Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: February 2011

  • Egypt’s amendments announced

    Egypt’s eight-member committee charged with drafting constitutional amendments has announced their proposals. Originally tasked with modifying six provisions, they instead called for eight amendments. [An excellent discussion of the issues at stake, featuring our contributor Tamir Moustafa, can be found here.

  • Amending the Egyptian Constitution: Six critical articles that test the military’s commitment to democracy

    The most important announcement last week from the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces was that it had appointed a committee to amend the Egyptian Constitution. The committee, chaired by retired judge Tariq al-Bishri, was tasked to draft constitutional amendments within 10 days, followed by a national referendum on the proposed amendments within two months.

  • A sad postscript to the Ugandan High Court anti-gay hate speech ruling

    A sad postscript to the Ugandan High Court ruling against the Ugandan tabloid “Rolling Stone” (no relation to the American magazine) that had outed gays and urged that they be killed, discussed previously on this blog here and here. The three named plaintiffs in the case, all very brave gay rights advocates, had argued that the newspaper article in question exposed them to the threat of violence, and the High Court agreed.

  • Suharto and Mubarak’s Final Days: Similar Trajectories Leading to Very Different Modes of Transition

    On The New Republic’s website on February 2, 2011, Thomas Carothers suggested that those leading the Egyptian transition might want to draw some lessons from the experience of Indonesia. He notes several aspects of the Indonesian transition from the regime of Suharto to a new regime that, he believes, helped Indonesia achieve what was, in many respects, a remarkably successful transition to robust democracy.

  • Andrew Arato on “Egypt’s Transformation: Revolution, Coup, Regime Change, or All of the above?”

    Andrew Arato has kindly contributed the following post: “Egypt’s Transformation: Revolution, Coup, Regime Change, or All of the above?”: Among those who believe that in the modern world democracy is a universal value, all have been inspired, amazed and totally convinced by the Egyptian democratic movement.

  • The Constitutional Right to Rebel – advice for Egypt?

    The ripple effects from Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” are still making themselves felt throughout the Arab World. Earlier today, Egypt’s Mubarak stepped down after weathering large-scale protests and civil disobedience for over two weeks. Elsewhere in the region Lebanon, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan (and to a lesser extent Mauritania, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Morocco) have also seen the citizenry rise up to demand democracy and increased self-governance.

  • The French Connection

    I am about to spend a month teaching comparative constitutional rights at the Univ. Paris II Institute for Comparative Law and have been reading a lot of material related to French constitutional law, as well as about French attitudes towards U.S.

  • Does Egypt Need a New Constitution?

    (cross-posted by Tamir Moustafa from As street protests in Egypt witnesses its third week, we hear frequent calls for a new Egyptian constitution. The April 6th Youth movement reiterated its demand that Mubarak step down from power immediately and that a transitional coalition government lead a process of transition, including the drafting of a new constitution.

  • Abortion and comparative constitutional politics

    Abortion, the hardy perennial of constitutional politics, is back in the headlines. While President Obama recently celebrated the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, conservative governors around the country are preparing new legislation to ensure that the right of a woman to choose will become an increasingly hollow right.

  • What is legality worth in an Egyptian transition?: Some initial thoughts.

    Given recent amendments to the Constitution, trying to oust the NDP regime in a formally constitutional manner will delay Mubarak’s formal retirement as head of state for a considerable period and might require significant concessions to current NDP elites. The current Egyptian constitution was enacted in 1971.