The Birth of Political Europe

With just 90 days to go before the European Parliament elections, the EU political and societal landscape is undergoing a profound and historical shake-up. This goes well beyond the reductionist and highly-polarized depiction of the pro-EU vs anti-EU / open vs closed society debate championed by our political class and magnified by the media. The effects of EU policies on citizens’ lives as further amplified by the Brexit collective journey have gradually led to the emergence of a timid, yet evolving, common pan-European debate. Yet, as epitomized by Emmanuel’s Macron multi-lingual op-ed unparallelly addressed to the whole EU electorate, this Europeanisation of the political conversation is unveiling an inconvenient truth.

Continue Reading →

Romania – Another Brick in the Wall Fencing the Fight against Corruption

On 4 March 2019, the Romanian Constitutional Court published its decision on two protocols of cooperation between the Romanian Intelligence Service and the National Prosecutor’s Office. This much-awaited decision is the latest but not the final step in a saga which started more than 15 years ago.

Continue Reading →

Fight Fire with Fire – a Plea for EU Information Campaigns in Hungarian and Polish

In the current crisis of democracy in the EU, we should not put too much pressure on the judiciary to fix the rule of law and democracy. Neither should we put too much hope for positive developments on (European) party politics. Rather I suggest that the EU should start speaking directly to the electorate via EU information campaigns in Hungarian and Polish. The 2019 European Parliament elections might provide an adequate framework for such campaigns.

Continue Reading →
Advertising: Global Constitutionalism (Journal) Volume 8, Issue 1
March 2019

Global Constitutionalism

Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

  • Global Constitutionalism as agora: Interdisciplinary encounters, cultural recognition and global diversity
  • From an unconstitutional constitutional amendment to an unconstitutional constitution? Lessons from Honduras

Of Red Lines and Red Herring: The EPP’s Delusions about Restraining Orbán

This post will offer an overview of the main EPP’s ‘red lines’ since the EPP leadership first demanded from Prime Minister Orbán that he immediately comply with EU laws and EPP values nearly two years ago, in April 2017. We will show that, contrary to Weber’s claims about EPP values being non-negotiable, Orbán has repeatedly crossed the EPP’s supposed red-lines with impunity. And rather than being restrained by the EPP, Orbán has sought to transform it.

Continue Reading →

Children of Men. Comments on the ECtHR’s Judgment in Khan v. France

The Jamil Khan case illustrates the lack of care unaccompanied foreign minors face in France. As the département of Pas-de-Calais did not do everything they could and should have done to comply with their positive care obligation, the judges of the Strasbourg Court concluded unanimously that France had violated Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Continue Reading →

How to Save a Constitutional Democracy: a Comment by SUJIT CHOUDHRY

Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq’s "How to Save a Constitutional Democracy" is a terrific book. In this comment, I address three issues: the important moment the book marks on the value of the comparative method to the study of American constitutionalism; the insights offered by this method to the risk of democratic erosion in the United States and how those risks might be mitigated; and the need to give greater weight than Ginsburg and Huq do to the role of federalism to counter democratic erosion.

Continue Reading →

Countering the Judicial Silencing of Critics: Novel Ways to Enforce European Values

The Polish government is stepping up its repression. The freedom of political speech is a main target. A national judge has not just the right but an outright duty to refer a case to the CJEU whenever the common value basis is in danger. Thus, a Polish judge faced with a case concerning the silencing of critics, must refer the matter to the CJEU and request an interpretation of Article 2 TEU in light of the rights at stake.

Continue Reading →

Stop Soros Law Left on the Books – The Return of the “Red Tail”?

On 28 February, Hungary’s Constitutional Court found the so-called Stop Soros legislative package constitutional. Shocking as it may seem at first glance, this case reminds us how difficult it is to evaluate the judgments of a constitutional court operating in an illiberal political regime.

Continue Reading →

Crossing the Baltic Rubicon

Last week, a constitutional moment took place in the European Union. In a rather technical area of law, the Statute of the European System of Central Banks, the Court of Justice ruled for the first time in a case that ensued in the annulment of a decision of a Member State. The Court did not declare that a Member State had failed to fulfill its obligations under EU Law. What the Court did was much more ambitious.

Continue Reading →

Parallel Justice: A First Test for Kosovo’s Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office

In 2015 Kosovo established judicial bodies to investigate and try alleged crimes in connection with the Kosovo war. Having hardly taken up its work, the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office was already put in its place for disregarding the fundamental rights of one of the accused.

Continue Reading →

Not to be Pushed Aside: the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice

A few days ago, with the decision no 20/2019, the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) has set a new cornerstone in its relationship with EU law and, in particular, with the judicial treatment of issues covered by both national fundamental rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In so doing, the Consulta shows the intention to act as a pivotal institution in the field of judicial protection of fundamental rights.

Continue Reading →

From Constitutional to Political Justice: The Tragic Trajectories of the Polish Constitutional Court

The Polish Constitutional Court, once a proud institution and an effective check on the will of the majority, is now a shell of its former self. The constitutional scars of the capture affect not only the legitimacy of the institution, but also the very constitutionality of the “decisions” rendered by the new court in 2017-2018.

Continue Reading →