Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: February 2012

  • But what was the turnout in Homs?

    Syria’s Interior Ministry reported that the new constitution won the support of 89.4 percent of votes cast in Sunday’s referendum, with a turnout of 57.4 percent. The document itself, available here, features a rambling preamble (I am officially coining the term “preramble”) that touches on the tropes of Arab politics: anticolonialism, the Zionist enemy, modernization, and the glories of Arab civilization.

  • Workshop on Constitutions and the Environment

    Erin Daly (Widener University), writes with an announcement about the following conference, which looks intriguing: Constitutional Environmental Rights Workshop Thursday, May 31, 2012 Environmental Law Center Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, DE On Thursday, May 31, 2012, the Widener Environmental Law Center (WELC) in Wilmington, Delaware, will host a one-day scholar workshop on recent developments in the growing field of global and domestic constitutional environmental rights.

  • New Constitution Attempts, but Is Unlikely, to End Mugabe Reign

    A state-owned Zimbabwean newspaper is reporting that the new draft constitution, leaked last week, could prevent President Robert Mugabe from running for office. The salient clause, drafted by members of his own ZANU-PF party, states that “a person is disqualified for election as President if he or she has already held office for one or more periods, whether continuous or not, amounting to 10 years.”

  • Nathan Brown on Egypt

    Nathan Brown has a terrific op-ed in the Guardian here. He makes the excellent point that there will be far too much attention, both inside and outside Egypt, to the constitutional provisions governing Islam. Such provisions are always very vague, and whether the formula is that Islam is “the leading force” or “the basis of law” or “the source of law” is often of much less relevance to actual constitutional operation than is the question of who gets to interpret the clauses.

  • Notes from Behind the Bench

    Willy Forbath and John Ferejohn (visiting from NYU) are running a unique colloquium at Texas this spring.  They’ve invited six of the leading justices from constitutional courts around the world to visit and share insights from their time on the bench.  

  • Syria Presses on with Constitutional Referendum

    Russia’s support for beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains fiercely intact despite international condemnation of its veto at the UN Security Council. Following a meeting between al-Assad and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this week, Syria insists on dialogue and national solutions, the only remaining one being the original constitutional referendum plan issued by al-Assad last October as part of a larger package of reforms.

  • New York Times: “We the People” Loses Appeal to People

    The online version of Adam Liptak’s piece in the New York Times on the declining appeal of the U.S. Constitution as a model to foreign countries is here.

  • Justice Ginsburg to Egypt: Don’t copy the U.S. Constitution

    Let’s say you’re a newly democratizing country – say, Egypt – in the market for a new constitution. What constitutions, if any, should you consider as models in drafting your own? According to Justice Ginsburg, the answer is, maybe Canada or South Africa, or constitutions written after World War II more generally.

  • Constitutional jurisprudence in paradise (Seychelles)

    [I am delighted to post this note on behalf of the Honorable Justice Anthony Francis T. Fernando of the Court of Appeal, Seychelles – the highest court in that small Indian Ocean country. It concerns an important election appeal ruling rendered by the Seychelles Court of Appeal in December 2011.