Four Indian Supreme Court Judges Accuse the Chief Justice of Wrongdoing

The judges should have been more considerate towards the institutional damage their actions have caused. They have hurt the court for decades to come. Institutional reform proves healthy when it comes from the inside; and one would like to think, that four senior judges wield a hefty amount of institutional power to transform the procedural mechanism without having to ‘call upon the people’ to intervene.This was little more than a political act in a country where politics and the law only function along the simple logic of institutionalising antagonism.

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30 days, six months… forever? Border control and the French Council of State

For Christmas 2017, the French Council of State – the Supreme Court for administrative matters in France – gave a nasty present to those attached to the free movement of persons in the Schengen area. In a ruling issued on 28 December (see here, in French), it upheld the decision of the French Government to reintroduce, for the ninth time in a row, identity control at its “internal” borders, i.e. borders with other Schengen countries – even though checks at internal borders are not, in fact, systematically performed. This decision, issued without even bringing the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling, sets aside, probably unlawfully, the time limit set by the Schengen Borders Code.

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Das NetzDG und die Vermutung für die Freiheit der Rede

Das Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) verstößt gegen die grundrechtliche Vermutung für die Freiheit der Rede. Das heißt nicht, dass die sozialen Netzwerke nicht reguliert werden dürften. Eine solche Regulierung darf dann aber nicht einseitig das „Zuwenig-Löschen“ bekämpfen, sondern muss auch dem „Zuviel-Löschen“ entgegenwirken.

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Advertising: Global Constitutionalism (Journal) Volume 6, Issue 3
November 2017

Global Constitutionalism

Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

  • Global constitutionalism and constitutional imagination

  • Civil disobedience as transnational disruption


Is the Crime in the Eye of the Beholder?

The French Constitutional Council has, for the second time, struck down a law that prohibits the usual consultation of terrorist websites. There is a higher abstract risk associated to the act of publishing a message than in the isolated act of reading it. Focusing on the prevention of the harm likely to be inflicted by the reader of the websites might not be the only way to deal with this statute, though.

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The Commission takes a step back in the fight for the Rule of Law

The European Commission has filed a complaint against Poland with the Court of Justice of the European Union based on Article 258 TFEU, in connection with the Polish Act on the Common Courts System. Fines may be charged on Poland as a result of the case, but the Commission has probably quietly withdrawn some of its charges, apparently opting for the somewhat modified “Hungarian scenario”. The impact of this new approach on the reversibility of the changes introduced to the Polish judiciary will be very limited.

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Chiles Verfassungs­reform – erfolgreicher Bürger­beteiligungs­prozess?

Chiles Verfassung stammt im Kern immer noch aus der Pinochet-Ära. Die scheidende Präsidentin Michelle Bachelet hatte eine grundlegende Verfassungsreform versprochen und dazu einen umfassenden Bürgerdialog initiiert. Was aus diesem Prozess unter ihrem Nachfolger Piñera wird, ist ungewiss.

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Catalonia in deadlock, and why that is a European problem

The Catalan territorial conflict is stuck. No clear solutions are on the table after the elections of December 21st. Catalans and Spaniards are failing so far to find solutions to the problem. But it is our European common problem and our common responsibility to try to help them. More specifically, EU institutions should be doing much more of what they have done so far. I blame them for their passivity in the last couple of months.

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„A Good Constitution” and the Habits of Heart

Unless we want to complete an obituary for the rule of law in 2018, the challenge should be clear. While improving constitutional safeguards against the excesses of any majority is of utmost importance, it is insufficient. What is needed this time is moving beyond text text and on to building the context in which a constitution will prosper.

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Doppelpass in Südtirol?

In ihrem Regierungsabkommen nehmen die ÖVP und die FPÖ in Aussicht, „den Angehörigen der Volksgruppen deutscher und ladinischer Muttersprache in Südtirol (…) die Möglichkeit einzuräumen, zusätzlich zur italienischen Staatsbürgerschaft die österreichische Staatsbürgerschaft zu erwerben”. Es ist unwahrscheinlich, dass es je zum Doppelpass kommen wird. Zu zahlreich, zu verzwickt sind die rechtlichen Schwierigkeiten. Dabei ist Italiens eigene Staatsbürgerschaft-Politik selbst alles andere als fehlerfrei.

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The European Commission’s Activation of Article 7: Better Late than Never?

On Wednesday, the European Commission reacted to the continuing deterioration of the rule of law situation in Poland. The remaining question, of course, is why this argument has been used in the context of 7(1) as opposed of 7(2) given that the situation on the ground in Poland is clearly – in the view of the Commission, the Venice Commission and countless other actors – one of clear and persistent breach of values, as opposed to a threat thereof. The explanation might lie beyond the simple difficulty of the procedural requirements related to the sanctioning stage.

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