11 Oktober 2021

Post-Electoral Changes in Czechia with a Hospitalised Head of State

The Czech Republic held parliamentary elections this past weekend, on 8 and 9 October 2021. The party of the incumbent Prime Minister Andrej Babiš was defeated, albeit by a small margin, and for the first time in its history, the country will most likely be led by a government composed of no less than five political entities. Constitutionally (and traditionally), the President of the Republic moderates the post-electoral negotiations between the parties, convenes the first meeting of the newly established Chamber of Deputies, and appoints the new Prime Minister and the government. However, President Miloš Zeman was taken to hospital yesterday, on the day after the general elections, and remains hospitalised at an intensive care unit. Could the President’s illness at this very crucial moment cause a constitutional stalemate? Continue reading >>
10 Oktober 2021

Whoever equates Karlsruhe to Warsaw is wildly mistaken

In the Polish, and to some extent also in the German public discourse, the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court of 5 May 2020 on the partial unconstitutionality of the ECB's PSP programme is considered to be qualitatively comparable to the ruling of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal of 7 October 2021. In this respect, the Polish judgement is merely seen as a continuation of the established case law of the Bundesverfassungsgericht. From a legal point of view, however, this is clearly false. Continue reading >>

Wer Karlsruhe mit Warschau gleichsetzt, irrt sich gewaltig

Im polnischen, partiell aber auch im deutschen Diskurs wird das Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichts vom 5.5.2020 zur partiellen Verfassungswidrigkeit des PSP-Programms der EZB als qualitativ vergleichbar mit dem Urteil des polnischen Verfassungsgerichts vom 7.10.2021 eingestuft. Das polnische Urteil knüpfe insoweit lediglich an die gefestigte Rechtsprechung des BVerfG an. Dem ist aus juristischer Sicht aus verschiedenen Gründen deutlich zu widersprechen. Continue reading >>
09 Oktober 2021

Roots of the EU Tree

The European Citizens’ Panels (ECP) are part of the Conference on the Future of Europe and provide randomly selected citizens with the opportunity to articulate their visions of the EU. The author participated in the second ECP and points out the risk of separating EU values from each other by locating them in different deliberation streams. Continue reading >>
08 Oktober 2021

Balancing Accountability and Legitimacy

As they have installed themselves as the de facto government of Afghanistan, the Taliban could theoretically be held accountable for potential crimes via inter-state proceedings. In practice however, that would run the risk of increasing the perceived legitimacy of the Taliban as the Afghan government. The announcement of Prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan of the International Criminal Court on September 27 to resume investigations in Afghanistan in the form of criminal prosecution – and thus not as inter-state litigation – therefore deserves support. Continue reading >>
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07 Oktober 2021

Contesting Consent

On 29 September 2021, the EU General Court (GC) annulled Council decisions approving trade and fisheries agreements concluded between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco. An earlier post by Eva Kassoti gave an overview of the factual and legal background to the judgments and offered insightful critical analysis. This post will focus on how the GC approaches the issue of how the EU authorities could receive the ‘consent’ from the people of Western Sahara. Continue reading >>
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The Rise and Fall of World Constitutionalism

Constitutionalism and populism, although pursued in different registers, are related forms of authoritarian liberalism, related not just in displaying family resemblances but also in a more causal, diachronic sense; constitutionalism created the conditions for populism to thrive and authoritarian populism in turn generates and provokes an increasingly authoritarian constitutionalist response. Continue reading >>
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06 Oktober 2021
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Towards Institutional Guarantees for Democratic Rotation

In a recent Advisory Opinion the Inter-American Court of Human Rights established that indefinite presidential re-elections constitute a violation of Inter-American human rights standards. In doing so it sets substantive limits to states regarding the design of their political and electoral systems. This is a far reaching and bold move. Continue reading >>
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The Long Road Home

On 29 September 2021 the General Court (GC) issued two important judgments annulling the Council decisions on the conclusion of the EU-Morocco Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement and on the amendment of Protocols 1 and 4 to the EU-Morocco Association Agreement. These judgments are the latest instalment in the continuing Western Sahara saga before the CJEU and they are of seminal importance both in assessing the Court’s approach to international law in its practice, and, more fundamentally, in assessing the EU’s commitment to the strict observance of international law in its relations with the wider world. Continue reading >>
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05 Oktober 2021

Brexit, Labour Shortages and Structures of Exploitation

Even though there were warnings that labour shortages would follow Brexit, the UK Government did not put sufficient plans in place between 2016 and 2021, to prevent the current crisis that many predicted. Now, the UK Government is attempting to address the problem in two different ways: first, by introducing temporary visas for migrant workers; second, by employing prisoners and other offenders to cover shortages. However, for migrant workers or prisoners to work in fair conditions, radical change of the legal framework is needed. Continue reading >>
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04 Oktober 2021

