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 booksandideas.net] 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.
Tunisia’s Draft Preamble
Zaid Al-Ali of International IDEA has provided a translation of the Draft Preamble of the new Tunisian Constitution. What is noteworthy to me is the predictability of the text. There are very few surprises, perhaps the biggest surprise is the continuity with older tropes in Arab politics.
Brown on Egypt: Anton Chekhov at the OK Corral
[Note: the following appeared today at ForeignPolicy.com under the title “Egypt’s transition imbroglio”. Thanks to FP and to Nathan Brown for letting us re-post] The phrase “Egyptian transition process” has become tragicomically oxymoronic in light of the dizzying series of developments over the past month.
Egypt suspends constitutional assembly
Egypt’s muddled constitution-making process continues to befuddle. Yesterday the Supreme Administrative Court suspended the constituent assembly as unrepresentative and in violation of Article 60 of the constitutional declaration passed in 2011. The decision, which carried no explanation, is a bit puzzling as Article 60 does not provide any criteria for membership of the 100-member assembly.
Egypt on the agenda
There has been a lot of attention to Egypt this past month, as the constitution-making process continues to move along; our occasional contributor Tamir Moustafa has an excellent and thorough analysis for the Brookings Center available here. Yesterday’s report that the Muslim Brotherhood has decided to run a presidential candidate marks an important turning point for the likely outcome in Egypt.
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.