Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: January 2012

  • Ban Ki-Moon on gay rights in Africa

    It’s no secret that the treatment of gays and respect for gay rights in Africa can be spotty at best. (See, e.g., previous coverage on this blog of a particularly chilling chain of events in Uganda here, here, and here. And let’s not forget Zimbabwe either.)

  • More on China’s new “guiding cases” practice

    For more analysis of this new Chinese practice noted in a previous posting, Ruiyi Li of the UK Constitutional Law Group.

  • Senegal: Court Clears Wade for Third Term

    Yesterday, Senegal’s Constitutional Council ruled that President Abdoulaye Wade can run for a third term, and that popular musician Youssou N’Dour could not run. Riots erupted, leaving a policeman dead. As we described earlier, Wade is relying on a somewhat tortured, though not insane, reading of the constitutional scheme as amended since he acscended to power in 2000.

  • A Constitutional State of Emergency in Nigeria

    Last Saturday a terrorist attack by the Islamist insurrectionist group Boko Haram killed well over 100 people in the Nigerian city of Kano. This tragic event may have strengthened the domestic position of beleaguered Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan at a time when sectarian violence, and increasingly visible popular protests against rising gasoline prices, seem to be pushing the West African nation to the brink of chaos.

  • Scholarly Announcements for Comparativists

    Below, I’m pleased to share three announcements from two groups with which I’m involved. The first is a new Call for Papers from the AALS Section on Law and South Asian Studies. It is open to all comparativists irrespective of seniority.

  • “Guiding Cases” in China

    The Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China has begun the practice of announcing “guiding cases.” These are cases that, as explained here, “provide guidance to people’s courts in hearing similar cases and handing down judgments, and reference shall be made by judges in hearing similar cases and cited as the basis for reasoning in judgments.”

  • South Sudan constitutional process beginning

    The world’s newest country, South Sudan, has been wracked by serious inter-ethnic conflict in recent weeks, in which cattle raids have escalated to large-scale pogroms between Nuer and Murle ethnic groups. The situation seems to be deteriorating rapidly, and presents serious challenges to the Government as well as international peacekeepers, who have been unable to stop the violence.

  • Progress in Fiji?

    The recent developments in Myanmar remind us that even cosntitutions adopted with low expectations can mark significant political change. In this light, it is worth watching forthcoming developments in Fiji, where military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday lifted the three-year-old state of emergency, and announced the need to move toward a new constitution.

  • Hungary’s New Constitution

    The new constitution of Hungary—called the Fundamental Law of Hungary—became effective a couple of days ago on January 1, 2012. The day after its coming into force, thousands of Hungarians gathered in Budapest to protest the nation’s new constitution. Analyses of the day’s events are available here, here and here.