Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: May 2012

  • The Central American Right to Rebel: why it served the 1982 Revolutionary Junta in Guatemala but could not save Zelaya:

    The first de facto right to resist in the Central American region was introduced by El Salvador in its constitution of 1886.(1) This right was subsequently expanded upon in 1945, and reached its present form in 1950.(2) Since that time many neighboring countries such as Honduras and Guatemala have likewise adopted similar provisions as have culturally similar Caribbean nations such as Cuba and Venezuela.

  • Nepal’s Constitutional Future

    Yesterday, Nepali Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai dissolved the Constituent Assembly after it failed to create a new constitution by its midnight deadline. Prime Minister Bhattarai subsequently scheduled elections to form a new assembly in November. The principal challenge of constitutional design in Nepal concerns federalism, specifically the promise and peril of creating an ethnic-based federalism to manage the country’s ethnic diversity. 

  • South African Art Controversy, and International Law Ruling

    South Africa is currently preoccupied with a controversy regarding a painting of its President that is on display in a gallery. The painting appears to show President Zuma in a Lenin-like pose with his genitals hanging out of his pants. Zuma has sought a court injunction banning display of the painting because it supposedly insults his dignity and privacy.

  • Turkey Update: Presidentialism in the Works?

    Turkey is officially beginning the process of drafting a new constitution. The Constitutional Conciliation Commission, formed in the aftermath of the June 2011 elections, is planning to present a final draft by the end of 2012. This week, sub-committees will begin drafting individual articles, starting with general rights and freedoms.

  • The Changing Composition of the Canadian Supreme Court

    Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court of Canada announced that Justice Marie Deschamps will retire from the bench on August 7, 2012. She was originally appointed on August 8, 2002. Justice Deschamps will therefore have served ten years on the high court.

  • Arato on Hungary: Don’t Call it a Dictatorship

    [note: cross-posted from] It may seem like a scholastic question: is the current Hungarian regime a dictatorship (or an autocracy) in light of the changes made by the Constitution of 2012, the so-called Basic Law? Does answering this question make a difference for those seeking to reverse or replace the regime?

  • Happy 65th Birthday, Japanese postwar constitution …

    … and here’s to the next 65. There are a number of interesting facts and longstanding myths surrounding the Nihonkoku Kenpo, which went into effect 65 years ago today: few constitutions have gone longer without being amended (true!), even though it was “imposed” by “the United States” (not true …)  The Asahi Shimbun has a birthday tribute today, available in English, with tidbits from a couple of contributors to this blog.