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Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law
Home 2010 (Page 16)
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Competing Models of Democracy in Canada and the United States

A few years ago, Michael Adams illuminated the many ways in which the United States and Canada are hardening in their views on civil society, culture, and politics. Entitled “Fire and Ice,” the book marshals an encyclopedic volume of data to show that Canada retains its own distinct identity—one that remains vibrant and strong despite

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Published on January 25, 2010
Author:          Filed under: campaign finance; election, Canada, hp, Richard Albert, United States
 
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Statutes on constitutional amendment procedure?

here is a question from Mongolia, where the parliament is considering drafting a statute on constitutional amendments. Some countries have specific statutes to cover the procedure for proposing and passing an amendment, filling in details not contained in the constitution. Do any readers have examples of such statutes? Please let us know by comment if

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Published on January 25, 2010
Author:          Filed under: hp, Tom Ginsburg
 
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How Representative is the Senate Minority Anyway?

Last week’s Senate election in Massachusetts had many of us thinking about the merits and demerits of the filibuster. A basic question that sprang to mind, given the well-known malapportionment of the Senate, was this: what percent of Americans are represented by the 41 would-be filibusterers? I was supremely disappointed by cyberspace to find that

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Published on January 25, 2010
Author:          Filed under: filibuster, hp, senate, United States, Zachary Elkins
 
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Is the Japanese Supreme Court spreading its wings?

Last week, the Japanese Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for a municipal government to offer city-owned land without charge for the site of a Shinto shrine. The ruling by the top court’s Grand Bench upheld the contention of the plaintiffs that the municipal government of Sunagawa, Hokkaido had violated the constitutional requirement of

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Published on January 24, 2010
Author:          Filed under: hp, Japan, Tom Ginsburg
 
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Three Stages of Socio-Economic Rights?

The South African Constitutional Court has issued internationally significant decisions abolishing the death penalty, legalizing same-sex marriage, and ruling that their Constitution’s socio-economic rights provision are enforceable rather than aspirational. The socio-economic rulings are among the first of their kind internationally with some exceptions (for example, India and Columbia). Yet the Constitutional Court has recently

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Published on January 22, 2010
Author:          Filed under: Uncategorized
 
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Constitutional Overhaul in Mexico?

In 2010, most Latin American countries celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the start of their wars of independence from Spain. Mexico, in addition, celebrates the centennial anniversary of its social revolution. In part because “we cannot afford to waste this year’s symbolic political energy” (words of the Secretary of the Interior), and in part to

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Published on January 22, 2010
Author:          Filed under: constitutional change, hp, Julio Rios-Figueroa, Latin America, Mexico
 
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New blogger coming soon: Mark Kende

We have a new blogger coming soon. Mark Kende is the James Madison Chair Professor in Constitutional Law and Director of the Drake University Constitutional Law Center, which was endowed by the U.S. Congress. He is the author of “Constitutional Rights in Two Worlds: South Africa and the United States” (Cambridge Univ. Press 2009). He

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Published on January 19, 2010
Author:          Filed under: Tom Ginsburg
 
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Recent Scholarship on Comparative Constitutional Law

Four recent papers, each one excellent, merit the attention of readers with an interest in comparative constitutional law. The first, Studying Japanese Law Because It’s There, is an essay by Tom Ginsburg, my colleague here at the Comparative Constitutions Blog. Recently published in the American Journal of Comparative Law, this very important paper states in

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Top ten constitutional events in China

Here’s an interesting one. China’s Prosecutorial Daily has produced a list of the “top ten constitutional events” in 2009. Donald Clarke has kindly translated the list here. It’s a remarkable document in its conception of what counts as constitutional: many of the incidents involve abuse of power by lower level officials. We tend to think

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Published on January 17, 2010
Author:          Filed under: China, hp, Tom Ginsburg
 
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Will the head of state in Canada please stand up?

Several years after you read Peter Russell’s excellent book on the evolution of the Canadian constitution (now in its 3rd edition), you will be forgiven for forgetting the details of the many twists and turns of Canada’s constitutional odyssey. You will likely remember, however, Russell’s anecdote in the preface in which he describes the motivation

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Published on January 15, 2010
Author:          Filed under: Canada, hp, Zachary Elkins