Recognizing Court-Packing

There is near scholarly consensus that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has successfully packed the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC). Court packing is commonly understood as expanding the membership of the court, appointing judges with long tenures that extend beyond a couple of election cycles, and who are ideologically committed to the executive’s constitutional vision. These elements, however, are still foreign to Turkey’s political elites.

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Strengthening the President – Betraying Maidan?

Last Sunday’s parliamentary elections resulted in a composition of the Verkhovna Rada – the Ukrainian parliament – which guarantees a solid majority to the President’s party. The circumstances leading to the prematurely held elections, however, were more than doubtful from a constitutional law perspective. The Constitutional Court (CC) confirmed the dissolution of Ukraine’s parliament as constitutional in a controversial decision which strengthens the position of the president and thereby ignores the intentions and objectives of the Maidan revolution of 2014.

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A Juncture of Transitional Justice: Ukraine’s Constitutional Court and the National Lustration Law

The presidential race and upcoming second round of elections currently take all attention in the news coverage on Ukraine. Meanwhile there is a case pending before the Constitutional Court that challenges the constitutionality of the 2014 lustration law. The outcome of these proceedings could shatter the post-transition constitutional law order in Ukraine in a profound way.

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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.

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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.

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The First Live-Broadcast Hearings of Candidates for Constitutional Judges in Slovakia: Five Lessons

In 2019, Slovakia selects nine out of thirteen constitutional court judges and the hearings of the candidates for the nominees for the vacant seats were publicly broadcast. The atmosphere of the hearings and the overall context of the 2019 appointment process, however, yield at least five, and not that optimistic, lessons.

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On the Brink of Joining Poland and Hungary: The Night of Surprises in the Slovak Parliament

The relatively short political history of the Slovak parliament has already witnessed several dramatic sessions. The latest drama unfolded during the night of 23 October in a parliamentary session to discuss and vote on an amendment of the Constitution and a new Act on the Constitutional Court that could have put Slovakia on a direct path to follow Hungary and Poland. The night turned out to be full of surprises.

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Katja Kippings "Klassenjustiz"-Tweet, oder das Verfassungsgericht als politischer Feind

Die Parteivorsitzende der Linken Katja Kipping hat das Bundesverfassungsgericht nach dem CETA-Beschluss als "Handlanger der großen Koalition" bezeichnet. Was passiert, wenn das Verfassungsgericht als politischer Feind gebrandmarkt wird, kann man zurzeit in Polen und Österreich studieren.

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Für eine Verfassungskrise gibt es keine politische Lösung

Was Polen will, kann die EU-Kommission nicht akzeptieren, und umgekehrt. Nach Wochen des "konstruktiven Dialogs" (Kommissionsvize Frans Timmermans) gibt es immer noch überhaupt kein Zeichen des Aufeinanderzugehens. Ist das schlimm? Im Gegenteil.

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“2004 EU Accession” as a Founding Moment? Of lost opportunities, alienating constitutionalism and vigilant courts

Much as the liberal elites in Poland are appalled by the ruthlessness of the attack on the Constitutional Court and the Polish rule of law, they are the ones to be blamed for the civic passivity that continues to define post-transition societies in general. The truly reformative potential of 1989, and then 2004, was lost when elites neglected the importance of connecting with the “real” people beyond the magic of the big-bang moments of 1989 and 2004. This "alienating constitutionalism" is one of the dark sides of 2004 Founding Moment, one that nobody really saw coming at the time of the EU Accession. Should the citizenry start embracing and defending the Court as "my own", the truly powerful legacy of the 2004 Founding Moment would be discovered.

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