A Motion of No Confidence and Political Power Struggles Amidst a Pandemic

Only in office since the beginning of February, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti did not survive a motion of no confidence in late March. Instead of calling new elections, the President of the Republic has been working towards forming a new government, invoking his right to propose a Prime Minister. This move, however, has no basis in the constitution, and the Constitutional Court is expected to clarify the matter any day.

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The Downfall of a Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court of Chile faces the worst crisis in its history. It largely stems from the way the Court has exercised its powers in recent years. A blend of judicial activism and an utter disdain for rules has seriously undermined the Court’s reputation and the current shows that the Court has probably risen in prominence for the wrong reasons.

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Constitution Before Administration

On 5 December 2019, Italy’s Constitutional Court nullified regional legislation which made it extremely difficult for religious minority groups to set up places of worship. The provisions in question vested the administrative authorities with nearly unfettered discretion in deciding on the approval of applications. The Constitutional Court has now made clear that the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion cannot be circumvented by administrative procedures.

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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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