On Dreams and Nightmares

As the "Eurocrat’s Dream" has ended, what have we woken up to? Since the very noteworthy collection of essays under title "The End of the Eurocrat’s Dream", edited by CHRISTIAN JOERGES, DAMIEN CHALMERS and MARCUS JACHTENFUCHS, has appeared this spring, the waking-life reality in Europe and beyond has taken on a decidedly nightmarish character.

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The Lure of the New Normal

No-one can remain in a constant state of exception, that would be a contradiction in terms. Any emergency that goes on for too long becomes somewhat normal over time. If things refuse to get less terrifying, all we can do is raise our level of terrification, isn’t it? Donald Trump will let a White Supremacists' media darling shape his political strategies – but hey: he deserves a chance, right? Austria is weeks away from falling into the hands of the far-right populists, with other European countries lining up behind it – but please, let’s not overreact, maybe we are all just out of touch with what ordinary people think and feel?

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Week #1 after Trump

I will not bore you with yet another account of how stunned I still am and how I shake in my booths now and so forth. We all do, I suppose. The world has changed over night, quite literally. And the world we woke up in on Wednesday morning appears to be a far less habitable place for liberal constitutionalists who believe that state and society should respect human dignity, protect the vulnerable, overcome discrimination and impose on their own power those legal restraints that empower them in the first place.

How could this happen? What did we do wrong? What can we do now? Shall we stand our ground or adapt?

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Enemies of the People?

"Enemies of the People": that is, according to the Daily Mail, what the High Court judges are. Joseph Stalin would have been wildly amused by this way of putting things… Leaving aside such 30s reminiscences, it seems to me too simple to reduce this phenomenon solely to the disgracefulness of the British boulevard press and Tory backbenchers. There is something more fundamental going on. Not only in the United Kingdom. But in the entire Western democratic constitutional space.

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Feinde des Volkes?

"Enemies of the People": So titelt die Daily Mail als Reaktion auf das gestrige Brexit-Urteil des High Court. An dieser Diktion hätte Josef Stalin seine helle Freude gehabt. Aber jenseits solcher 30er-Jahre-Reminiszenzen scheint es mir zu kurz gesprungen, dieses Phänomen allein auf die Verkommenheit der britischen Boulevardpresse und der snotty Tory-Elite zu reduzieren. Da geht etwas Grundlegenderes vor. Und zwar nicht allein im Vereinigten Königreich. Sondern im gesamten westlichen demokratisch-rechtsstaatlichen Verfassungsraum.

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Rindfleisch in Karlsruhe: Was er kriminalisieren will, muss uns der Staat schon sagen

Wer Rindfleisch falsch etikettiert, macht sich strafbar – eigentlich einfach, aber vom Gesetzgeber derart obskur konstruiert, dass das BVerfG jetzt einen Verstoß gegen das Bestimmtheitsgebot festgestellt hat. Zu der Frage, ob die Ultima Ratio Strafrecht überhaupt das richtige Mittel ist, um Rindfleischetikettierung zu regulieren, schweigt das Gericht dagegen.

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Parlamentswahlen in Island: was wir im Jahr 2016 vom isländischen Verfassungsexperiment lernen können

Island hat gewählt. Und anders als vorausgesagt haben die Piraten mit ihrem Versprechen, die so genannte "Crowdsourcing"-Verfassung von 2011 umzusetzen, nur den dritten Platz errungen. Ist es an der Zeit, sich von den direktdemokratischen Erlösungserwartungen, die sich an das isländische Verfassungsexperiment knüpfen, zu verabschieden? Oder ist die Lektion, die in diesem Experiment steckt, in Wahrheit eine ganz andere?

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Is the EU Commission’s Rule of Law Fight about Poland already lost?

In ten days, the deadline set by the EU Commission to Poland in the current stand-off about the Polish constitutional crisis will expire. A lot is at stake for both sides. In Warsaw few expect that the Commission will still be able to keep the ruling party from having it their way.

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