A Constituent Assembly Only in Name? Part III on Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly

The constitutional assembly in Venezuela is a constituent assembly in name only: First, it does not seem to be a temporary body that aims at performing its tasks within a preassigned and limited time frame. Second, so far it appears as if it is not the Constituent Assembly´s primary goal to draft a new constitution. Rather, its actions and the conscious choice of the Federal Legislative Palace as a meeting place suggest that the aim of this “superpower” is to replace the opposing parliament and silence any dissent.

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A Constituent Assembly Only in Name? Part II on Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly

On the 1st of May 2017, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro called for a constituent assembly invoking the articles 348, 70, 236 and 347 of the 1999 Constitution. This is in alignment with Maduro’s first line of argument that he acted according to the present constitution. However, there are many reasons to believe he is not.

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A Constituent Assembly Only in Name? Part I on Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly

In July 2017, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro convened a constituent assembly. In other words, an authoritarian president under pressure relies on what some theorists have referred to as the origin of all democratic rule. This raises one central question: Is this assembly really a constituent assembly, or is it one in name only?

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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


Protecting Israeli Citizens against Discrimination in Germany?

Last week, the district court of Frankfurt/Main issued a verdict that Kuwait Airways was allowed to refuse an Israeli citizen on its flight. The decision gained widespread international news coverage: Amidst concerns about rising antisemitism in Europe, many parts of the public were alarmed by what the mayor of Frankfurt described as anti-Semitic discriminatory practices that violated German law and international standards. In the following we take a close look at the legal issues involved in this case and discuss whether or not it might have been possible to come to a different conclusion.

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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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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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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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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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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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