Japanische Unterhauswahl 2017: Gedanken über eine mögliche Verfassungsänderung

Die japanische Regierungspartei LDP unter Ministerpräsident Shinzo Abe hat seit der letzten Unterhauswahl eine verfassungsändernde Mehrheit. Die will sie nutzen, um in der anti-militaristischen Verfassung die Existenz der Selbstverteidigungskräfte zu verankern. Was steckt dahinter?

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A Constitution of Fear

A new brand of constitutionalism is on the rise in Poland, defined by a „constitution of fear”. Fear is the leitmotif of the constitution-making process defined by suspicion, exclusion, drive for retribution and settling the scores. As such it reflects the main tenets of populist constitutionalism: distrust in the institutions and rejection of the liberal status quo and culture of self-constraints.

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Gibt es ein Menschenrecht auf Kennzeichnung von Polizisten?

Am 09. Dezember 2007 hatten die beiden Fußballfans Ingo Hentschel und Matthias Stark wenig zu lachen: Nicht nur verlor ihr Verein 1860 München mit 1:0 gegen den Lokalrivalen FC Bayern München II, sie sahen sich nach der Partie (nach eigener Aussage) darüber hinaus auch noch massiver Polizeigewalt ausgesetzt. Fast zehn Jahre später, am 09. November 2017, bekamen die beiden vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) Genugtuung: Deutschland hat ihr Recht aus Art. 3 der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention (EMRK) verletzt, das Verbot von Folter und unmenschlicher, erniedrigender Behandlung, und muss dafür Entschädigung leisten. Rechtlich interessant an der Entscheidung ist vor allem ein Punkt, der schon lange diskutiert wird: die Kennzeichnungspflicht von Polizeibediensteten.

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Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

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Luxleaks and the Good Faith Whistleblower

The cassation trial in the « Luxleaks » case, in which whistleblower Antoine Deltour is challenging the Luxembourg Court of Appeal’s decision to convict him to a 12-month suspended sentence for having leaked 10.000 pages of documents about tax avoidance schemes in Luxembourg , is set to start on November 23. This trial will once again test the ability of the current case-law of the European Court of Human Rights to provide whistleblowers with effective protection.

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Losing to the European Union: A Review of Yanis Varoufakis' Book "Adults in the Room"

Varoufakis gives a detailed account of a saga that gripped international public opinion two years ago, propelled him to international stardom and ended in economic and social disaster for the Greeks. The book is readable and interesting, even if it is full of the author’s familiar hyperbolic statements. It will be of value to anyone with an interest the Eurozone crisis, and especially to British readers who are concerned about Brexit. The parallels between Varoufakis’ ideologically motivated clash with the EU and the British government’s similarly confrontational attitude with the EU are too obvious to miss. 

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Eine Operation nahe am Herzen der Demokratie

Die öffentliche Verwaltung hat sich in den letzten Jahrzehnten dramatisch verändert. Durch Europäisierung, Privatisierung und eine wachsende Zahl von unabhängigen Behörden entstehen faktische und rechtliche Probleme für die parlamentarische Kontrolle, etwa im Hinblick auf öffentliche Unternehmen. In diesem Kontext hat jetzt das Bundesverfassungsgericht ein grundlegendes Urteil gesprochen, das das Parlament und insbesondere die Oppositionsfraktionen nachhaltig stärkt.

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On Cockroaches and the Rule of Law

As I awoke one morning from uneasy dreams I found myself transformed in my bed into a gigantic insect. Like Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, I had mutated into an enormous and abominable cockroach with no prior warning. It just happened. As I woke up, I could feel how my new legs and antennae moved with sinuous speed. Then I knew what I really had become. I had muted into a Spanish fascist.

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Abschreckung im Vorfeld – Zur show of force des Staates bei Versammlungen

Die Mühlen des Rechts mahlen langsam, aber gerecht. Zu dieser Abwandlung eines berühmten Sprichworts mag derjenige greifen, wer das jüngste Urteil des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts zum Versammlungsrecht liest. Am  25.10.2017 entschied das Bundesverwaltungsgericht über den Tornado-Einsatz vom G8-Gipfel in Heiligendamm – über zehn Jahre, nachdem die damaligen Bundessprecher*innen der GRÜNEN JUGEND Jan Philipp Albrecht und Paula Riester gegen den Einsatz geklagt hatten. Gerade weil sich die staatliche Praxis im Umgang mit Versammlungen in jüngster Zeit immer stärker militarisiert und zugleich präventiv ausgerichtet hat, kommt dem leider in der Öffentlichkeit nicht hinreichend rezipierten Urteil eine grundsätzliche Bedeutung zu.

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Still not a Dictatorship: Spanish Law and Judiciary in Times of Constitutional Crisis

I write these lines after Carles Puigdemont, the deposed Catalan President, and part of his Government have fled to Brussels to evade Spanish justice, after eight ex-Consellers of the Government have been sent to pre-trial detention without bail, and after the appeal from the incarcerated presidents of two civil pro-independence associations ANC and Omnium to be released on conditional parole after 18 days of detention has been rejected. The scenario is terrible, also for those of us that believe that the only possible solution for this crisis is by political negotiation, and it could have been avoided. That being said – the assertion that Spain has turned into a repressive state or even a dictatorship is utterly groundless.

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Defamation of Justice – Propositions on how to evaluate public attacks against the Judiciary

Public debate is an essential element of a democratic society. While this debate should not spare the judiciary, public attacks against the judiciary of a critical intensity can be observed in several European countries. The most recent example originates from Poland, where, in September 2017, a campaign on bill boards and on the internet was launched in support of the controversial draft acts on judicial reform. The campaign portrays judges as a "privileged cast" and as being corrupt, criminal and incompetent. Having regard to these events, it should be borne in mind that attacks against the judiciary from members of the legislative and executive can pose real threats to judicial independence and the separation of powers. This post takes these considerations as the starting point for a general discussion on how to properly evaluate public criticism of the judiciary. We suggest a frame of reference which seeks to balance the right of free speech and the legitimate interest of the judiciary to not have its legitimacy and independence abridged by political actors. In this regard, we argue that the level of scrutiny must depend on where such criticism comes from.

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Prisoner Voting and Power Struggle: a Never-Ending Story?

On 29 October 2017, it was announced that the UK authorities are planning to revoke the blanket ban on prisoner voting and allow those who are sentenced to under a year in prison to go home for a day and vote. This was done to ensure the compliance with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Hirst No 2 which was delivered in 2005. It took the UK government twelve years to come up with a proposal that would put English law in line with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

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