Something is Forgotten in the State of Denmark: Denmark’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

While the Danish Government’s approach, up until this point, has been successful in limiting the spread of the pandemic and none of the government initiatives seem blatantly unconstitutional – something might be forgotten in the state of Denmark: that the resilience and cultural properties of the Danish society contributed to the success in handling COVID-19 rather than increasing executive power.

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The Fight Against COVID-19 in Argentina: Executive vs Legislative Branch

Argentina’s government has been adopting numerous and significant decisions in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. But: Almost all the relevant decisions adopted by the Executive Branch were decisions that belonged to the Legislative Branch: Congress is the only authority legally authorized to adopt them. In other words, the Executive Power is not authorized to do what it has been doing so far.

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Concentration of Powers in the Federal Executive: The Application of Emergency Powers in Switzerland

Were we ready for the crisis? I do not mean whether Switzerland had enough hospital beds and ventilators, but whether its Federal Constitution was ready. Arguably, the former are vital, and as regards the latter, Switzerland is under no suspicion of losing its quality as a democracy and a Rechtsstaat. Still, the constitutional questions raised by the Corona crisis are troubling. The federal government is applying emergency powers unheard of since WW2, and which were previously unimaginable for most. Legal scholars are only starting to grapple the full implications of the crisis.

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Cracks in India’s Constitutional Framework

India’s constitutional system was conceptualized to share power (although not equally) between the Union and the 29 states alongside an institutionally grounded system of checks and balances between the parliament, the executive and the judiciary. As the world’s largest democracy proceeds into the sixth week of the nation-wide lockdown to address the outbreak of Covid-19, certain cracks in its constitutional framework have been exacerbated that have the potential to structurally alter the constitutional framework of checks and balances in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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How Ecuador’s Constitutional Court is Keeping the Executive Accountable During the Pandemic

On 16 April 2020, the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court announced Decision No.1-20-EE/20, allowing it to monitor the impact of its previous judgments on the constitutionality of emergency powers granted to the President in the fight against Covid-19. This decision shows that a Constitutional Court can indeed play an essential role in a country’s response to a catastrophe, whose consequences are painfully obvious in Ecuador, one of the countries in Latin America worst hit by the pandemic.

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Back to the Future?

Although the UK has appeared to move from one constitutional crisis to the next during this year, there has been a clear direction of travel: 2019 saw both the legislature and the courts strengthening their checks over the executive. The Conservative Party Manifesto may be interpreted as an attempt to reverse this direction of travel and reinstate the executive at the centre of the Constitution.

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Suffering from Withdrawal – Controversy in the UK EU (Withdrawal) Bill

Beginning today, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill (EUWB) will return to the UK House of Commons, where all 15 amendments made to the EUWB by the House of Lords will be debated over only two days. The EUWB is arguably one of the most contentious and complex pieces of legislation to be presented to the British Parliament in this century. The amendments are a response to the concerns regarding the broad discretion across an unknown expanse of law with an almost-unfettered use of legislative power by the executive.

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Trump’s Muslim Ban and its Constitutional Limits

The dramatic executive orders of the newly inaugurated President of the United States, Donald Trump, including, most infamously, his executive order excluding Syrian refugees from entry into the United States, and popularly known as the “Muslim ban,” has raised not only hackles among many outside observers, but also questions about the legality of these orders. The short answer is that some of the matters set out in his executive orders, including those affecting refugees, are almost certainly legal, while other aspects of those orders raise significant issues under the United States constitution.

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Selektoren-Urteil des BVerfG: Karlsruhe verzwergt das Parlament

In der vergangenen Woche hat das Bundesverfassungsgericht seinen Beschluss zum Beweiserhebungsrecht des NSA-Untersuchungsausschusses des Bundestages veröffentlicht. Er definiert die Maßstäbe, nach denen der Bundestag Auskunft über die Kooperation deutscher Nachrichtendienste mit ausländischen Diensten verlangen kann – mit weitreichenden Folgen für die demokratisch-rechtsstaatliche Kontrolle des außen- und sicherheitspolitischen Handelns der Bundesregierung insgesamt. In der Zusammenschau mit früheren Entscheidungen zeigt sich eine kritikwürdige Rechtsprechungslinie, die die exekutive Handlungsfähigkeit als verfassungsrechtliches Prinzip konstruiert, das sich von den demokratischen Prinzipien des Grundgesetzes verabschiedet.

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Streit um NSA-Selektorenlisten: Die G 10-Kommission als Nichtbeteiligte?

Die G 10-Kommission kann nicht in Karlsruhe überprüfen lassen, ob die Bundesregierung ihr zu Recht die Herausgabe der NSA-Selektorenliste verweigert. Diese Entscheidung des Zweiten Senats des BVerfG ist nicht überzeugend, schwächt die institutionelle Kontrolle exekutiven Handelns und liegt quer zu der Linie des Ersten Senats.

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