Month: March 2012
Turkey Readying New Constitution
Turkey’s current constitution is a product of military coup (1980-1983). It was ratified by popular referendum (91% approval) in 1982 and has been amended by 17 times since then with changes to 113 articles. The last modification took place in September 2010 through a popular referendum (with 58% approval), yet the demand to replace the military government’s legacy has not eased.
Japan Update: Repeta on Osaka Mayor Hashimoto
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has been in office a few short months, but has become a media sensation in Japan for various audacious statements, including criticism of Article 9 of the Constitution. Last month he issued an order that all Osaka City employees participate in a mandatory survey that includes disclosure of political and union activities.
A Victory for Term Limits in Senegal
President Abdoulaye Wade has conceded defeat in today’s runoff election in Senegal. He called his rival, former Prime Minister Macky Sall. Wade’s manipulation of the constitution, which we’ve previously commented on here, had led to deadly protests in Dakar over the past two months.
Tamir Moustafa’s Brookings report is online here.
Update on South African Socio-Economic Rights Jurisprudence
In recent years, there has been concern that the South African Constitutional Court has been retreating from its innovative socio-economics rights cases. In the most infamous case, Mazibuko, the Court in 2010 was very deferential towards the government in upholding a new problematic water distribution policy for some poor residential communities.
Thrilla’ in Manila: The Impeachment of a Chief Justice
On January 16th, shortly after returning from the Christmas recess, the Philippines Senate opened a hearing on the impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Renato Corona, on eight different charges. He is, for instance, accused of betraying the public trust through “partiality and subservience” in cases involving the previous president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo—who appointed him.
The Buck Stops Nowhere: Japan’s Continuing Governance Problem
The first anniversary of Japan’s nuclear crisis is an occasion for sorrow and remembrance, but also an opportunity to evaluate the consequences of the tsunami for Japan’s governance system. As reported by a recent report by Japan’s Rebuild Japan Initiative, a private group, the natural disaster was exacerbated by managerial and governance disasters.
Fear and Loathing in Santo Domingo
Recently, the government of the Dominican Republic has began to implement a national policy aimed at stripping citizenship from the Dominican-born children of illegal immigrants. Primarily, the affected population consists of Dominican-Haitian adults who have spent their lives being considered legally Dominican.
South Africa to “Review” Constitutional Court
Fifteen years after the adoption of the 1997 Constitution, a live debate has emerged in South Africa about the role of the judiciary. This week the Government published a Discussion Document on the Transformation of the Judicial System and the Role of the Judiciary in the Developmental South African State.
Burma’s Constitution: Straitjacket or red-herring?
[re-posted from New Mandala] While Burma watchers continue to debate the extent of and motives behind Naypyitaw’s current reform process (see here for my take), there seems to be much wider agreement that the 2008 Constitution is a deeply flawed document.