Neutralitätspflichten von Behörden im Wahlkampf

Einige Ministerien sollen im Vorfeld der Bundestagswahl Wählerinnen und Wähler mit zielgruppenspezifisch zugeschnittenen Botschaften auf Facebook angesprochen haben. Ein solches Microtrageting wäre als ein Einsatz amtlicher Ressourcen für den Wahlkampf zu qualifizieren und damit ein eklatanter Verfassungsverstoß. Die Rechtsprechung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts zur Neutralitätspflicht von Hoheitsträgern bietet Anhaltspunkte für die verfassungsrechtliche Einordnung dieses Verhaltens. Continue reading >>
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Indigenous Rights and the “Marco Temporal”

At the end of August 2021, Brazil witnessed the largest indigenous mobilisation in its history. Organised by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), more than five thousand indigenous people from 117 different groups set up camp in Brasilia, the capital city of the country. Under the slogan “Fight for Life: our history does not begin in 1988”, indigenous groups from all over the country mobilised the public opinion in protest against the further erosion of their rights. Continue reading >>
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30 September 2021

Die Chilenische Verfassunggebende Versammlung

Die Verfassunggebende Versammlung in Chile hat am 28. und 29. September 2021 die grundsätzlichen Verfahrensregeln ihrer Arbeit verabschiedet. Seit der Wahl ihrer Mitglieder im Mai 2021 ist klargeworden, dass der politische und sozialökonomische Kontext einen erheblichen Einfluss auf ihre Arbeit hat. Gleichzeitig erhebt die Versammlung gewisse Machtansprüche im aktuellen politischen Diskurs. Continue reading >>
29 September 2021

The Stubborn Subversiveness of Judaism’s Matrilineal Principle

The recent #patrilineal debate about the matrilineal exclusiveness of being Jewish in Germany that started last July between several writers/opinion makers demonstrates perfectly just how difficult but also dangerous it is to speak of ethnicity, race, religion, gender but also blood particularly in their intersectional form. The following contribution attempts to explicate the central challenge behind the ethnically based matrilineal principle in Judaism. Continue reading >>
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28 September 2021

Wahlen in Berlin: ein Bericht

Dass in der Hauptstadt eines der wichtigsten, reichsten und entwickeltsten Länder der Erde es nicht möglich erscheint, demokratische Wahlen angemessen zu organisieren, ist nicht nur für die Berlinerinnen und Berliner peinlich, sondern zugleich ein gravierendes Demokratieproblem. Einzige Konsequenz aus politischen, fachlichen und moralischen Gründen kann nur der Rücktritt der Landeswahlleiterin und ihrer Stellvertreterin sein. Es ist bezeichnend für die politische Kultur Berlins, dass das in der Öffentlichkeit kaum gefordert wird. Continue reading >>

Facebook suspends accounts of German Covid-19-deniers

On 16 September 2021, Facebook suspended more than 150 “Pages and Groups operated by individuals associated with the Querdenken movement in Germany” because of “coordinated social harm”. These accounts were, undoubtedly, spreading misinformation about the Covid-19-pandemic, denying the existence of the virus and encouraging other users to resist the government. However, this type of removal has no legal basis other than Facebook’s Community Standards. Hence, this constitutes a great example of how we (still) apply double standards in content moderation and that, from a legal perspective, we need to think beyond traditional categories and expand the horizontal effect doctrine, but not solely to the advantage of the users affected by the removal. Continue reading >>
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27 September 2021

Eine kompromittierte Wahl

In Berlin haben bei der Bundestagswahl zahlreiche Wahllokale zwischendurch einfach zugemacht, weil ihnen die Stimmzettel ausgegangen waren. Damit wurde mit einiger Sicherheit einer erheblichen Zahl von Berliner_innen die Ausübung ihres elementarsten demokratischen Teilhaberechts verwehrt. Das kompromittiert diese Wahl in einer Weise, die korrigiert werden muss. Continue reading >>
24 September 2021

Autofrei per Gesetz

Die Initiative „Volksentscheid Berlin autofrei“ will Berlin innerhalb des S-Bahn-Rings weitgehend vom privaten Autoverkehr befreien und so die größte autoreduzierte Zone der Welt schaffen. Kürzlich hat die Initiative dem Berliner Senat die notwendigen 20.000 Unterschriften vorgelegt und damit die erste Hürde auf dem Weg zum Volksentscheid erfolgreich genommen. Continue reading >>
22 September 2021

Ein Verfassungsfossil erwacht

Am 26. September werden die Berliner WählerInnen mit der Durchführung eines Volksentscheids zur Vergesellschaftung von Wohnimmobilien verfassungsrechtliches Neuland betreten. Der kommende Volksentscheid ermöglicht in erster Linie eines: Die Kontestation der Verteilungsmechanismen privaten Grundbesitzes durch eine demokratische Mehrheit. Continue reading >>
21 September 2021
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Sounding the Death Knell for EU Social Dialogue?

On 2 September 2021,  the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed in its EPSU judgment the European Commission’s power to obstruct social bargaining in the European Union. The judgment, which confirms on appeal a doubtful interpretation of the EU Treaties initially developed by  the General Court, constitutes a grim turning point for EU labour law in that it reduces the autonomy of the social partners to an empty shell. Continue reading >>
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