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Participatory Constitutional Change. The People as Amenders of the Constitution

Edited by Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou (Routledge 2017, 212 pages).
This book explores the recent trend of enhancing the role of the people in constitutional change. It traces the reasons underlying this tendency, the new ways in which it takes form, the possibilities of success and failure of such ventures as well as the risks and benefits it carries. The book is now available at https://www.routledge.com/Participatory-Constitutional-Change-The-People-as-Amenders-of-the-Constitution/Contiades-Fotiadou/p/book/9781472478696

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hungary

The Controversial Anti-Migrant Referendum in Hungary is Invalid

by Zoltán Szente

Regardless of the intense government campaign which lasted more than a year and the involvement of almost the entire state apparatus, the Government-initiated anti-migrant referendum held on 2 October proved to be invalid due to low turnout. The Hungarian Government initiated a national referendum in February 2016 against the controversial quota system proposed by the EU for the resettlement of migrants among the Member States.

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kuwait

Arab Spring In The Kuwaiti Court Of Cassation

by David Gwynn Morgan, Professor of Law at Kuwait International Law School

A major step in confirming the Rule of Law in Kuwait was taken with the Court of Cassation case of Al-Jaber, No (3253) of the year, 2014, judgment given on April 4, 2016. The facts were sufficiently simple and typical for the decision to be capable of growth in several direction, assuming that it is followed in later cases.

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Decisions of the Swiss sovereign on two popular constitutional initiatives

by Thomas Fleiner

On September 25, the Swiss sovereign (according to Article 195 and Article 142 par 2 of the Constitution) rejected two popular constitutional initiatives and the voters decided on a referendum (Article 142 par 1 of the Constitution) against the law on the intelligence service. The sovereign rejected both initiatives and the majority of the voters accepted the law on the intelligence service. The turnout was about 42%.

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greece

Greece Faces the Possibility of an Unconstitutional Constitutional Revision

by Dr. Alkmene Fotiadou, Centre for European Constitutional Law.
On July 25, the Greek Prime Minister announced his proposals for a revision of the Constitution of Greece. The key characteristic of the proposals is the very conspicuous possibility that an unconstitutional constitutional revision shall take place, entailing both procedural unconstitutionality and subject-matter unconstitutionality.

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albanian flag

Albanian parliament approved the new constitutional reform on justice system

by Dr. Arta Vorpsi

Albania’s parliament early on Friday adopted long-awaited judicial reforms, after 18 months of technical and political work and days of tense negotiations. All 140 members of parliament voted in favour of the reform, after negotiations between the three main political leaders led by US ambassador and EU head of delegation.

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“Vote Yes for a Safe Italy” or “Vote No to Defend the Constitution”: Italian Constitutional Politics between Majoritarianism and Civil Resistance

by Paul Blokker

‘In order to obtain a united Europe against terrorism, we need a strong country, with a Constitution that gives stability’. In this way, Maria Elena Boschi, the Italian Minister for Constitutional Reform, recently justified the pending comprehensive reform of the Italian Constitution of 1948. Boschi’s ambiguous observation – suggesting that a vote against the constitutional reform project in the upcoming referendum in October leaves Italy more vulnerable in the face of terrorism – is part of an intense public debate in Italy.

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Decision of the Swiss on the Initiative for the enforcement of the Constitution

by Thomas Fleiner

On June 5, the sovereign decided on five different issues with a turnout of 46%. The sovereign had to decide on three constitutional proposals, which need an approval of the majority of the voters and of the cantons. The voters and all cantons refused all three popular initiatives with some 23% to 32% against a majority of 67.6% to 76.9%. The voters of the people’s majority decided also on too legislative referenda against the law on asylum and against the law on reproduction.

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Conventional Wisdom: The Alternate Article V Mechanism for Proposing Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

John R. Vile, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016, xv + 266 pp., ISBN: 978-0-8203-4900-8).

This book is the culmination of more than 30 years of thinking about the unused Article V convention mechanism and related subjects. I spend the first part of the book exploring the origins of Article V processes and convention precedents in the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth centuries. I also examine early legal commentaries on the subject. Although I believe the weight of this evidence, including Alexander Hamilton’s comments in Federalist No. 85, suggest that such conventions can be limited, I note that this specific issue does not appear to have been as prominent in earlier legal and political discourse as it is now, and I examine recent arguments both for and against the limited convention option.

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