Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: October 2012

  • Leadership Transition in Africa: Perspectives from Ghana & Ethiopia

    —Gedion T. Hessebon, SJD Candidate, Central European University, Budapest and Assistant Lecturer Addis Ababa University (on leave), African Network of Constitutional Lawyers —Laura-Stella Enonchong, University of Warwick, African Network of Constitutional Lawyers In much of Africa and other fragile democracies, succession to the helm of national leadership often creates a lot of uncertainty.

  • Constitutional Comparativism and Splendid Isolation?

    —Jaakko Husa, Professor, Legal Culture and Legal Linguistics, University of Lapland, Finland Long gone are the days when comparative law was ruled by private law scholars only. After the collapse of socialism we have experienced a global expansion of constitutionalism, judicial review, and human rights.

  • Article Review: David Landau on Social Rights Enforcement

    [Editor’s Note: In this first installment of I•CONnect’s Article Review Series, Brian Ray reviews David Landau’s article on “The Reality of Social Rights Enforcement.” Professor Landau then responds to Professor Ray’s review.] A Review of Landau on Social Rights Enforcement —Brian Ray, Associate Professor, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law David Landau’s recent article The Reality of Social Rights Enforcement provides some important correctives to what he calls the consensus recommendation that courts should enforce social rights provisions through weak-form or dialogic review. 

  • Designing Administrative Law: Free Trade vs. Accountability Networks

    —Francesca Bignami, Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School In seeking to guarantee market access, international trade regimes generally include not only a substantive component, for instance a commitment to non-discriminatory product safety regulation, but also a procedural component designed to ensure that foreign firms can make themselves heard in the domestic administrative process. 

  • Canadian Election Administration Goes to Court

    —Michael Pal, SJD Candidate and Trudeau Scholar, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto Prior to yesterday’s eagerly anticipated decision in Opitz v. Wrzesnewskyj, 2012 SCC 55 [“Opitz”], the Supreme Court of Canada had not been called upon to resolve a disputed election since 1942, when the Court annulled the result of a federal district election.

  • Putting New Wine Into Old Wineskins—Same-Sex Marriage in the African Context: Upholding Traditional Values and Defining Human Rights

    —Kwame Frimpong, Founding Dean and Professor of Law, GIMPA Law School (Accra, Ghana) The issue of same-sex marriage is not only controversial but also highly emotive, particularly within the African context. On the one hand, it raises both religious and traditional undertones.

  • Will Democracy and Constitutionalism Mix in Myanmar?

    —Dominic J Nardi, Jr, University of Michigan Department of Political Science Myanmar’s[1] constitution – adopted after a controversial referendum in May 2008 – created the country’s first constitutional court in half a century. Initially, few if any observers believed the Constitutional Tribunal would play a significant role.

  • Our Electoral Exceptionalism

    —Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago In all countries that employ single-member districts (or small multimember districts), redistricting is a vital issue.  How districts are drawn influences, among other things, how competitive races will be, how many members of minority groups will be elected, and which party will control a majority in the legislature.  

  • In Search of Alternative Standards for the Adjudication of Socioeconomic Rights

    —Carlos Bernal, Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University Socioeconomic rights are one of the greatest innovations of contemporary constitutionalism, in particular, of developing countries. Some of their constitutions address the issues of poverty, unsatisfied basic needs, lack of resources for the exercise of freedoms and political rights, and unequal distribution of opportunities and wealth, by means of the entrenchment of this kind of rights.

  • The Latest Decision on Malapportionment in Japan

    –Tokujin MATSUDAIRA, Teikyo University On October 17, 2012, the Japanese Supreme Court released a judgment from the grand bench regarding the constitutionality of the 2010 election of Sangiin (House of Councillors). In that election, the ruling DPP failed to keep its majority in the upper house, launching a period of political chaos.