Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: September 2009

  • North Korea’s Cryptic Reforms

    The South Korean press has just published text from amendments to the North Korean Constitution adopted this April. The Constitution apparently promotes Kim Jong-Il from Dear Leader to Supreme Leader; it also beefs up the role of the National Defence Commission, chaired by Kim.

  • Constitutional Change in the Dominican Republic

    The Dominican Republic is going through a lengthy and important constitution-making process that will probably conclude before the end of this year. Several interesting issues have been raised by this process. For instance, the very question about whether the final product is going to be a new Constitution or an amendment to the Constitution of 1966.

  • The Spanish Constitutional Court faces direct democracy

    The Spanish Constitutional Court is about to render one of the most important decisions in its history. The case concerns the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, a region in Spain that has traditionally had a strong nationalist movement. Under the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spain was divided into 17 Autonomous Communities.

  • New Report on Transitional Justice

    The Reports section of this website features a new entry on transitional justice provisions in constitutional texts (see the Special Issue Domains tab). Surprisingly, very few constitutions actually mention transitional justice in any detail. A small number provide for Commissions for Truth and Reconciliation (e.g.

  • Guest Post: Matsudaira on Japan Election

    The Democratic Party (DPJ) of Japan, Japan’s new ruling party, has decided to abolish its policy department. In a notice given to its Diet members by Ichiro Ozawa, the party’s director general, the DPJ has prohibited its Diet members from directly proposing bills, within the exception of lawmaking regarding highly political issues, such as electoral law.

  • Why constitutional theory needs to be comparative and international

    What’s wrong with mainstream constitutional theory? Among other things, it is neither comparative nor international, at a time when other countries and the international legal regime are in need of constitutionalization and might actually benefit from some applied theory. Here’s a rundown of the argument, with thanks to both the Constitution in 2020 and Balkinization blogs for hosting it.

  • Job posting: Somalia

    Editors note: will on occasion post job and conference announcements, so long as they seem relevant to our mission. Below is a new announcement from NDI.—The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) seeks to hire a lawyer or legislative staff professional with international law/legal experience to provide legal expertise in implementing the constitutional development components of its Somalia program.

  • Guest Post on Constitutionalism in China: A Response to Tom

    Tom has graciously invited me to respond to his recent posting on Chinese constitutionalism, and in particular to his reference to my forthcoming book with Stéphanie Balme. He may well regret it, because while he himself has described the book in most gracious terms, I must take exception with certain possible implications that could be inferred from his description.

  • Whither Chinese Constitutionalism in the 21st Century?

    China’s constitution has been described (by Professor Donald Clarke) as the least important document in the Chinese legal system. But constitutional discourse is clearly becoming more important in Chinese law politics, as highlighted by the recent high profile arrest and subsequent release of Xu Zhiyong, a lawyer associated with the Open Constitution Initiative.

  • The Japanese Election: Much Ado About Very Little?

    It’s rare for Japanese politics to get a lot of attention in the Western media, but this was admittedly no ordinary election. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)’s trouncing of the Liberal Democratic Party on August 30 made the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and so forth.