Constitutional Change

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:
Edited by Richard Albert, Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou (Routledge 2018, 266 pages). Constitutions are often seen as the product of the free will of a people exercising their constituent power. This, however, is not always the case, particularly when it comes to ‘imposed constitutions’. In recent years there has been renewed interest in the idea of imposition in constitutional design, but the literature does not yet provide a comprehensive resource to understand the meanings, causes and consequences of an imposed constitution. The book is now available at
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”.
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%.
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?
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.
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.  
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.

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