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Biography

Since September 2016 Gábor Halmai, professor of law, is the chair of Comparative Constitutional Law at the European University Institute in Florence. Since January 2018 he is the Director of Graduate Studies at the Law Department. His primary research interests are comparative constitutional law, and international human rights. He has published several books and articles, as well as edited volumes on these topics in English, German and Hungarian. He is joining the EUI after a teaching and research career (at the Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, the Princeton University in the USA, the the European Masters Program in Human Rights and Democratization in Italy) as well as years of professional career as chief advisor to the President of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, member of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s Management Board and numerous other civic activities. 

Prior to joining to EUI Professor Halmai has worked on various research projects at the IWM in Vienna and the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University: Backsliding of liberal democracies within the European Union, with special focus on the development of constitutionalism and human rights in Hungary since its democratic transition in 1989-1990 till now; Models of state-church relations and religious freedom; Constitutionalism and transitional justice in Central and Eastern Europe. His most recent book, „Perspectives on Global Constitutionalism” deals with the use of foreign and international law by domestic courts (published by Eleven International Publishing in 2014). In addition to research, Professor Halmai has also been teaching and supervising students in Budapest, Princeton and Florence on the subjects of comparative constitutional law and human rights, as well as on rule of law. 

Besides his academic work he was member of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s Management Board based in Vienna, Austria (2007-2010), the national director of the European Masters Program in Human Rights and Democratization in Venice, Italy (2003-2013), vice-chair of the Hungarian National Election Commission (2006-2010; chief counsellor to the President of the Hungarian Constitutional Court (1990-1996). 

Gábor Halmai is founder and editor-in-chief of Fundamentum, the Hungarian human right quarterly, and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Yearbook on Human Rights, the Review of Constitutionalism and Constitutional Change (RC3), and the This Century’s Review.