The EU as the Appropriate Locus of Power for Tackling Crises: Interpretation of Article 78(3) TFEU in the case Slovakia and Hungary v Council

The CJEU’s judgment in Slovakia and Hungary v Council of 6 September 2017 raises important instutional questions. As the Court implicitly recognises the EU as the appropriate forum for taking effective action to address the emergency situation created by a sudden inflow of third country nationals, it adopts its tendency towards purposive and effectiveness-oriented jurisprudence to asylum law.

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A Stress Test for Europe’s Judiciaries

The rule of law, judicial independence and separation of powers are values guaranteed in constitutions of member states of the Council of Europe. Nevertheless, in recent years, a number of challenges to these accepted values have emerged in different countries all over Europe. Events in countries like Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia and Turkey should be mentioned in this context. Poland’s reforms of its judiciary (some of them still in draft stage) are the latest and gravest example of this European crisis. While such threats to judicial independence in individual states are a fundamental problem for European co-operation based on shared values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, European states should not wait for remedies to be found on the European level. Rather, European states should learn from the challenges in Poland and other countries to critically review the constitutional and legal framework of their own national judiciaries. To facilitate this process, we suggest to stress test Europe’s judiciaries.

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Who’s next? On the Future of the Rule of Law in Poland, and why President Duda will not save it

With the latest draft laws about the judiciary, the Law and Justice party (PiS) has crossed yet another line. President Duda’s announcement of a veto appears on first sight to present an obstacle to PiS’ march towards completely unrestricted, unitary state power. In this post, I will examine first what effects the PiS drafts will have on the independence of the judiciary by the hands of PiS and then, whether or not President Duda’s so-called veto holds what it seems to promise.

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How dangerous is Emmanuel Macron – really?

To what extent does Emmanuel Macron represent a risk for civil liberties in France? Against this background of looming one-party hegemony and executive overreach, especially in security matters, the Conseil constitutionnel, the French Constitutional Council, found it wise to remind the government of the limits of its police powers.

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An Explicit Constitutional Change by Means of an Ordinary Statute? On a Bill Concerning the Reform of the National Council of the Judiciary in Poland

Towards the end of January 2017, the Polish Ministry of Justice introduced a bill reforming the current legal status of the National Council of the Judiciary. If passed as proposed, the bill would seriously undermine the independence of the judiciary in Poland.

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The Final Trick? Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, and the Recomposition of the Turkish State

The Turkish parliament has recently passed constitutional amendments that will, pending the public referendum in spring 2017, set aside decades of parliamentary system tradition. Presumably aimed to repair the dysfunctions of the current regime and to respond to the need of a “stronger Turkey”, the proposed draft does not only eradicate the principle of separation of powers but rebuilds the state according to the interests of ruling groups, without much consideration being paid to the overall integrity of the system and long term implications.

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Selektoren-Urteil des BVerfG: Karlsruhe verzwergt das Parlament

In der vergangenen Woche hat das Bundesverfassungsgericht seinen Beschluss zum Beweiserhebungsrecht des NSA-Untersuchungsausschusses des Bundestages veröffentlicht. Er definiert die Maßstäbe, nach denen der Bundestag Auskunft über die Kooperation deutscher Nachrichtendienste mit ausländischen Diensten verlangen kann – mit weitreichenden Folgen für die demokratisch-rechtsstaatliche Kontrolle des außen- und sicherheitspolitischen Handelns der Bundesregierung insgesamt. In der Zusammenschau mit früheren Entscheidungen zeigt sich eine kritikwürdige Rechtsprechungslinie, die die exekutive Handlungsfähigkeit als verfassungsrechtliches Prinzip konstruiert, das sich von den demokratischen Prinzipien des Grundgesetzes verabschiedet.

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Is the US Constitution to blame for the Rise of Donald Trump? An Interview with SANFORD LEVINSON

"My view is that things will get worse before they get worse. Assuming Clinton wins, there will be tremendous relief and elation on November 9th. If the Republicans keep the House, on November 10th there will be the realization that this election is the most important election in our lifetimes only because of the rejection of Donald Trump. He is a real menace, of course. But in terms of an election that really breaks the logjam, no: It will be more of the same. More of this sick feeling that the national government is really incapable of responding to challenges except if Presidents can push the envelope of executive power, which will just fuel the rage of the opposition party."

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Warum das Grundgesetz die Rehabilitierung strafrechtlich verfolgter Homosexueller fordert und nicht verhindert

Bundesjustizminister Heiko Maas hat angekündigt, nach der erst 1994 aufgehobenen Anti-Homosexuellen-Strafnorm § 175 StGB Verurteilte zu rehabilitieren. Das hatten zuvor Verfassungsrechtler für rechtswidrig gehalten: angeblich verstoße eine solche legislative Aufhebung von Urteilen der Justiz gegen die Prinzipien der Gewaltenteilung, der Rechtssicherheit und der Gleichheit. Halten diese Einwände näherer Betrachtung stand?

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