Spain

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 Abraham Barrero Ortega and Irene Sobrino Guijarro. Over the last months, within the context of a complicated political scenario due to the economic crisis and the nationalist tensions, voices insisting on the need for constitutional reform are being intensively raised in Spain. Without questioning such a need, it may nonetheless be useful to reflect on the difficulties that such an enterprise would entail at the present date- May 2014.
by Agustín Ruiz Robledo Nepal and Spain are separated by more than 8,000 km and they have very different societies and cultures (although I think that the origin of the Spanish flamenco is not so far from Kathmandu). However, Nepal has taken a decision similar to that of Spain almost 40 years ago: to change the unitary State into a federal one. For this reason, I think the Spanish experience maybe useful in Nepal’s present constitutional debate. I will summarize this experience in five ideas that can be applied to Nepal, without committing to many mistakes due to my limited knowledge of the reality of the Himalayan country.

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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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