Is dit het begin van het einde van de rechtsstaat in Europa?
Is dit het begin van het einde van de rechtsstaat in Europa?

Anti-democratic Politics in Europe

Thursday 18 January 2024, 8 pm - 9:30 pm
English lecture and conversation. Radboud Reflects and Faculty of Law

Dit is een Engelstalig programma. Liever in het Nederlands lezen? Dat kan op de Nederlandse pagina.

Governments in Poland, Hungary and Romania limit civic liberties. And the electoral successes of anti-democratic parties in other European countries, including The Netherlands, are raising alarms with legal scholars and politicians. Is this the beginning of the end of the rule of law in Europe? Will more countries follow? Have the dominoes started to fall? Come and listen to legal scholar Petra Bárd and political scientist Joep van Lit and learn how we can defend the rule of law in Europe.

Rule of law under threat

According to legal scholar Petra Bárd the rule of law in Europe is under threat. The rule of law is the idea that all citizens and institutions within a country, state, or community are accountable to the same laws, including lawmakers and leaders. In Europe this has long been taken for granted. But with the rise of the anti-democratic politics this valuable idea is under threat. According to Petra Bárd the fact that fewer states are willing to extradite criminals is a red flag. After all this indicates that states no longer trust that other countries respect the rule of law and that independent courts guarantee fair trial rights for all suspects.

Defense against democratic decline

The decline of the rule of law is only possible if autocratic politicians can come into power. Paradoxically, these autocratic politicians are often democratically elected. Political scientist Joep van Lit investigates defense strategies against democratic backsliding – the dismantling of democratic institutions and civic liberties. What can we do against democratic backsliding and how should we handle the paradox that democracies can produce undemocratic regimes?

Petra Bárd and Joep van Lit will both give a short lecture, after which philosopher Cees Leijenhorst will moderate a conversation between them. Come listen, and ask your own questions as well!

This progamme is in English. 

About the speakers

Petra Bárd is a legal scholar at Radboud University. Her research on ‘sustainable rule of law’ explores the extent to which the decline of rule of law in the member states of the European Union is a European matter. Her research explores issues at the intersection of the rule of law, fundamental rights, their European enforcement mechanism, and EU criminal cooperation. 

Joep van Lit is a political scientist at Radboud University. He works within the field of empirical political science, and researches democratic backsliding and the defense of democracy. 


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  • € 7,50 for other participants

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Thursday 18 January 2024, 8 pm - 9:30 pm
Legal scholar Petra Bárd and political scientist Joep van Lit