Secessionism, Federalism and Constitutionalism in Ethiopia

On the morning of 4 August 2018, troops were seen taking over key positions in Jijiga, a capital city of the State of Somali, one of the constituent units of the Ethiopian federation. Heavily armed military vehicles were stationed outside the state parliament, the offices of state government and the state TV station. It was not an invasion by a foreign force. It was a federal intervention.

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The Rule of Law Crisis in Poland: A New Chapter

The current controversies on the Polish Supreme Court resemble the conflict over the Constitutional Tribunal in 2015-216 to some extent. However, the Supreme Court took new steps on August 2, when it referred five questions to the Court of Justice of the EU and requested a preliminary ruling. All five questions relate (more or less directly) to the principles of (1) independence of the courts and (2) the judicial independence under the circumstances of the rule of law crisis in Poland and thus have a potential of becoming a key aspect in the Polish rule of law crisis.

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Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC): First Monthly Bibliography Update-August 2018

The DEM-DEC Bibliography presents a global range of research on democratic decay. It has a strong focus on research by public lawyers – spanning constitutional, international and transnational law – but also includes key research from political science, as well as policy texts. First monthly update since DEM-DEC was launched. Updates to the Bibliography will be issued on the first Monday of each month.

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Advertising: Global Constitutionalism (Journal) Volume 7, Issue 2
July 2018

Global Constitutionalism

Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

  • Popular sovereignty over natural resources: A critical reappraisal of Leif Wenar’s Blood Oil from the perspective of international law and justice
  • Transnational militant democracy

Open Letter

We, the undersigned, have learnt that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Poland Professor Małgorzata Gersdorf has had her constitutionally guaranteed term of office of six years prematurely terminated by a new statute on the Supreme Court rushed through the Polish Parliament and signed by President Andrzej Duda on 26 July 2018. We also […]

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Bulgaria’s Constitutional Troubles with the Istanbul Convention

On July 27th Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court ruled that the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, contradicted Bulgaria’s Constitution. The decision may cause a stir among Western commentators not only because of its result, but also because of its peculiar legal arguments and untidy, repetitive narrative.

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Shifting towards a democratic-authoritarian state: Israel’s new Nation-State Law

The 'Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People' was passed by the Knesset on July 19, 2018. The Basic Law purports to entrench the identity of the state as a Jewish state. As this Article is being written several petitions against the Basic Law are being prepared and will be submitted to the Supreme Court. The Court however may find it very difficult to declare the Basic Law void.

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A new chapter in Israel’s “constitution”: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People

In the very last day of the Knesset’s summer session, on July 19th 2018, the Israeli Knesset passed a new Basic Law stating that Israel is the Nation State of the Jewish people. Supporters of this Basic Law claim that it simply states the obvious: Israel was established as a refuge and a homeland for the Jewish people. Still, the Basic Law is very problematic. Not because of what is included within it, but mainly for what is missing from it: the idea of a democratic state and the principle of equality.

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„Do not go. Do not vote“: an Interview with WOJCIECH SADURSKI

The Polish President Andrzej Duda has announced a referendum about the reform of the Polish Constitution of 1997. According to Wojciech Sadurski, the questions he intends to ask the Polish people are either meaningless, redundant or downright detrimental – with one important exception.

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Sandu and Others v Russia and Moldova: The High Costs of Occupation

On 17 July 2018, the European Court on Human Rights reminded again that occupation of foreign lands and support of separatist regimes is a costly affair. This cost is not only calculated in terms of monetary repercussions but also in terms of reputational losses. On that day the chamber of the Court delivered a judgment in the case of Sandu and Others v Russia and Moldova. This judgment is a new one in the line of cases dealing with a breakaway region of Moldova – the self-proclaimed Republic of Transnistria.

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Are National Governments Liable if They Miss Their Relocation Quota of Refugees?

Last week, the Spanish Supreme Court declared that between 2015 and 2017 the Government of Spain had failed to relocate 19.449 refugees from Greece and Italy. The Court considered in its Judgement of 9th July of 2018 that Spain was bound by two Council Decisions of May and September 2015 establishing an EU Emergency Relocation Mechanism aimed at distributing some of the refugees that arrived at their coasts during the so-called ‘refugee crisis’. The relocation mechanism included a table with the number of refugees Member States were obliged to accommodate in their own international protection systems (‘quota’).

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The Curious Case of Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code: Insulting the Turkish President

Judgments by the Strasbourg Court are binding on Turkey and furthermore are the primary source for interpreting the European Convention of Human Rights, a treaty to which Turkey is party and which, according to Article 90 of the Turkish Constitution, prevails over national laws such as Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code on insulting the President, in the event of conflict. ECtHR jurisprudence clearly indicates such a conflict between Article 299 and the Convention. But are Turkish courts aware of this?

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Germany’s Moral Responsibility to Support a Treaty  on Business and Human Rights

In a massive conglomeration called the Treaty Alliance, leading human rights NGOs around the world together with many luminary academics are calling for a treaty between states on business and human rights that would seek to prevent human rights violations by businesses from occurring and ensure they do not go unpunished, or at least uncompensated. Such a treaty is necessary given the need to address a number of problems in international law that have prevented victims of human rights violations from being able to gain remedies against errant corporations.

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