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Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law
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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. Conservatives had challenged their election on the basis that they refused to

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Published on October 29, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, kuwait, Tom Ginsburg
 
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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. The formal status of English and French, as well as minority

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Published on October 23, 2009
Author:          Filed under: Canada, Language rights, Ran Hirschl
 
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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. The concept of this special court is itself interesting: the court

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Published on October 23, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, Iran, Tom Ginsburg
 
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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

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Published on October 22, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, Taiwan, Tom Ginsburg
 
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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. The Constitutional Chamber decided yesterday that it is unconstitutional to prohibit the reelection

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Published on October 20, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, Julio Rios-Figueroa, Latin America, Nicaragua, term limits
 
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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! Indeed, the handful of

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Published on October 16, 2009
Author:          Filed under: gay rights, hp
 
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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. recommendations about the desirability of

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Published on October 9, 2009
Author:          Filed under: Australia, bill of rights
 
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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. For more on the relationship between the two, see Dan Rodriguez excellent post.

Published on October 8, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, state constitutions, Tom Ginsburg
 
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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. But that does not mean we are always mindful of

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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

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Published on October 1, 2009
Author:          Filed under: Australia, bill of rights, consultation