Constitutional Change

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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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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Swiss votations on February 9, 2020

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%.

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Illiberal constitutionalism 2 – constraints on public power

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.

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