Month: October 2009
Kuwait Constitutional Court Supports Female MPs
Kuwait’s Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that two female MPs who refuse to wear the hijab would indeed be allowed to sit in the country’s parliament. The two women were among four elected this past May, the first women to serve in that capacity.
Canadian Language Wars (yet again)
Canada is arguably one of the world capitals when it comes to language rights jurisprudence. The fundamental disagreements concerning the preferential status of French in Quebec vis-à-vis Canada’s commitment to bilingualism have been a perennial bone of constitutional contention over the last 30 years.
Courts in authoritarian regimes
Some readers may know that I have an occasional interest in the role of courts in authoritarian regimes. There is a wonderful quote in today’s NYTimes from Iranian “opposition” leader Mehdi Karroubi, who has been threatened with trial at a special court for clergy.
Constitutional democracy as a national security strategy
Longtime China observer Jerry Cohen recently posted a critique of Taiwan’s government after its prime minister reacted against foreign critics. See here . One theme of Jerry’s comments is that Taiwan, as an island whose defense rests on explicit and implicit guarantees from the United States, is now of strategic value not because of its location but because of its values.
Term limits declared unconstitutional in Nicaragua
Current Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, elected in 2007 for a 5 year period, filed an amparo suit before the Constitutional Chamber of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court arguing that a 1995 constitutional amendment that imposed limits to indefinite reelection violates his constitutional rights.
Jamaican PM wants constitution to ban gay marriage
In our large project on the characteristics of written constitutions of independent nation-states, one of the questions we included was whether or not the constitution provided for gay marriage. We were somewhat surprised to learn that the only place with a clear constitutional right to gay marriage was our survey instrument!
The Debate about a Rights Charter in Australia – Part 2
Yesterday, the Australian government released the Report of the National Human Rights Consultation Committee, on whether Australia should make changes to its current system of human rights protection. See http://www.humanrightsconsultation.gov.au/www/nhrcc/nhrcc.nsf/Page/Report_NationalHumanRightsConsultationReportDownloads The Report contains 31 distinct recommendations for change in this area – some of which are clearly quite minimalist (e.g.
State constitutions database
We sometimes call attention to important resources for constitutional research. One is the database at the University of Maryland on state constitutional design, available here. There is increasing attention devoted to state constitutions, which provide interesting though imperfect analogues to national constitutions.
Constitutional convergence, international law, and … local government law?
Wherever there is government, there is by definition also constitutional law, in the sense of a set of legal rules, practices, and institutions that define and allocate public power. Everyone knows that constitutional law is not a phenomenon that occurs exclusively at the nation-state level.
The Debate about a Rights Charter in Australia – Part 1
Earlier this week, the National Human Rights Consultation Committee in Australia submitted its final report to the Australian government about whether Australia should adopt a national statutory rights charter, and if so, in what form– see Earlier this week, the National Human Rights Consultation Committee in Australia submitted its final report to the Australian government about whether Australia should adopt a national statutory rights charter, and if so, in what form– see http://www.humanrightsconsultation.gov.au/