A Constitutional Ban on Same-sex Marriage: Romania is About to Entrench its Homophobic Worldview

by Michael Hein, Postdoc Fellow, University of Göttingen, Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Comparative Constitutionalism
Next weekend, on the 6th and 7th of October, 2018, the citizens of Romania will have the final say on an amendment to the Romanian Constitution of 1991. If approved, it will change Art. 48, para. 1, which defines the family as “based on a freely consented marriage by the spouses”.

Read More

Popular vote on September 23, 2018 in Switzerland concerning the direct counter-proposal to the Bike Initiative and the Federal Popular Initiatives on Fair Food and Food Sovereignty

by Prof. Markus Kern / Antonia Huwiler, University of Bern
The Swiss electorate only accepted one of the three proposals up for discussion: The direct counter-proposal to the Bike Initiative. The Fair Food Initiative and the Initiative for food sovereignty have been rejected. The voter turnout amounted to around 37%.

Read More

The Nordic Constitutions. A Comparative and Contextual Study, Hart Publishing, Ed. Helle Krunke and Björg Thorarensen

by Professor Helle Krunke, CECS, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen
How similar are the Nordic constitutional systems? Which common roots and legal-historical developments do they share? How do the Nordic constitutions regulate institutions and division of powers, judicial review of legislation, parliamentary control of the executive and human rights? Do the EU and international human rights conventions draw the Nordic constitutional systems closer to each other or further apart?

Read More

WHEN POLITICAL CROSSROADS ARE NOT OPTING A LEGALLY ACCEPTABLE ROAD – THE MACEDONIAN CASE WITH THE “NAME DISPUTE” AS AN INTERNATIONAL LEGAL PRECEDENT

by Tanja Karakamisheva-Jovanovska, Full-time Professor of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law “Iustinianus Primus” in Skopje, University “Sc. Cyril and Methodius”, Republic of Macedonia
The well-known nebulous and irrational problem that my country, Republic of Macedonia, has with Greece for 27 years seems to have reached its zenith.

Read More

In Italy the new Government was sworn in but a question comes up from the shadow: did the “Government of Change” start out by prompting a constitutional change?

by Dario Elia Tosi
In the last week, Italy overcame one of the deepest political turmoil of the last decades. The new Government and the parliamentary majority, which supports it, describe the new institutional layout as the “Government of Change”.

Read More

Decisions of the majority of the Swiss Voters and of the Cantons on June 10 2018 on the popular initiative concerning the sovereign money (monetary reform) and of the majority of the Swiss voters on the referendum on the law about the risk of money games

by Thomas Fleiner, Professor Emeritus of Public Law, University of Fribourg, Former President of the Executive Committee of the IACL
The voters decided to reject the popular initiative with the lowest turnout (33.7%) of the last 6 years.  At the same time, the majority of the voters adopted the law on the risk of money games.
The sovereign decided on this Sunday with two decisions. One decision was on a popular initiative for sovereign or plain money, the second was a referendum on the law concerning the risk of playing games with money.  

Read More

New Book: Zoltán Szente, Fruzsina Gárdos-Orosz (eds), New Challenges to Constitutional Adjudication in Europe ‒ A Comparative Perspective, Routledge, 2018

by Emese Szilágyi, Junior Research Fellow, Scientific Secretary of the Institute for Legal Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

This new book, edited by two prominent Hungarian constitutional scholars, Zoltán Szente and Fruzsina Gárdos-Orosz examines how the most exigent social, economic and political challenges affect constitutional adjudication at both national and European levels. More precisely, the research question was whether the most recent global challenges, such as the world economic crisis, the new wave of international terrorism or mass migration have changed the well-embedded judicial constructions or, in general, the jurisprudence of constitutional and supranational courts.

Read More

Decisions of the Swiss Voters and the Majority of the Cantons on March 4, 2018

by Thomas Fleiner

The sovereign decided on this Sunday on two crucial decisions, with regard to the Swiss constitution: The turnout of this vote was 54.1%. This turnout is exceptionally high for Switzerland, because the discussions mainly on the decision of the sovereign with regard to radio and television were strongly emotional. The first decision concerns a federal decision of the Swiss parliament about the financial order of Switzerland (Article196 cipher 13, 14 par 1 and 15 of the Constitution). The sovereign adopted this first decision by a majority of 84,1%; all cantons adopted this decision of the Parliament; however, the sovereign rejected the second popular initiative by a majority of  71,6% against 28.4%. 

Read More

Repeal the 8th, Activism, Social Movement, and Constitutional Change in Ireland

by Fiona De Londras, Professor of Global Legal Studies, Deputy Head of Birmingham Law School

The Irish Constitution can only be formally amended by referendum (Art. 46). Unlike in some jurisdictions, however, there is no formal mechanism for popular initiative: ultimately only the Oireachtas [Parliament] can propose a referendum, and the exact wording of the proposition put to the People ordinarily comes from the Attorney General. What the current developments in respect of the 8th Amendment and its potential repeal show, however, is that constitutional change in Ireland is not necessarily a technocratic, elite discourse: it can be, and in this case is being, driven by a social demand for change.

Read More

Who exerts judicial review over the European Court of Justice?

by Rasmus Smith Nielsen, PhD student

The article concludes that the Danish Supreme Court in its judgment UfR 2017.824H (Ajos case) has ruled that 1) an application of the general EU principle prohibiting discrimination on grounds of age in Denmark together with 2) direct effect and horizontal effect of article 21 in the Charter on Fundamental Rights of the European Union and 3) direct effect of law derived from TEU art. 6, section 3, would under e.g. the Danish EU accession law constitute an infringement of art. 88 of the Danish Constitution (amendment of the constitution), and 4) the European Court of Justice has according to the Danish Supreme Court, at least, before 1th December 2009 infringed the treaty (currently TEU and TFEU), cf. e.g. TEU art. 5, section 2, TEU art. 13, section 2, and TFEU art. 352.

Read More