The Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Means for Change or Consolidation of Paralysis?

On October 7th, general elections were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its Constitution was meant to be an interim solution, setting up a complex structure of division of power between the three major ethnic groups leading to political paralysis. Constitutional reform is thus a pressing issue but the recent elections appear to reinforce the deadlock situation instead of paving the way for much needed change.

Continue Reading →

The Draft Amendments to the Serbian Constitution: Populism before Judicial Independence

Serbia is currently abuzz with draft constitutional amendments that should enhance judicial independence and move the country one step closer to EU accession. On 12 April 2018, the Serbian Government adopted the draft amendments and sent them to the Venice Commission. However, while at present the political influence on the judiciary comes from the political institutions, in the future this influence will come from the ruling majority.

Continue Reading →

Complexities of Constitutional Change in the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in July 2016, His party, PDP-Laban, had campaigned under the slogan: “No to Drugs, Yes to Federalism”. Duterte thus is committed to shepherding the Philippines towards a federal form of government; an undertaking that would require an extensive overhaul of the country’s constitution. The future of constitutional change under Duterte in any event is uncertain for a series of constitutional and political reasons. Critically, some of the most pressing of these concern the process of constitutional change itself. 

Continue Reading →

The Catalunya Conundrum, Part 2: A Full-Blown Constitutional Crisis for Spain

In Part 1, we have explained the rigidity of the constitutional doctrine of our Constitutional Court on the matter of regional independence movements. There are some evident conclusions that swiftly appear – most of all that the only legal  way for a hypothetical majority of Catalan citizens to express their wish to secede or at least to consult with the population on the issue, would presuppose a constitutional reform. This is a tremendously complicated matter in itself, though.

Continue Reading →

Abusive comparativism: “Pseudo-comparativist” political discourse as a means to legitimizing constitutional change in Turkey

The constitutional amendment process has arguably weakened Turkey’s already-fragile constitutionalist system. This is well known. What is less known and pretty much overlooked is that comparativism and specifically comparative constitutionalism has suffered at the hands of Turkish political elites during the legal and political discussions that preceded the referendum.

Continue Reading →

Marine Le Pen: a Constitutional Program Threatening the French Constitutional Regime

The recent publication of Marine Le Pen’s presidential program has been followed by many comments from the media, specialists and policy makers analysing her economic, social or security propositions. But one particular point has been missed: the different constitutional amendments she intends to achieve. With this constitutional program, her goal is to deeply reform the organization of the French state and its institutions. It is an unnamed constitutional revolution since Ms. Le Pen’s objective is to strike down French liberal democracy in order to in store an almost absolutist presidential regime.

Continue Reading →

Presidentialism à la Turka or what? The (missing) logic behind the constitutional amendments

Erdoğan’s efforts to inscribe his understanding of presidential domination into the Turkish constitution should not be mistaken for a systematic turn towards a presidential model of government. The inbuilt inconsistencies of the reform may well develop some serious unintended side effects causing political deadlock and institutional breakdown in the long run.

Continue Reading →

New Constitutional Amendment Proposal in Turkey: A Threat to Pluralistic Democracy!

Turkey will hold a referendum on a fundamental constitutional reform, probably in April. The designed political regime is neither parliamentarism nor presidentialism. Although the government calls the new political regime as a “Turkish type of presidentialism” with a populist discourse; in reality, the new regime will bring a kind of “delegative democracy”, which is seen usually in the South American, sub-Saharan African and in central Asian countries.

Continue Reading →

Turkey’s draft constitutional amendments: harking back to 1876?

In the last month of 2016, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the fourth biggest party, the National Movement Party (MHP) unveiled a controversial new draft constitution which aims at a total system change. Initially, the most striking changes include the strengthening of the presidency with several new powers and no accountability to the judiciary. Furthermore, the way is cleared for Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to rule the country until 2029, and who knows – maybe even longer.

Continue Reading →

Italy before the Constitutional Referendum: "I do not see any Armageddon Scenario"

On Sunday, Italy will vote on the largest constitutional reform in recent history. Francesco Clementi, constitutional lawyer from the University of Perugia and one of the staunchest supporters of the reform, answers our questions about what will happen in case of a NO or a YES victory.

Continue Reading →