Human Rights Law
Hungary, and Poland
Czechoslovakia (hereafter referred to as the Czech-Slovak Federal Republic, or CSFR), Hungary, and Poland were the three states in which one found the most rapid advancement in human rights between the demise of communist rule in the late I980s and the early I990s. This chapter addresses the codification and practical implementation of human rights in these three states. It also addresses the "fit" between national and international standards of human rights.
The breakup of the CSFR into two independent states as of January I993 indicates, among other things, that the same legal-political process will need to be redone for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This bifurcation of Czechoslovakia, ending a nation-state of some seventy‐ years duration, reflects the implementation of the collective human right of peoples to self-determination. Whether in Slovakia this collective right leads to the reaffirmation of internationally recognized individual rights, and of minority rights for ethnic Hungarians, was not clear at the time of writing.
When one focuses on codification and implementation of legal standards (even if at an earlier stage of analysis these standards are considered moral ones), it is well to emphasize at the start that the respect for human rights within any state cannot be assessed apart from the larger sociopolitical context (with economics understood as a social factor). Thus, we must consider legal standards of human rights not in