Combining Justice with Power: How to Challenge the Narrative of Democratic Authoritarian Populism

Israel’s Nation-State Law can be seen as an expression of the kind of democratic authoritarian populism that appears to be spreading globally. But it is no time to give up the game and there are examples that show how it is possible to counter the narrative of democratic authoritarian populism.

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Israel’s Nation-State Law – What Now for Equality, Self-Determination, and Social Solidarity?

The enactment of Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People on July 19th, 2018, triggered an intense public debate, not only in Israel. But what are the implications of this law? In particular, how is it likely to affect minorities, the right of Israel’s Arab-Palestinian minority to internal self-determination, and the possible development of all-encompassing social solidarity in Israel?

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A Line in the Sand: The ‘Strict Observance’ of International Law in the Western Sahara Case

When the EU makes international agreements and implements them, its scope is not only limited by the competence allocation and procedures in its own primary law but also by fundamental features of the international legal order. In the Western Sahara judgment, the CJEU has drawn lines in the sand not only geographically but also constitutionally.

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The Kurdistan Independence Referendum and Constitutional Self-Determination

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a non-binding independence referendum on 25 September 2017. Voters were asked: ‘Do you want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the region’s administration to become an independent state?’ Voting occurred in Kirkuk and the Kurdish-controlled parts of other territories in northern Iraq whose disputed status is recognized in the Iraqi constitution. In retrospect, Kurdish leaders seem to have overreached politically, as the Iraqi armed forces and allied militias have in recent days seized Kirkuk Governorate from Kurdish control. But was it legal overreach?

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Völkerrecht und Sezessionen – Legitimität nur für Einigungswillige?

Katalonien, Schottland, Krim, Québec – Sezessionismus ist in diesen Tagen wieder einmal ein sehr aktuelles Phänomen, und das nicht nur in Europa. Um so mehr wächst das Bedürfnis danach, sezessionistische Bestrebungen völkerrechtlich und damit nach internationalen Standards zu bewerten. Doch bei der Frage, ob bzw. wann Sezessionen legitim sind, betreibt das Völkerrecht eine Art Versteckspiel mit Verfassungsrecht und Politik. Weder statuiert es ein ausdrückliches Recht auf Sezession noch verbietet es dieselbe, sondern überlässt es grundsätzlich dem jeweiligen nationalen Verfassungsrecht, ihre Rechtmäßigkeit zu beurteilen. Lässt uns also das Völkerrecht mit dem Sezessionismus völlig alleine? Eine Antwort auf diese Frage gab diese Woche Andreas Paulus, Richter im Ersten Senat des Bundesverfassungsgerichts und Völkerrechtsprofessor in Göttingen, in einem Vortrag vor dem Wissenschaftlichen Dienst des Bundestages.

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"The key to the solution lies in Spain, not in Catalonia"

Why did the territorial conflict between separatist Catalonia and the Spanish central government escalate so badly? What is at stake in a country historically ridden by civil war and separatist terrorism? What needs to be done to resolve the conflict, and by whom? In an interview with Verfassungsblog, Benito Aláez Corral, constitutional law professor from Oviedo, explains how the Spanish constitution needs to be amended to satisfy the demand for national self-determination in Catalonia and maintain the constitutional integrity of Spain.

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