10 April 2024

Deine Botschaft ist meine Burg

Am 5. April 2024 drangen in der ecuadorianischen Hauptstadt Quito Polizeieinheiten in die Botschaft von Mexiko ein, um den ehemaligen Vizepräsidenten Ecuadors, Jorge David Glas Espinel, zu ergreifen. In der internationalen Gemeinschaft löste die Erstürmung der Botschaft Entrüstung aus. Die mexikanische Regierung erwägt nunmehr, Ecuador in der Angelegenheit vor dem Internationalen Gerichtshof in Den Haag zu verklagen. Eine solche Klage dürfte erfolgreich sein, auch wenn die mexikanische Position nicht in Gänze unproblematisch ist, da die Gewährung der Zuflucht in der Botschaft nach den lateinamerikanischen Völkerrechtsregeln rechtswidrig sein könnte.

Continue reading >>
0
07 April 2024

Ecuador’s Embassy Raid

The Mexican government broke diplomatic ties with Ecuador after the Mexican Embassy in Quito was raided on April 6, 2024, to detain Ecuador’s ex-vice-president Jorge Glas, convicted of bribery and organized crime. Both governments are facing significant stakes: Ecuador must ensure that a high-profile crime does not go unpunished, while Mexico is obligated to uphold international law and offer international protection for Jorge Glas.

Continue reading >>
19 September 2023

Plebiszit gegen die Naturnahme

Der Abbau fossiler Brennstoffe erfordert einen rechtlichen Rahmen, der es ermöglicht, dass Bodenschätze angeeignet und kommerzialisiert werden. Die dazugehörigen Verwaltungsverfahren sind dabei regelmäßig technisch ausgestaltet und ermöglichen es kaum, strukturelle Fragen (etwa, ob trotz Klimakatastrophe weiterhin Erdöl gefördert werden soll) zu thematisieren. Eine Abkehr von diesen überkommenen Grundsätzen des rechtlichen Umgangs mit dem Rohstoffabbau war jüngst in Ecuador zu beobachten: Hier stimmten am 20. August 2023 knapp 59% der Wähler*innen bei einer nationalen Volksabstimmung dafür, die Ölbohrungen im amazonischen Yasuní-Nationalpark, einem Biodiversitätshotspot und Wohnort indigener Gruppen in freiwilliger Isolation, zu stoppen. Über 700 Millionen Barrel Öl sollen nun im Boden belassen werden. Es handelt sich um einen der weltweit seltenen Fälle der direktdemokratischen Entscheidung über den Rohstoffabbau. Indem sie die Frage der Zukunft der Erdölförderung im Yasuní zum Gegenstand offener politischer Debatte macht, erlaubt sie, dies in einem Kontext zu diskutieren, der über das konkrete Projekt hinausreicht.

Continue reading >>
0
29 May 2023

Ecuador’s Mutual Death Clause

On May 17, Ecuadorian President, Guillermo Lasso, dissolved the National Assembly by activating a unique constitutional clause known as ‘mutual death’ [muerte cruzada]. Under this provision, added to Ecuador’s Constitution in 2008 but never before used, the President can dissolve the Legislative, call general elections, and rule by decree until a new Legislative and President are elected. This post details the significance of these recent events and the decision of the Constitutional Court to render the clause non-reviewable.

Continue reading >>
0
27 April 2023
,

Judicial Backlash Against the Rights of Nature in Ecuador

In 2008, Ecuador surprised the world by recognizing nature’s own rights in its constitution. The surprise was even bigger when Ecuador unlike other countries began to actually apply and enforce the Rights of Nature, particularly through constitutional jurisprudence since 2019. We show that the strong constitutional precedents, while casting much appreciated light on some legal uncertainties about the novel set of rights, are also met with defiance. Backlashing tendencies are not restricted to the private sector and the government, but are articulated within the judiciary itself

Continue reading >>
0
06 July 2022

Ecuador’s June 2022 Multi-pronged Social Outburst

For 18 days in June, the Ecuadorian society has descended into chaos. What started as a strike led by indigenous communities mutated into a multi-pronged social outburst that threatened the constitutional order as a whole. While the core reason for the widespread discontent lies in the systematic exclusion of a vast majority of the Ecuadorian population from basic social systems, the resent crisis in Ecuador posts a more comprehensive alert.

Continue reading >>
0
22 February 2022

Monkeys in Their Own Right

A few months after the landmark Los Cedros decision, Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has ruled on another important case for the Rights of Nature. For the first time, the Constitutional Court has explicitly recognized that individual animals are protected by the Rights of Nature which also include the right to free development of animal behavior.

Continue reading >>
0
10 December 2021

The Los Cedros Forest has Rights

Last week, the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court published its judgment in the case of the Los Cedros forest, a protected cloud forest of great biodiversity in the Andean mountains of Ecuador. This judgment revokes environmental permits previously granted to two mining concessions in the Bosque Protector Los Cedros reserve. The Court ruled that the mining permits in question had not only violated several constitutional rights of communities in the area but also – most remarkably – the rights of mother nature (Pacha Mama). It specifically granted these rights to the Los Cedros Reserve. But there is still some uncertainty regarding future applications of this unusual, non-anthropocentric legal standard set by the Court to protect the rights of mother nature.

Continue reading >>
0
29 March 2021

Ecuador’s Constitutional Landscape Towards COVID-19

Considering the political scenario, this article will highlight that the government's management of the pandemic has been ill-timed; it has not been holistic but rather aimed at providing temporary solutions without alleviating the underlying problems of the Ecuadorian population and that the control of the President's exceptional powers has been assumed mainly by the Constitutional Court of Ecuador and not by the legislature.

Continue reading >>
0
25 March 2021
,

The Virtues and Limits of Transformative Constitutionalism

On 4 March, the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court published a decision in the aftermath of nation-wide prison riots that had killed at least 79 people. This judgment underlines the key functions of a Court empowered with a transformative mandate in the face of systemic failures in public policy – but also the limits of its power to solve those failures.

Continue reading >>
09 May 2020

Ecuador – Constitutionalism and Covid-19

When referring to the rule of law and constitutionalism we must be extremely cautious: Ecuador was founded in 1830 after the dissolution of Great Colombia, and in just 190 years has adopted 20 constitutions. The current Ecuadorian Constitution dates from 2008. This means that the nation does not possess a strong constitutional tradition nor a culture of promotion of the rule of law. On the contrary, Ecuador has a long history of institutional breakdowns and coup d'états which were caused by political and economic crisis. However, these were nothing compared with the situation all Ecuadorians are currently facing.

Continue reading >>
24 April 2020

How Ecuador’s Constitutional Court is Keeping the Executive Accountable During the Pandemic

On 16 April 2020, the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court announced Decision No.1-20-EE/20, allowing it to monitor the impact of its previous judgments on the constitutionality of emergency powers granted to the President in the fight against Covid-19. This decision shows that a Constitutional Court can indeed play an essential role in a country’s response to a catastrophe, whose consequences are painfully obvious in Ecuador, one of the countries in Latin America worst hit by the pandemic.

Continue reading >>