UK Constitution

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 Cristina Parau, Associate Member and Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford. The post first appeared on Politics in Spires, in the Great Charter Convention series, hosted in collaboration with Open Democracy, IPPR and the University of Southampton. The first issue concerning a written constitution for Britain is: Where is the demand coming from? Contemporary organised demand for constitutional reform traces back to the late 1970s, yet even before then, isolated intellectuals – ‘a voice crying in the wilderness’ – had tried to make an issue out of a written constitution for Britain that would include a Bill of Rights.

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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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