The Law Can’t Always Fix It

On 14 October, the Venice Commission released an opinion on the scope of the power of the President of Albania to set the dates of elections. In Albania, the President is facing impeachment due to his postponement of the local elections, and the Albanian Assembly’s Speaker requested the Venice Commission to issue its opinion on the President’s actions. While the Commission was clear in its legal conclusions, the reactions of the Albanian public to the report illustrate that a reasoned legal opinion was not suited to calm the ongoing political battles in Albania.

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Advertising: Global Constitutionalism (Journal)

Volume 8, Issue 2

July 2019


Global Constitutionalism

Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

  • Reactive vs structural approach: A public law response to populism
  • Glocalised constitution-making in the twenty-first century: Evidence from Asia

An Exotic Right

The Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling in the trial against Catalan secessionist leaders will definitely not help to solve the conflict. Quite on the contrary, it will make it intractable in the short run, as we are beginning to see in the riots in the streets of Barcelona. In my opinion, this ruling is unjust and legally wrong. Even worse, it is unconstitutional since it compromises the fundamental democratic rights of protest – the freedom of expression, the freedom of assembly, and the right to demonstrate.

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The European Ombudsman as an Insurmountable Roadblock?

On 17 September 2019, the European Ombudsman adopted a decision rejecting a complaint against the European Parliament submitted by The Good Lobby, an NGO “committed to giving voice to under-represented public interests and bringing more citizens into the public policy process”. The action was supported by Alberto Alemanno, also co-founder and director of the NGO, and Laurent Pech. In their post of last May 2019 they already described in detail their dealings with the Authority of European political parties and European political foundations (hereinafter the Authority) and with the President of Parliament. The subsequent stages and the Ombudsman’s take reveal the wider consequences of this process and some silver linings.

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‘Ze-Gate’: Excepting Accountability

On September 24, the democrats in the House of Representatives announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump for allegedly having pressured Ukrainian President Zelenskiy during a call to probe Joe Biden, former US Vice-President and Trump’s political rival. The content of the conversation raises questions about the integrity of Ukraine’s President. Impeaching Zelenskiy, however, is not a viable option as Ukraine’s constitution sets a practically unattainable threshold for impeachment.

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Es hat viel gedonnert, aber kaum geregnet

Mit dem Beschluss der Abgeordnetenkammer vom 8. Oktober 2019 hat das italienische Parlament entschieden, sich selbst um ein gutes Drittel der Sitze zu verkleinern. Aus 945 Parlamentariern sollen künftig 600 werden. Obwohl die von der Fünf-Sterne-Bewegung angestrebte Reform in der italienischen Verfassungsdebatte nicht neu ist, beschränkt sie sich auf eine rechnerische Verkleinerung, ohne Rolle und Kompetenzen der Volksvertretung in der Gegenwart ernsthaft zu hinterfragen.

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Local Elections in Hungary: the Results in Context

On October 13, 2019 local elections were held in Hungary. Even though the opposition parties had to fight an uphill battle, they achieved significant success not only in Budapest, but also in other big cities. The aim of this article is to put the results in context in order to give a more accurate picture of the current Hungarian situation.

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Trumps Supreme Court und der Schwanger­schafts­abbruch

Mit der Ernennung des umstrittenen Richters Kavanaugh hat US-Präsident Trump am US Supreme Court eine dauerhafte konservative Mehrheit installiert. Anfang Oktober hat der Supreme Court den Fall June Medical v. Gee zur Entscheidung angenommen. Der Fall aus Louisiana könnte mitten im Wahljahr eine Kehrtwende in der Rechtsprechung des Supreme Courts zu Schwangerschaftsabbrüchen einleiten.

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How an EU Directive on Access to a Lawyer Became a Weapon for Secret Arrests

Directive 2013/48/EU of 22 October 2013 ‘on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings’ had an unfortunate fate in Bulgaria. In particular, the transposition is troublesome because the government used the Directive as a pretext to revive a totalitarian practice ­­– secret arrests.

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