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Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law
Home 2011 March
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The death penalty around the world in 2010: an empirical snapshot

Amnesty International has released figures on worldwide use of the death penalty in 2010. The U.S. clocks in at number 5 in terms of the sheer number of executions, ahead of Saudi Arabia and behind Yemen. These are absolute numbers, though, not per capita figures. The BBC has a helpful graph here. Although the article

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Published on March 29, 2011
Author:          Filed under: David Law, death penalty, hp
 
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Cairo Update: After the referendum, a new turn in constitutional developments

Just a few days before the constitutional amendment referendum held in Egypt on March 19, the current ruling authority, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), announced that the results of the referendum, positive or negative, would be followed directly by a “constitutional declaration.” Prior to that announcement, it had been expected that if

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Published on March 28, 2011
Author:          Filed under: Egypt, hp, Kristen Stilt
 
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The Confederate States of America Constitution at 150

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Confederate Constitution into law. Following weeks of deliberation by forty-three delegates from seven states, the Confederacy formally ratified the document on March 11, 1861. Four more States, and two territories, would later join the Confederate States of America (CSA) and in doing so adopt

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Published on March 25, 2011
Author:          Filed under: Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez, United States
 
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Hungary’s proto-authoritarian new Constitution

Hungary is about to give itself a new constitution: 21 years after the peaceful transition from communism to democracy the nationalist-conservative government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, by virtue of its 2/3-majority in parliament, has tried to put the country on a entirely new constitutional course, with exceptional haste: Last week a draft for a

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Published on March 24, 2011
Author:          Filed under: hp, Hungary
 
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From Cairo: Kristen Stilt on Assessing Tahrir’s First Ballot Box

[cross-posted from Foreignpolicy.com] The need to establish stability during a period of great uncertainty was a central issue in Egypt’s constitutional amendment referendum held on March 19. Advocates of a “yes” vote championed an immediate path to political, economic, and social stability through amendments to the most offensive provisions of the constitution, which would be

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Published on March 22, 2011
Author:          Filed under: constitutional amendment, Egypt, hp
 
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Transition for a Constitution in Exile

In light of the momentous events in the Middle East, some may have missed an important story out of India: The Dalai Lama has announced his intention to retire and has asked for amendments to Tibet’s “Constitution” to allow him to do so. If accepted by the parliament, this would end centuries of theocratic rule

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Published on March 21, 2011
Author:          Filed under: China, hp, Tibet, Tom Ginsburg
 
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The Indian Supreme Court and the Government of Pakistan

In a recent judgment issued just last week (Gopol Dass thr. Brother Anand Vir vs. Union of India & ANR, writ petition No. 16 of 2008), the Supreme Court of India addressed its decision directly to the Government of Pakistan. Speaking on behalf of an Indian citizen imprisoned in Pakistan since 1984, the Indian Supreme

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Published on March 20, 2011
Author:          Filed under: hp, Pakistan, Richard Albert, Supreme Court of India
 
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Dispatch from Cairo: What the Egyptian Constitutional Amendment Referendum is Really About

Many Egyptians are intensely debating the pros and cons of the constitutional amendment referendum taking place here in Egypt on Saturday, March 19, but in these discussions, what would seem to be the most obvious topic is almost completely missing: the content of the amendments themselves. By and large, what the amendments actually purport to

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Published on March 19, 2011
Author:          Filed under: constitutional amendment, Egypt, hp, Kristen Stilt
 
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Landmark ECtHR ruling on Crucifix in the Italian Classroom

While many observers have been focusing on pertinent developments in Egypt, the world of constitutional law marches on. Earlier today (March 18), the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its ruling in Lautsi v. Italy (case no. 30814/06) – arguably one of the most significant rulings in the ECtHR’s history pertaining

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Published on March 18, 2011
Author:          Filed under: ECtHR, hp; ran hirschl, Ran Hirschl
 
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New report on Judicial Terms

The Reports section of this website has a new report on the length of judicial terms for highest courts. About 10% of national constitutions provide for an unspecified life term for supreme court justices; another 5% provide for a life term subject to a specified retirement age. For countries with designated terms, they range from

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Published on March 17, 2011
Author:          Filed under: hp, judicial appointments