Pakistan’s Reluctant Constitutionalism

On 20 April 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled in one of the greatest cases in its turbulent history: the impeachment of the prime minister for involvements in shady financial dealings that bubbled up after the Panama Papers. Nothing happened; the court only showed Nawaz Sharif the yellow card. But while Pakistan narrowly missed her constitutional moment by a single judge’s vote, the court’s ruling displayed tremendous democratic maturity.

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The Spanish Constitutional Court on the Path of Self-Destruction

Recently, the Spanish Constitutional Court has published one more decision in application of the new reform of the Law on Constitutional Court which increased its powers for the execution of its own decisions. It is clear that Catalonian sovereignist politicians are acting irresponsibly and provoking the Spanish powers. The only good way to answer to this challenge is a balanced and neutral response of the Constitutional Court every time they adopt an illegal act. Instead, the Court assumed a political role. He tries to stop even any talk about independence. By doing so, it fails to respect its own role as keeper of a Constitutional framework where very diverse ideologies can be discussed.

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Populist Constitutions – A Contradiction in Terms?

The meaning of “populism” is deeply contested.  It is striking, though, that many observers appear to agree on one point: whatever else it is, populism is inherently hostile to the mechanisms and, ultimately, the values commonly associated with constitutionalism: constraints on the will of the majority, checks and balances, protections for minorities, and even fundamental […]

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Türkei-Referendum vor dem EGMR: Warum der Gang nach Straßburg diesmal wohl nicht helfen wird

Nachdem die türkische Wahlkommission den Antrag einiger Oppositionsparteien auf Annullierung des Verfassungsreferendums vom 16. April verworfen hat, erwägt die oppositionelle CHP Medienberichten zufolge den Gang nach Straßburg. Dem halten türkische Spitzenpolitiker entgegen, der EGMR sei hierfür nicht zuständig. Was ist hiervon zu halten?

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How Could the ECJ Escape from the Taricco Quagmire?

The Taricco saga shows how difficult has become the coexistence between the doctrines that have been developed so far by the ECJ on one side and the national Constitutional or Supreme Courts on the other side. The ECJ and the Constitutional Courts, in all their isolated splendour (or splendid isolation), preferred so far to follow parallel lines, whose meeting could only take place ad infinitum. However, if the parallelism collapses, the two lines are doomed to crash.

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Nonchalance im Rechtsstaat? Anfragen an den Spielhallen-Beschluss des BVerfG

Gut 19 Milliarden Euro werden bei bis vor kurzem sprunghaft steigender Tendenz jährlich mit Geldspielgeräten umgesetzt. Da dabei auch das Suchtverhalten kranker Menschen wirtschaftlich ausgenutzt wird, muss man kein Mitleid mit der Spielgerätewirtschaft haben, wenn die Landesgesetzgeber ihr in Ausführung des 2012 geänderten Glücksspielstaatsvertrags nun massiv zu Leibe rücken. Es gehört aber zum Markenkern des Rechtsstaats, dass die Anforderungen an die Eindämmung vormals erlaubten Verhaltens nicht davon abhängen, wie sympathisch man dieses findet. Vor diesem Hintergrund verdient der jüngste Beschluss des BVerfG zur Spielhallenregulierung Beachtung, weil rechtsstaatliche Mindeststandards hinter den immer wieder betonten besonders herausgehobenen Allgemeininteressen, die mit der Regulierung auch zweifellos verfolgt werden, stark verblassen.

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Stopping forced sterilisation is not enough – the limitations of the recent ECHR judgement on trans rights

The recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in A.P., Garçon and Nicot v. France constitutes an important decision for trans rights in many ways. The ECtHR determined that France’s requirement of sterilisation, applying to persons wishing to legally change their names and gender on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity, is a violation of the right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

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The Holy Word does not come strictly in Italian – Another Islamophobic Law stopped in Northern Italy

The saga continues: again have regions in Italy governed by the right-wing party Lega Nord tried to use an administrative law to restrict the building of new mosques in the regions. This time, Veneto came up with something new: they made it mandatory to speak only Italian in religious buildings. But the Constitutional Court took a clear stance, for religious freedom and for the importance of language as a cultural good.

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Judicial Review of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy: Lessons from the Rosneft case

On 28 March 2017, the Grand Chamber of the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) decided in a preliminary ruling that the restrictive measures adopted by the Council against Russian undertakings, including oil company Rosneft, are valid. The judgment is of constitutional significance. It clarifies the scope of the CJEU’s jurisdiction with respect to acts adopted in the sphere of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). In particular, it reveals that the EU system of judicial protection fully applies in relation to restrictive measures against natural and legal persons (so-called ‘targeted sanctions’).

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