Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: August 2012

  • Keeping up with the Obiangs: Theft and Hereditary Succession in Dictatorships

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “kleptocracy” was first introduced into the English language in 1819 as a contemporary criticism of the Imperial Spanish Government. Perhaps it is fitting then that the leadership of tiny Equatorial Guinea – one of Spain’s former colonies – is doing so much to keep this particular colonial legacy alive.

  • Why Japan should amend its war-renouncing Article 9

    [By Craig Martin, reprinted from the Japan Times, Aug. 4, 2012] The pressure is mounting to either amend Article 9, the war-renouncing provision of Japan’s Constitution, or to increasingly disregard it and so make it irrelevant. In April the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) published its proposal for amending the Constitution, and the dangers it posed for Article 9 was analyzed here on June 6 (“LDP’s dangerous proposals for amending antiwar article”).

  • A New Test for the Romanian Constitutional Court

    Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University The Romanian Constitutional Court has played a key role in blocking the efforts by the new government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta to bring all institutions of state under the control of his governing coalition.  At the moment, the Court is under extreme pressure to certify last week’s referendum results, which would remove the president of the country from office.  

  • How to Evade the Constitution: The Case of the Hungarian Constitutional Court’s Decision on the Judicial Retirement Age

    Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University On Monday 16 July, the Hungarian Constitutional Court handed down its biggest decision of the year.   It held that the sudden lowering of the retirement age for judges is unconstitutional because it gave the judges no time to prepare for the change and because it created an unclear framework in which different judges were set to retire at different ages.  

  • When to Overthrow Your Government: The Right to Resist in the World’s Constitutions

    Tom Ginsburg, Mila Versteeg and myself have just posted the preliminary version our upcoming article on the Right to Rebel within the world’s written constitutions unto SSRN. The article, which is available for download here, may well be of interest to our fellow scholars, bloggers and constitutional enthusiasts. 

  • The Telenovela’s Next Chapter: A Crucial Juncture in the Philippines

    Judicial politics in Manila have been likened to a telenovela for its interesting cast of characters, intricate plot lines, and seemingly never ending drama. This past few weeks have been especially contentious, as the country seeks to move on from the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona in May.

  • Somalia Constitution Approved

    In the face of an attempted suicide bombing, 645 members of a constituent assembly overwhelmingly approved a new Constitution in Mogadishu. The constitution had been urged by members of the international community as an essential step in re-establishing Somalia as a genuine functioning state after decades of civil war.