GIA KOITA

Does Latin America Need a ‘Supra-Constitutional’ Court? Lessons from the Central American Experience

by Carlos Arturo Villagrán Sandoval, PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School.
Last week, on April 3rd 2017, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States held a meeting in order to consider the recent events in Venezuela. They approved by consensus the following resolution:
‘[t]he decisions of the Supreme Court of Venezuela to suspend the powers of the National Assembly and to arrogate them to itself are inconsistent with democratic practice and constitute an alteration of the constitutional order of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.’ The actions of the Venezuelan Supreme Court are the latest in a series of events that amount together to a constitutional disruption within the Latin American region.

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Popular Participation in Constitutional Amendment: A Public Debate

On the occasion of the publication of the book X. Contiades/A. Fotiadou (Eds), Participatory Constitutional Change. The People as Amenders of the Constitution, (Routledge 2017), The Centre for European Constitutional Law – Themistocles and Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation organizes a public debate in Athens, Greece on the issue:

Popular Participation in Constitutional Amendment

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Decisions of the Swiss Sovereign on February 12 2017

by Thomas Fleiner.

On Sunday February 12 2017, the Swiss sovereign (Article 195 as well as according to Article 142 par two of the Constitution) decided on two amendments of the constitution proposed by the Parliament with a turnout of 46 to 47%%. The constitutional amendment on third generation foreigners living in Switzerland has been approved with 60.4% yes and 39.6%% no. 17 cantons voted yes and only six cantons voted no. The Swiss sovereign approved the amendment on the financial support for the roads with 61.9% yes and only 38.1% no. All cantons did approve this constitutional amendment.

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International Actors in the Guatemalan Constitutional Reform: The Story of the CICIG

by Carlos Arturo Villagrán Sandoval, PhD Candidate, Melbourne Law School.
In the last two years, a series of reform proposals have been debated regarding the constitutional reform of Guatemala’s judiciary. These constitutional reform proposals, which include a major overhaul of the election and composition of the Constitutional Court, the creation of a judicial supervisory organ and the recognition of indigenous justice, have been promoted by a foreign actor, the Comisión International Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala or the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

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Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments: The Limits of Amendment Powers. By Yaniv Roznai (Oxford University Press, 2017)

by Tarik Olcay, PhD Candidate, School of Law, University of Glasgow.
The uninformed observer could be forgiven for thinking that no such thing as an unconstitutional constitutional amendment exists. This concept, or in other words, the question of constitutionality of constitutional amendments, is a contentious one. It immediately calls for a clarification, a convincing definition of the constitution, and of what it means to be constitutional.

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The UK Supreme Court and Brexit

by Ian Cram, School of Law, Leeds University.

Sitting for the first time as a full 11 member panel, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court has handed down its ruling in the most significant constitutional law case in the UK for over a generation. The ruling has been eagerly anticipated both in the UK, Europe and beyond and touches upon a range of major constitutional issues that will have significant legal and political implications.

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Peter Leyland, The Constitution of the United Kingdom. A Contextual Analysis (Hart Publishing 2016): A view from the outside.

by Dr. Alkmene Fotiadou, Centre for European Constitutional Law.
One of the major problems with comparative constitutional law relates to the difficulty of understanding different contexts before attempting to apply comparative methodology. Often similarities are detected, such as identical or akin constitutional provisions, matching political and constitutional practices, institutional similarities etc. Nonetheless, drawing conclusions from such similarities (aimed either at theorizing about the constitution, or at making constitutional design choices) entails the danger of overlooking the contextual basis.

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Decisions of the Swiss Sovereign on November 27 2016

by Thomas Fleiner.

On Sunday November 27, the Swiss sovereign (according to Article 195 as well as Article 142 par two of the Constitution) decided on a popular constitutional initiative concerning the organized and controlled exit from nuclear energy. The decision was made with a turnout of some 49% against the initiative voted 54% while 45% voted yes. 18 cantons voted no and only 5 cantons voted yes.

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Economic crisis and reform of EU law

by Abraham Barrero Ortega and Irene Sobrino Guijarro

Within the framework of the EU, it is possible to identify parallel legal developments that deserve close attention. We are referring to the specific reality represented by the “Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism” (2nd of February 2012), the “Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union” (2nd of March 2012), closely linked to the “Pact for the Euro”– endorsed by the Heads of State or Government in March 2011-, and the “Compact for Growth and Jobs”, agreed by Heads of State or Government at the European Council in June 2012.

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