“Vote Yes for a Safe Italy” or “Vote No to Defend the Constitution”: Italian Constitutional Politics between Majoritarianism and Civil Resistance

In the run-up to the constitutional referendum in October, the Italian government meets considerable resistance towards its plans for a comprehensive reform of the Constitution of 1948. Both Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Constitutional Reform Minister Maria Elena Boschi regularly sustain that in case of a ‘No’ vote, chaos will rule. Public debate seems trapped in a Manichean game between yes-proponents that accuse the opposition of conservatism, and no-proponents that accuse the government of authoritarian leanings.

Continue Reading →


How to balance the aim of the UK to leave the European Union with the complex independence and border issues this would cause in Scotland and Northern Ireland? One possible scenario could be for Scotland to broker a five-year EFTA-EEA „naughty step“ membership for the United Kingdom, at the end of which Scotland could itself become an independent EFTA-EEA member state and thus be well positioned to re-enter the European Union.

Continue Reading →

Statutory tinkering: on the Senate’s changes to the Law on the Polish Constitutional Tribunal

The infamous law on the Polish Constitutional Tribunal of July 7th has met with an outcry of criticism among constitutional scholars. Last week, the upper chamber of the Polish Parliament, the Senate, has introduced a number of changes to meet some of the concerns. On the whole the effort amounts to little more than statutory tinkering, though. The effect, the emasculation of constitutional control in Poland, remains unchanged.

Continue Reading →
Advertising: Global Constitutionalism (Journal) Volume 5, Issue 2
July 2016

Global Constitutionalism

Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law




Jetzt wird es ernst: Zur Rehabilitierung und Entschädigung von nach § 175 StGB verurteilten Männern

Das Gutachten von Martin Burgi und Daniel Wolff zur Rehabilitation strafrechtlich verurteilter Homosexueller war ein eklatanter politischer Erfolg: Nach einem Eckpunktepapier des Bundesjustizministeriums sollen Urteile auf Basis des früheren § 175 StGB rückwirkend aufgehoben werden. In zwei wichtigen Punkten geht das Papier sogar noch über das Gutachten hinaus: erstens in Fällen homosexueller Handlungen zwischen Erwachsenen und Heranwachsenden und zweitens bei der Umsetzung einer individuellen, zusätzlich zu einer kollektiven, materiellen Entschädigungsleistung.

Continue Reading →

10 (pro-EU) reasons to be cheerful after Brexit

As the dust continues to swirl around the momentous Brexit referendum result a month ago (and doesn’t show any signs of settling anytime soon) I suspect many EU sympathisers will be somewhere in the middle of the various stages of the Kübler-Ross Grief cycle: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. So, somewhat incongruosly, are the ‘leavers’. Whereas there are almost as many emotions being experienced on all sides as there are potential options on what will happen next both in terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU as well as the future of the EU itself, in this post I want to set out a number of (pro-EU) reasons – some obvious, some optimistic, others wildly speculative – to be cheerful amidst the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote.

Continue Reading →

AG Saugmandsgaard Øe on Mass Data Retention: No Clear Victory for Privacy Rights

The opinion of the CJEU Attorney General on mass data retention has been long awaited by anyone interested in privacy rights, and more generally the relationship between states and their citizens during this period of an extended “war on terror”. While some civil rights groups have already claimed victory, on closer look the opinion of the AG is not an unmitigated success for privacy activists: It gives considerable discretion to member states to enact data retention provisions providing they meet the Digital Rights Ireland standard.

Continue Reading →

Can Greece lawfully extradite the eight Turkish soldiers to Turkey?

Turkey demands the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece on Saturday 16 July after Friday’s failed coup, using an army helicopter. The key question is whether they would face a ‘real risk’ of ill-treatment contrary to Art. 3 ECHR. I tentatively conclude that such real risk is made out.

Continue Reading →

„What is Going on in Poland is an Attack against Democracy“

„A constitutional coup d’état“: Wojciech Sadurski, one of Poland’s foremost jurisprudence scholars, dissects the strategy of the Polish government to disembowel the Polish Constitutional Tribunal.

Continue Reading →

After Brexit: Time for a further Decoupling of European and National Citizenship?

According to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the issue of Scotland’s EU membership after Brexit is ‘a matter for the UK’. That statement is simply false: the future EU citizenship of UK nationals is not a domestic matter but an issue – perhaps the issue – for the Union as a whole to determine.

Continue Reading →

Like a Bargaining Chip: Enduring the Unsettled Status of EU Nationals Living in the UK

Yesterday, the UK Government has issued a statement to reassure EU nationals living in the UK as to their post-referendum status. While hundreds of EU nationals channel their relief through social media in welcoming the news and British businesses praise the Government for giving them the reassurance needed, to a more expert eye things seem much less reassuring.

Continue Reading →

Between the Scylla of Terrorism and the Charybdis of the Police State: on the new French Anti-Terrorist Legislation

One month ago, France has enacted a new anti-terror law to end the state of emergency that had been in place since the terror attacks of Nov 15 2015. The basic purpose of the law is quite clearly to empower the executive (police and prosecution services) with investigative tools formerly reserved to the judiciary. Whether such a transfer of powers is justified or not, the fact is that the “country of human rights” actually now has today the most authoritarian anti-terrorist legislation in the European Union.

Continue Reading →