Thrilla’ in Manila: The Impeachment of a Chief Justice
On January 16th, shortly after returning from the Christmas recess, the Philippines Senate opened a hearing on the impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Renato Corona, on eight different charges. He is, for instance, accused of betraying the public trust through “partiality and subservience” in cases involving the previous president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo—who appointed him.
The Buck Stops Nowhere: Japan’s Continuing Governance Problem
The first anniversary of Japan’s nuclear crisis is an occasion for sorrow and remembrance, but also an opportunity to evaluate the consequences of the tsunami for Japan’s governance system. As reported by a recent report by Japan’s Rebuild Japan Initiative, a private group, the natural disaster was exacerbated by managerial and governance disasters.
South Africa to “Review” Constitutional Court
Fifteen years after the adoption of the 1997 Constitution, a live debate has emerged in South Africa about the role of the judiciary. This week the Government published a Discussion Document on the Transformation of the Judicial System and the Role of the Judiciary in the Developmental South African State.
Burma’s Constitution: Straitjacket or red-herring?
[re-posted from New Mandala] While Burma watchers continue to debate the extent of and motives behind Naypyitaw’s current reform process (see here for my take), there seems to be much wider agreement that the 2008 Constitution is a deeply flawed document.
Will the ECtHR have its wings clipped?
The Brighton Declaration, consisting of British proposals for reform of the ECtHR and the European Convention on Human Rights itself (ECHR), has been leaked on the Internet. (The British currently hold the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe).
New Constitution Attempts, but Is Unlikely, to End Mugabe Reign
A state-owned Zimbabwean newspaper is reporting that the new draft constitution, leaked last week, could prevent President Robert Mugabe from running for office. The salient clause, drafted by members of his own ZANU-PF party, states that “a person is disqualified for election as President if he or she has already held office for one or more periods, whether continuous or not, amounting to 10 years.”
Nathan Brown on Egypt
Nathan Brown has a terrific op-ed in the Guardian here. He makes the excellent point that there will be far too much attention, both inside and outside Egypt, to the constitutional provisions governing Islam. Such provisions are always very vague, and whether the formula is that Islam is “the leading force” or “the basis of law” or “the source of law” is often of much less relevance to actual constitutional operation than is the question of who gets to interpret the clauses.
New York Times: “We the People” Loses Appeal to People
The online version of Adam Liptak’s piece in the New York Times on the declining appeal of the U.S. Constitution as a model to foreign countries is here.