‘Ze-Gate’: Excepting Accountability

On September 24, the democrats in the House of Representatives announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump for allegedly having pressured Ukrainian President Zelenskiy during a call to probe Joe Biden, former US Vice-President and Trump’s political rival. The content of the conversation raises questions about the integrity of Ukraine’s President. Impeaching Zelenskiy, however, is not a viable option as Ukraine’s constitution sets a practically unattainable threshold for impeachment.

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How to Address Rule of Law Backsliding in Romania

In this post, we will first summarise the situation in Romania before examining Frans Timmermans’ reaction to the latest evidence of rule of law backsliding there. This post concludes with a possible solution considering the diagnosis offered below: an infringement action based on Article 325 TFEU.

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Transplant Pains: What’s at Stake in Guatemala’s Constitutional Showdown?

The Guatemalan Constitutional Court has ordered President Jimmy Morales to allow the head of the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) to return to the country. The President, his son, and is brother are under investigation by the Commission, and he seems unwilling to yield. What are the implications of this constitutional showdown?

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Failing to Struggle or Struggling to Fail? On the New Judiciary Legislation Changes in Romania

Like never before in the last 28 years in Romania, huge protests have started against the ‘assault against the judicial independence’. Awareness has been raised as regards the importance of a truly independent judiciary and the disastrous effects of political corruption on the very existence of a liberal democracy.

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Pakistan’s Reluctant Constitutionalism

On 20 April 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled in one of the greatest cases in its turbulent history: the impeachment of the prime minister for involvements in shady financial dealings that bubbled up after the Panama Papers. Nothing happened; the court only showed Nawaz Sharif the yellow card. But while Pakistan narrowly missed her constitutional moment by a single judge’s vote, the court’s ruling displayed tremendous democratic maturity.

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‘We Don’t Need No Constitution’ – On a Sad EU Membership Anniversary in Romania

These are troubled constitutional times in Romania. The newly elected government led by the corruption-ridden PSD party is pushing for legislative changes to make corruption offences virtually unpunishable by means of dubious Emergency Ordinances. A pending appeal before the Constitutional Court seeks to have legal provisions which prohibit persons with criminal convictions to occupy public positions in the Government declared unconstitutional. These attempts are met with resistance by the President who calls for an anti-corruption referendum.

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Fighting Judicial Corruption with Constitutional Measures: the Albanian Case

No state can thrive with corrupt political and legal elites. But if lawmakers and judges are corrupt themselves, fighting corruption with legal means is all but impossible. As a step towards membership in the European Union, Albania has embedded a comprehensive reform of its anti-corruption law directly into its constitution.

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Dilma Rousseff and the Impeachment Process: Questions of Power and Influence

Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil, is about to be forced out of office soon. Any impeachment process is, first and foremost, political, dealing with questions of power and influence. To be sure, political reforms such as the introduction of measures to significantly reduce the number of parties in Congress are urgently needed. Unfortunately, there is no immediate remedy to this significant deficiency in sight. And yet, it is clear that any governing coalition to function in Brazil’s political system requires a president extremely skilled in engaging with the legislative, creating deals, forging alliances and making compromises. Dilma Rousseff is facing the end of her political career because she has utterly failed in this respect.

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