Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: May 2011

  • Ecuador’s Courts; U.S. Constitutionalism

    This post addresses two very distinct but interesting issues. ECUADOR: First, there is a fascinating article in the New York Times regarding the problems with Ecuador’s legal system. It deals with Chevron’s attempt to resist enforcement of a large judgment by attacking the nation’s legal system.

  • Discipline-Flourishing Constitutionalism: An Update on Myanmar’s Quasi-Constitutionalized Politics

    When Tom Ginsburg and Zachary Elkins first released their Comparative Constitutions Project data, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma)* was one of only two countries that lacked any sort of constitutional document (the other being the U.K.). Since 1962, the country had been ruled by a military regime.

  • In Ecuador, Autocracy by Referendum

    A frustrated Simon Bolivar is said to have once complained of his empire that Colombia was a university, Venezuela a barracks, and Ecuador a convent. This assessment seemed surprisingly prescient last week, with a Colombian education minister appointed emergency mayor of Bogota, Venezuela accused by the IISS of arming FARC rebels, and Ecuadorians passing a ten-question constitutional referendum which, among other things, set up a “Regulatory Council” to prohibit “violent, sexual, or discriminating” content in the printed news, radio, and television.

  • The Indian Supreme Court Headlines the WSJ

    Today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal profiles the Indian Supreme Court under the headline of “In India, the Supreme Court Takes an Activist Role.” As the article notes, however, it is an understatement to call the Indian Supreme Court “activist.”

  • The Future of the Canadian Supreme Court-Part II

    We may soon have the chance to see how Richard Albert’s interesting prognostications regarding the future of the Canadian Supreme Court play out. Professor Albert’s recent predictions on this blog concerning the possibility that Prime Minister Stephen Harper may bring an unprecedented dose of American-style conservatism to the Court take on new urgency and force, now that Harper has secured a majority government and, above all, with today’s announcement that Justices Binnie and Charron will be retiring.

  • Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court rules for same-sex civil unions

    Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court has ruled that partners in same-sex civil unions are constitutionally entitled to the same rights as married persons. The constitutional provision on which it relied requires the state to “promote the good of everyone, without distinction of origin, race, sex, color, age and other forms of discrimination.”

  • Constitutional Reforms in Ecuador

    Tomorrow, Saturday May 7th 2011, Ecuadorean citizens will vote on a referendum to change their constitution. They will vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on ten questions proposed by President Rafael Correa. Positive answers to the first five questions imply an automatic constitutional amendment, whereas positive answers to the rest of the questions would mandate the national assembly to reform existing laws or to legislate certain issues.

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court Leads Again: Transgender Rights

    While Pakistan’s military has egg on its face this week, it is important to recall that not all of Pakistan’s institutions are weak or broken. The Supreme Court under Justice Chaudhry continues to play an active role in a judicialized political environment.

  • South African legal conflicts

    Two significant conflicts are taking place that implicate the South African Constitution. First, as the New York Times reported yesterday, one of the African National Congress’ most important young leaders is on trial for engaging in hate speech: Julius Malema used the term “Shoot the Boer” from an Apartheid protest song.

  • Call for Papers on Comparative Law

    As Chair of the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law, I am pleased to share with our readers the Call for Papers below, which is directed to comparative law scholars who have been engaged as law teachers for ten years or fewer as of July 1, 2011.