Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: November 2009

  • Honduras vote coming in…

    and it looks like the conservatives have won. The crisis, however, is likely not over, with most South American nations continuing to assert that the election results are not to be recognized. From the beginning, the Honduras affair has defied conventional political analysis.

  • A Win for Wal-Mart, in Canada of All Places

    Last week I wrote here about a landmark anti-privatization ruling by the Supreme Court of Israel. But those who thought the days of pro-business, neo-liberal jurisprudence were over, got a sobering reality check reminder last Friday, courtesy of the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • Israeli Supreme Court says Privatized Prisons Unconstitutional

    Until the early-1980s, Israel’s economy was one of the most centralized in the non-communist world. Over the last two decades, it has undergone considerable liberalization that at times amounted to a local version of an all-out Thatcherite neo-liberalism. During much of the 1990s, the Supreme Court was quite cooperative, granting property rights an elevated constitutional status, eroding the right to strike and collective bargaining, and pushing the right to basic education and childcare beyond the purview of human dignity.

  • Supreme Court of Canada v. detention of juveniles at Guantanamo Bay

    Today the Supreme Court of Canada heard oral argument in Prime Minister of Canada et al. v. Omar Ahmed Khadr. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick (a fellow Canadian, if I am not mistaken) has a very nice story about it here. In a nutshell, the Canadian Supreme Court is being asked to clean up the legal mess that the United States government has created by indefinitely detaining at Guantanamo Bay, without trial, a number of alleged unlawful enemy combatants who are aliens.

  • Ethics for constitutional advisors?

    This mornings NY Times reports that Peter Galbraith, advisor to the Kurdish government, was negotiating oil deals on his own behalf while helping to influence Iraq’s constitution-making process. The scale of Galbraith’s prospective gains, upwards of $100 million, are shocking. It is not clear that he had a conflict of interest with regard to Kurdish nationalists, but one would think that his financial interest should have been disclosed to Iraqi constitution-makers who might otherwise take his advice as being motivated by considerations of reason.

  • Out with the old, in with the new

    The newly minted Supreme Court of the UK handed down its first decision this week, after coming to power on October 1, 2009. There is no doubt that Brits (and the rest of us) are still getting used to the idea of new branch of government in the UK.

  • A New Book on the Latin American Amparo Suit

    The amparo proceeding is a Latin American extraordinary judicial remedy specifically conceived for the protection of constitutional harms or threats inflicted by authorities or individuals. Allan Brewer-Carías, one of Latin America’s most important constitutional lawyers, has written a book that highlightsthe recent trends and identifies variations in the constitutional and legal regulations on the amparo proceeding in nineteen Latin American countries and the Phillipines (Constitutional Protection of Human Rights in Latin America.

  • New report on constitutional treatment of the environment

    The Reports section of this website has a new report on constitutional treatment of the environment–look under the “Special Issue Domains” menu under the Reports tab. Constitutional treatment of the environment is a relatively recent phenomenon, but is now found in some 66% of texts.

  • The Honduran Crisis as Constitutional Inoculation?

    It may be time to turn to some of the broader implications of the Honduran constitutional crisis now that a resolution to at least the immediate standoff is in sight. In particular, what will be the fate of the Honduran constitution?

  • The European Court of Human Rights says no to crucifixes in Italian classrooms

    Short version of Lautsi v. Italy: an Italian mother of Finnish origin has two children in school. The classrooms in which her children are instructed have crucifixes prominently displayed. She unsuccessfully petitions the government to have them removed before seeking relief from the European Court of Human Rights.