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I·CONnect

Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law
Home Archive for category "Latin America" (Page 2)
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The Honduran Crisis as Constitutional Inoculation?

It may be time to turn to some of the broader implications of the Honduran constitutional crisis now that a resolution to at least the immediate standoff is in sight. In particular, what will be the fate of the Honduran constitution? Ironically, some have suggested that a constitutional convention to rewrite the document – the

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Published on November 5, 2009
Author:          Filed under: constitutional change, honduras, hp, Latin America, term limits, Zachary Elkins
 
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Term limits declared unconstitutional in Nicaragua

Current Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, elected in 2007 for a 5 year period, filed an amparo suit before the Constitutional Chamber of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court arguing that a 1995 constitutional amendment that imposed limits to indefinite reelection violates his constitutional rights. The Constitutional Chamber decided yesterday that it is unconstitutional to prohibit the reelection

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Published on October 20, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, Julio Rios-Figueroa, Latin America, Nicaragua, term limits
 
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Constitutional Change in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is going through a lengthy and important constitution-making process that will probably conclude before the end of this year. Several interesting issues have been raised by this process. For instance, the very question about whether the final product is going to be a new Constitution or an amendment to the Constitution of

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Term Limits Imperiled Again (this time in Colombia)

The perennial war of term limits versus presidents in Latin America seems to have opened a new front in Colombia — my native country, no less. There, it appears that term limits pose no match for popular President Uribe, whose supporters have pushed through a bill in the senate that paves the way for a

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Published on August 27, 2009
Author:          Filed under: Colombia, hp, Latin America, term limits, Zachary Elkins
 
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A noteworthy decision by the Mexican Supreme Court

On December 22, 1997 forty five persons from an indigenous community in Chiapas (a state of southern Mexico) were killed while they were praying early in the morning. The horrendous crime was followed by another one: under a lot of pressure the prosecutors captured and imprisoned fifty seven persons but several of them on false

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Published on August 14, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, Julio Rios-Figueroa, Latin America, Mexico
 
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Removal of judicial workers and freedom of expression in Venezuela

In the last four months, at least one hundred judicial employees and close to fifty judges from all Venezuelan regions have been fired, suspended, or have suddenly resigned. Unionized judicial workers sounded the alarm on July 13th because the special Judicial Commission set up by Supreme Justice Tribunal (TSJ) to carry on this job, have

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Published on August 1, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, Julio Rios-Figueroa, Latin America
 
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Will the Bolivian Constitutional Tribunal Rise From the Ashes?

During the first days of June 2009 the last member of the Bolivian Constitutional Tribunal (BCT), Silvia Salame Farjat, resigned. Judge Salame was the only active member of the BCT since November 2007, because the other four members of the Tribunal had either resigned (some under the threat of impeachment) or left when their ten

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Published on July 15, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, Julio Rios-Figueroa, Latin America
 
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Bullets not Ballots in Tegucigalpa

As readers of this space know, we have been following the evolving constitutional story in Honduras in recent months. The constitutional process erupted yesterday as the Honduran military pre-empted a scheduled referendum and ousted President Zelaya. The question on the ballot was whether Hondurans should replace the constitution. Before polls opened, the military cast its

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Published on June 29, 2009
Author:          Filed under: constitutional change, hp, Latin America, term limits, Zachary Elkins
 
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And now Honduras…

One of the central findings from our (Elkins, Ginsburg, Melton) study of constitutional change over the last 200 years concerns the role of ambitious executives. Specifically, executives that are hemmed in by term limits or other constraints on their power often seek opportunities to replace or amend the constitution. We also find that such executives

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Published on March 27, 2009
Author:          Filed under: constitutional change, hp, Latin America, term limits, Zachary Elkins
 
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Bolivia and the risks of dissensus

In last week’s constitutional referendum in Bolivia, 59% of voters approved of the proposed constitution. As the dust settles from that highly controversial affair, we can begin to make some observations. Some constitutions “get done” through significant compromise, or at least logrolling. This was not one of those. Deep differences surfaced (and exploded) well before

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Published on February 2, 2009
Author:          Filed under: hp, Latin America, ratification, Zachary Elkins