dissenting opinions. During the third phase (2010–2018), the network of judges proved to be less polarized, and a separation between old and new judges also emerged.