Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: September 2010

  • Ambiguities in Iraq’s Constitution

    Last week I participated in a fascinating conference hosted by the National Constitution Center and University of Pennsylvania Law School that waded neck deep into Iraqi constitutionalism, and federalism in particular. I argued that among the problems with the federal framework established by the Iraq Constitution is that it is both ambiguous and internally inconsistent to the point where there are now at least three widely held competing views of the powers and authority of Iraq’s fifteen provinces (all of Iraq except the Kurdistan region).

  • Turkey’s New Majoritarian Difficulty

    On September 12, 1980, the Turkish Armed Forces took control of the Turkish government in a bloody coup d’état. Exactly thirty years from that date, on September 12, 2010, Turkish voters approved by 58% of the vote a package of twenty-six amendments to the 1982 Constitution, which was ratified following the coup.

  • Government Formation and Iraq’s Constitution

    If reports of a breakthrough in formation of a new Iraqi government are to believed (a questionable proposition), it is worth noting two ways Iraq’s Constitution has been implicated in the unmitigated disaster that has been the failure to form a government almost seven months after Iraq’s parliamentary elections.

  • Kenyan Constitution and Chicago Troika

    Here is a great nugget from a recent edition of news at the University of Chicago. It includes some insights into what valuable work is being carried out by other members of this blog. It starts with some biographical material on Tom: “Ginsburg first developed an interest in constitutions through his work at the Asia Foundation in the early 1990s, when he was sent to Mongolia as a young program officer to organize assistance in writing a new constitution.

  • New USIP volume on constitution-making

    Those interested in constitutional design should take a look at the new volume from the US Institue of Peace, Framing the State in Times of Transition: Case Studies in Constitution Making. The volume features 19 case studies of constitution-making, including well-known cases like Afghanistan and Iraq, and more obscure cases ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe.

  • Turkey’s reforms

    I’d be very interested to learn more from any readers in Turkey about the passage of the constitutional amendments in yesterday’s referendum. My thumbnail view is that Turkey was ahead of the game in 1982 when it adopted a “post-political” constitution, in which democratic institutions were constrained by a series of guardian institutions, including the constitutional court, the national security council, the higher education council, and, until the accession of Abdullah Gul, the presidency.

  • Awards, New Books, and a Book Series

    Several recent awards, new books, and a new book series on comparative constitutional law & policy might be of interest to this blog’s readers. First, Sanford Levinson, one of the most influential, prolific and thoughtful scholars of American constitutional law, won the APSA’s Law & Courts Section Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • The Constitutionality of Nigeria’s Recent Constitutional Amendment

    A number of aggrieved parties including the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have filed suits in Nigerian courts seeking an interpretation of the constitutionality of the recent amendment of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

  • Sri Lanka and Executive Self Dealing

    The Sri Lankan parliament voted on Wednesday to approve the 18th amendment to their constitution, which strikes down the 2-term limit on presidential re-election. We’ve all seen this movie before. Critics responded by characterizing the amendment as a step towards authoritarianism, since its beneficiary is the sitting president, Mahinda Rajapakse.

  • The Evolution and Ideology of Global Constitutionalism

    Mila Versteeg and I have just posted to SSRN a paper entitled “The Evolution and Ideology of Global Constitutionalism” that may be of interest to readers of this blog. In this paper, we analyze an original data set that spans the rights-related content of all national constitutions over the last six decades.

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