Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Month: December 2012

  • An Occasion to Rethink American Presidential Succession

    United States Senator Daniel Inouye passed away last week on December 17. Senator Inouye was the senior member of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, a World War II hero, the first Japanese-American to hold office in Congress, and one of the longest-serving senators in American history.

  • The Brazilian Supreme Court: Between Activism and Judicial Responsibility

    –Claudia Maria Barbosa, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Brazil On December 17, 2012 the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court, (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF), concluded the hearings of Criminal Case no. 470/2007, known as Mensalão (“Big Monthly”) – a criminal scheme to buy political support in Congress involving 37 accused, among them ministers from former President Lula’s government, legislators, law-makers, businessmen and bankers.

  • Reviewing Ireland’s Abortion Regime

    —Eoin Carolan, University College Dublin The recent death of a woman from septicaemia following a miscarriage has focused attention on the legal regime regulating the carrying out of abortions within Ireland. Since the Constitution was amended in 1983 to insert a provision recognising the right to life of the unborn, the issue of abortion has been a consistent, if sporadic, source of public controversy in Ireland.

  • Japan’s Election and Constitutional Revision

    Japanese awoke this morning to find that the Liberal Democratic Party had won a massive supermajority in the lower house, more than doubling its seat share from 118 to 294 seats. Its coalition partner Komeito won 31 seats, and the hawkish Japan Restoration Party also won 54 seats, nearly matching the governing Democratic Party of Japan.

  • The Once and Future Court

    —Erin Delaney, Northwestern University School of Law I regret to inform you, should you have been interested in applying for one of the three upcoming vacancies on the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, that the deadline has passed.  Applications were due at 5pm on October 30.   

  • Canada Upholds Anti-Terrorism Law

    —Richard Albert, Boston College Law School Today, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its long-awaited ruling on the Anti-Terrorism Act passed by Parliament in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Writing for a unanimous panel in two interrelated cases, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin upheld the controversial anti-terrorism law.

  • Egypt’s Leap into the Unknown: Article 219 and the Shari`‘a in the Draft Constitution

    —Clark B. Lombardi, University of Washington School of Law, and Nathan J. Brown, George Washington University   (Posted originally on If a student of constitutional texts sat down to read the draft Egyptian constitution from beginning to end, he or she would find much of it familiar — the language, structure, and institutions would seem to bear resemblances to constitutions in many other countries, even if the particular choices made or terms used were products of domestic political debates.

  • Jurist’s Prudence: The Indian Supreme Court’s response to institutional challenges

    —Rohit De, University of Cambridge On 12th September, 2012, the Supreme Court of India in the case of Namit Sharma v Union of India, ruled on a constitutional challenge to the new Information Commissions set up under the Right to Information Act.

  • The Real Winner in the Egyptian Constitution? The Military

    [cross-posted from the HuffingtonPost]               As Cairo’s streets fill with protestors after the rushed passage of the new draft Constitution, all eyes are on the confrontation between the newly re-energized opposition and the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Yet, while controversy swirls around the reach of Islam and the scope of presidential power in the proposed constitution, the primary beneficiaries of the new Constitution—the military—are flying under the radar. 

  • In Memoriam: Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson

    —Brian Ray, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University Arthur Chaskalson, the first President and Chief Justice of the South African Constitutional Court died on December 1, 2012.  Many have highlighted the remarkable and courageous role he played in the anti-apartheid movement, including his defense of Nelson Mandela and others during the infamous Rivonia trials.