Welcome to the Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change blog by the Research Group of the IACL
Here is the official blog of the research group on constitution-making and constitutional change operating under the International Association of Constitutional Law. This is a blog open to all. We hope to provide a forum for interaction and discussion on all topics related to constitution-making and constitutional change. Lets share information and analysis of the ongoing developments in our countries and the relevant theoretical debates: lets blog.

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Performing Catalan “Self-Determination” _(Part II)

by Zoran Oklopcic, Associate Professor at the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University.

While one might choose to focus on the contradictions and dissimulations which Lockean performances oftentimes require, the Catalan crisis is an occasion to ask a set of less judgmental questions: What is it that compels present-day revolutionary secessionists to follow the script intended to serve struggles against oppressive tyrants and empires, not liberal democrats and republics? What do those who follow it today expect to happen as a consequence of doing so? Or, more precisely: What are Catalans betting on as they perform the role of reasonable revolutionaries—who, in a contemporary dramatization of the Lockean script by the Catalan parliament—make ‘every effort’ to stay on the constitutional path, and who act unconstitutionally only ‘after exhausting all forms of dialogue and negotiation’? What is it that they think they must do in order to increase the chances of their bet succeeding?

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Performing Catalan “Self-Determination”_(Part I)

by Zoran Oklopcic, Associate Professor at the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University.

Since the advent of popular sovereignty at the turn of the 19th century, referendums have been one of the most (excuse the pun) popular techniques of ascertaining the extent of popular support for a variety of far-reaching political projects. Oftentimes viewed as indispensable for demonstrating the legitimacy of secessionist pursuits, independence referendums have only rarely resulted in victories for advocates of the constitutional status quo. Among the 54 referendums that have taken place since the early 1800s, 43 saw the triumph of pro-independence majorities. In terms of their actual success in seceding, however, things predictably look different. Out of the victorious 43, only 22 pro-independence majorities managed to achieve independence peacefully. In the case of the remaining 21, independence either never occurred, or, when it did, took place only after a period of protracted violence.

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Decisions of the Swiss Voters and the Majority of the Cantons on September 24, 2017

by Thomas Fleiner.

On Sunday September 24 2017, the Swiss voters decided on the following issues. The sovereign (majority of the cantons and the voters) accepted a new article 104 a concerning enough foodstuff supply with 78.7% and rejected a new Constitutional provision for a new value added tax with 52%. This concerns Article 130 par 3ter and quater (including the transitional provisions 196 par 6 and 7 linked to Article 130 of the tax amendment) tax, which supports the institution for old age survivors. The majority of the voters did also reject the legislation concerning the retirement arrangement 2020 with 52.7%. The turnaround was 46.7%. Almost all German-speaking cantons rejected a new added-value tax. Of the German-speaking cantons only Bale-town, Bern and Zurich accepted it. The French speaking cantons and the Ticino accepted it.

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(Ethno-political) Strategic Components of the Supreme Court of Kenya’s Presidential Election Decision: Settling for the lesser evil?

by Duncan Okubasu, Lecturer at Kabarak University School of Law and an Advocates of the High Court of Kenya

Few minutes after Kenya’s Supreme Court (SC) nullified President Uhuru’s re-election, his lawyer- Ahmednasir Abdullahi – in a press conference described the decision as political, having nothing to do with the law. Indeed, the demand of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that a presidential election must be determined within 14 days leaves SC judges with the constrained option of making an ‘intuitive’ decision and then following it with reasons at a later time. In the Raila v Kenyatta Case (2017), the SC completed hearing the dispute on 29 August 2017 and was expected to and did provide its ‘decision’ on 1 September 2017. It indicated in so doing that it would deliver a reasoned judgment within 21 days.

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Conference Report–Imposed Constitutions: Aspects of Imposed Constitutionalism–University of Nicosia, Cyprus

by Yota Negishi, Waseda University; Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Cross-post from I·CONnect, http://www.iconnectblog.com/2017/05/conference-report-imposed-constitutions-aspects-of-imposed-constitutionalism-university-of-nicosia-cyprus/

On 5-6 May 2017, the School of Law of the University of Nicosia hosted the international Conference “Imposed Constitutions: Aspects of Imposed Constitutionalism”, in collaboration with the Research Group on Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL), and the Centre for European Constitutional Law – Themistocles and Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation.

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