Fighting Judicial Corruption with Constitutional Measures: the Albanian Case

No state can thrive with corrupt political and legal elites. But if lawmakers and judges are corrupt themselves, fighting corruption with legal means is all but impossible. As a step towards membership in the European Union, Albania has embedded a comprehensive reform of its anti-corruption law directly into its constitution.

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Constitutional justice in Handcuffs? Gloves are off in the Polish Constitutional Conflict

A high-ranking PiS politician has announced that those Constitutional Tribunal judges who will not bend to the will of the PiS majority will be removed from office. This marks a new step of escalation in the ongoing constitutional crisis in Poland.

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Islam on the Beach – The Burkini Ban in France

In 1964, a young woman wearing a monokini played table tennis on the Croisette, the famous road along the shore in the city of Cannes. She was sentenced for outraging public decency. Half a century later, the mayor of Cannes just banned on his beaches the burkini, a full-body swimsuit weared by some Muslim women. Some other coastal cities followed, one administrative tribunal confirmed, and a new controversy around the keyword “laïcité” was born. It seems to me that the burkini-ban is a legal error and a political mistake.

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Jein – eine fehlende Variante bei dem Brexit-Referendum

Großbritannien hat eine Schicksalsentscheidung getroffen. Zwar hat die Volksbefragung nach herrschender Meinung nur beratenden Charakter, doch hat die britische Regierung im Vorfeld ankündigte das Ergebnis zu befolgen und wird es daher kaum übergehen. „Brexit means Brexit“, sagte auch Theresa May, die neue britische Premierministerin und frühere Remain-Befürworterin. Was „Brexit“ bedeutet, bleibt aber unklar.

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Italian Constitutional Referendum: Voting for Structural Reform or Constitutional Transformation?

As the distance between political elites and the population in Europe increases, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans of constitutional reform further impoverish political representation in Italy – both with respect to input and output of the process. That is why the opponents of the reform are gaining ever more traction among Italian voters and could in the end prevail.

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INIS Free? Towards a Scots-Irish Union

A post Brexit union of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland would be one way of achieving what the majority of the electors of Northern Ireland and Scotland who voted in the Brexit referendum sought to achieve, namely to remain within the EU and retain their EU citizenship. Historically, there is considerable precedent for such a Scotch-Irish Union.

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Der Donald-Test

Nicht nur unser Sicherheitsgefühl hat in den vergangenen Wochen gelitten, sondern auch unsere Zuversicht angesichts der Frage, in wessen Hände die Macht in westlichen Demokratien so alles fallen kann. Vor diesem Erfahrungshintergrund ist es nicht allein unsere Angst, die darüber entscheidet, was wir uns an staatlichen Sicherheitsbefugnissen wünschen. Wir fragen uns auch, oder sollten uns zumindest fragen: würden wir diese Sicherheitsbefugnisse auch, sagen wir, einem Donald Trump geben?

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“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.

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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.

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