Against the Apocalyptic Swan Song

Gloomy future scenarios are currently popular. Hardly a day goes by without predictions of the demise of the EU, a spiral of nationalism or the path to an authoritarian, xenophobic surveillance state. However, in the current competition to outbid disaster scenarios, we tend to forget that political developments are just as little inevitable and without alternatives as crisis response measures. The choice between alternatives still exists and is more important today than ever.

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Governing Through Fear in France

The present pandemic affects our ways of life and acts as a magnifying glass: It helps us to see the main features of our political and legal systems better. In France, the Act of Parliament from March, 23 reveals a well-known feature of the French fifth Republic: Parliament is not considered as a major political institution. Furthermore, it reveals yet again that the state of emergency has become common since 2015.

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When the Coronavirus Crisis Turns into a Crisis of Democracy

The ongoing political crisis in Israel raises the question of whether the government acts fully in good faith when deciding on measures to fight the spread of COVID-19. The current situation, in which the parliament is hindered from functioning and in which emergency regulations directly benefit the personal situation of the current Prime Minister, raises doubts about this.

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An Election in the Time of Pandemic

In Poland, the Law and Justice (PiS) government has opted not to use its constitutional power to declare a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 spreading. As Wojciech Sadurski explained, its motive is simple: not to postpone the Presidential election in Poland and thus increase the chances of the President-in-Office to win the second term. The question is whether the pandemic may cause invalidity of the election. If the answer is yes, as I suggest, the problem is who should be the judge of it. The chamber of the Polish Supreme Court that is empowered by law to do so does not give an ‘appearance of independence’, following the PiS’s so-called ‘reform’ of the judiciary.

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Coronavirus Emergency and Public Law Issues: An Update on the Italian Situation

The emergency caused by the “new” Coronavirus disease (that we discussed here) reached a new peak in Italy in the last few days, since cases have tripled compared to just a couple of days ago. Italy is now the second most affected country after China. This situation induced Italian public authorities to take new, stricter measures to try to contain the expansion of the virus. From a constitutional law perspective, the Coronavirus sheds light on the need to reconsider Italy’s “emergency constitution” .

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Constitutional Exceptionalism in Kashmir

The move of India’s President to abrogate Article 370 has been subject to much academic debate and discourse along the doctrinaire lines and limits of traditional constitutional law. Since the Declaration was passed, however, in a state of exception, the consequent legal vacuum necessitates an analysis in light of both political facts and public law.

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Did Turkey’s Recent Emergency Decrees Derogate from the Absolute Rights?

Following a coup attempt by a small group in the Turkish Armed Forces in 2016, the Turkish Government declared a state of emergency for three months. Although it observed procedural rules laid down by national and international law on declaring a state of emergency, the Government’s use of the emergency powers contradicts non-derogable rights laid down in the Turkish Constitution, the ICCPR and the ECHR.

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Klimanotstände

Am 28. Juni hat der Bundestag über einen Antrag der Fraktion der Linken mit dem Titel „Klimanotstand anerkennen – Klimaschutz-Sofortmaßnahmen verabschieden, Strukturwandel sozial gerecht umsetzen“ beraten. Das Vorhaben irritiert aus verschiedenen Gründen. Erstens aufgrund der gewählten Notstandsrhetorik, die nach Ansicht vieler doch vorderhand dem Arsenal der traditionell exekutivfreundlichen politischen Rechten zuzuordnen ist. Zweitens wegen des Widerspruchs von Sofortmaßnahmen, die keinen Aufschub dulden, und der Maßgabe der sozial gerechten Umsetzung eines „Strukturwandels“.

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