Constitutional Change

by Markus Kern/Fabian Schmid. On November 29, 2020, the Swiss electorate had to vote on two Popular Initiatives: the Popular Initiative “For responsible businesses – protecting human rights and the environment” and the Popular Initiative “For a ban on financing war material manufacturers”
by Nora Camenisch-Ehinger and Markus Kern, University of Bern. Due to a backlog caused by the Covid-19-epidemic, the Swiss electorate had five proposals on its plate on September 27, 2020. In most cantons and municipalities additional decisions had to be taken on cantonal or local issues. The turnout was comparatively high at around 59%, sign of the strong mobilization of the political questions at stake.
by Prof. Markus Kern / Fabian Schmid, University of Bern On February 9, 2020, two proposals were up for decision by the Swiss electorate: – the Popular Initiative claiming “more affordable homes” as well as – a referendum concerning a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in criminal law The Popular Initiative was rejected by 57.1% of the Swiss population and by all but 4½ of the cantons, whereas the amendment of criminal law was clearly accepted by a majority of 63.1% of the voters. Electoral turnout was at 41.7% resp. 40.9%.
by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary Illiberal states emerging in Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, are still constitutional democracies, which are shaped peacefully by populist politicians from a more substantial form of constitutional democracy that prioritizes (liberal) constitutional values through the use of populist style of governance, abusive constitutionalism, and autocratic legalism.[1] In our cases, the minimum requirements of a constitutional democracy, such as the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, have been defectively worded in a constitution, or poorly implemented or enforced.
by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary This short note argues that the term illiberal constitutionalism shall be used when describing the constitutional system of a particular state in the process of backsliding from the state of constitutional democracy towards an authoritarian regime. The main argument of those who oppose this term is that constitutionalism cannot be anything else but liberal. Neither Hungary nor Poland can nurture constitutionalism anymore because there are no effective constraints on public power.
by Antoni Abat Ninet, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark After 500 days of pre-trial detention, and facing charges of rebellion and sedition (among others) which carries a maximum of 30 years in prison, it found guilty, former Catalan representatives and grassroots activist had finally the possibility to be heard by the Supreme Court in Madrid. A court on which there are reasonable doubts about their competence to deal with this trial.
by Prof. Markus Kern / Tobias Egli, University of Bern Construction activity in Switzerland is intense: Every day, the equivalent of eight soccer pitches is newly covered with buildings. The increasing concern about the phenomenon of urban sprawl has already had tangible political consequences in recent years: In 2012 the so called «Second Home Initiative» was accepted on the federal level, banning the construction of second homes in municipalities with a proportion of second homes exceeding 20%. In the same year the voters of the Canton of Zurich accepted the so called «Arable Land Initiative» aiming at the protection of arable land in the canton.
by Prof. Markus Kern / Nora Camenisch-Ehinger, University of Bern On November 25, 2018 three proposals were up for decision by the Swiss electorate. Two of them were pertaining to constitutional change and can be said to be situated at either of the poles of constitutional importance:

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