On the Slippery Slope to a ,People’s Court'

Writes Matej Avbelj in High time for popular constitutionalism!, ‘The majority in our societies seems to be increasingly disconnected with the liberal values that especially the legal academia, but also the ruling political class – at least on a declaratory level – have taken for granted…’ Living as I do in the country in which one sees an increasing distaste for the European Convention of Human Rights and regular media criticism of the ‘unelected judges’ in Strasbourg – and that despite the fact that the judges of the Court are, in fact, elected from a slate of three by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – I cannot help wondering whether the disconnect is anything very new.

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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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Populists chairing the European Commission and Parliament

No, the title of this post does not refer to a dystopia to come after the next European elections in 2019. It refers to the two presidents of today – Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz. Now why can they be seen as populists in some plausible way? In my view, this is because of the way in which they see politics and the role of the “people” in it.

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Das Grundgesetz der Beatrix von Storch

Eine Menge Presse haben die beiden AfD-Vize Beatrix von Storch und Alexander Gauland für ihre "Islam-und-Grundgesetz-geht-nicht-zusammen"-Äußerungen bekommen. Es ist natürlich von scharfer Ironie, dass die beiden AfDler den Islam ausgerechnet zu einem Dokument in Gegnerschaft stellen, das uns Respekt vor der Religionsfreiheit befiehlt. Mir scheint aber, dass man es damit nicht bewenden lassen kann zu sagen, lest doch mal einfach mal Artikel 4. Mir scheint, von Storch und Gauland haben mit ihrer Invokation des Grundgesetzes etwas ganz anderes, etwas viel Fundamentaleres im Sinn als bloß an der Religionsfreiheit herumzufummeln.

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A New Revolution? The Recent Governmental Crisis in Romania

As of November 2015, Romania faces its most important social, political and constitutional crisis in the last quarter-century. If the 1989 Revolution signified a break with a totalitarian communist regime, the widespread street protests of 2015, which led to the fall of the Government, gave a new message: global dissatisfaction towards the whole political class and institutions marked by serious inefficiency and corruption. The Government’s resignation led to an important constitutional crisis: one year before general elections, the country needed a new Government, but there was no clear political majority in Parliament to form one. In these circumstances, the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, has tried a new approach, calling on social movements and appointing a non-political "techocratic" government. Time will tell if the decisions taken were right for Romanian democracy.

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