Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Tag: judicial independence

  • Crosspost: Is the GOP Tax Law Unconstitutional?

    [Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared here in the San Francisco Chronicle on December 21, 2017.] —Stephen Gardbaum, UCLA School of Law; Member of the ICON-S Governing Council Now that the Republican tax bill is law, is the matter settled, at least until November or, more likely, 2020?

  • The Polish Revolution: 2015-2017

    —Anna Sledzinska-Simon, University of Wroclaw Today’s revolutions do not need violence to bring about a deep change of political structures. Instead, they may occur by a gradual overtake of all public powers, including the judiciary, by the winning majority. The Polish Revolution did not happen overnight, but through a series of acts taking place under the cover of the night–like the President signing the critical amendments to the Act on the Constitutional Tribunal shortly before midnight, or taking the oath of office after midnight from unlawfully appointed judges.

  • Egypt’s Amended Judicial Authority Laws

    The Arab Association of Constitutional Law’s Judiciary Working Group has been engaging in a debate on the recent changes to the judiciary in Egypt. The substance of that discussion has been summarized and translated below. The main submissions came from Tarek Abdel Aal (Advocate before the Court of Cassation) and Ahmed Sisi (Counsellor at the Majles al-Dawla, or State Council).  

  • When Courts Decide not to Decide: Understanding the Afghan Supreme Court’s Struggle to Decide the Fate of the Dismissed Ministers

    –Shamshad Pasarlay, Herat University School of Law and Political Sciences On November 12, 2016, the Wolesi Jirga, the Afghan parliament’s lower house, began a process of impeaching cabinet ministers who had not been able to spend more than 70 percent of their ministry development budget for the financial year of 2015. 

  • An Explicit Constitutional Change by Means of an Ordinary Statute? On a Bill Concerning the Reform of the National Council of the Judiciary in Poland

    –Piotr Mikuli, Professor and head of Chair of Comparative Constitutional Law, Jagiellonian University Towards the end of January 2017, the Polish Ministry of Justice introduced a bill reforming the current legal status of the National Council of the Judiciary. If passed as proposed, the bill would seriously undermine the independence of the judiciary in Poland.

  • Abusive Judicial Activism and Judicial Independence in Brazil

    —Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, University of Brasília When delivering his speech at the Brazilian Supreme Court on December 5 on “Public Ethics and Democracy,” Michael Sandel, Professor at Harvard University, could not foresee what was about to happen that very day just some floors above the conference room.

  • Where do Justice Ginsburg and Justice Hale—and Judicial Independence—Go from Here?

    —Brian Christopher Jones, Liverpool Hope University Both of these influential and widely respected justices have recently tested the limits of judicial speech through provocative and ill-timed statements.[1] Back in July, Justice Ginsburg exclaimed, “I can’t imagine what the country would be—with Donald Trump as our president”, then called Trump a “faker”, and even suggested that she may move to New Zealand if he won the election.

  • Attacks on Courts: Taking Wider Lessons from Recent Irish Supreme Court Revelations

    —Tom Gerald Daly, Associate Director, Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law The past week has seen the launch of an unprecedented book detailing the inner workings of the Supreme Court of Ireland, which provides potentially useful general insights into how courts deal with political attacks.[1]

  • The Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendment Doctrine and the Reform of the Judiciary in Colombia

    —Mario Cajas Sarria, Icesi University, Colombia In the past few months, the Colombian Constitutional Court surprised the government, citizens, and legal scholars by issuing two decisions which struck down two bodies created by legislative act 1 of 2015, a constitutional reform that aimed at a broad constitutional overhaul of the separation of powers.

  • Resetting the Turkish Judiciary

    —Tarik Olcay, University of Glasgow The Ministry of Justice introduced a bill to Parliament on June 13,[1] which mainly restructures the administrative and civil supreme courts in Turkey. The “Bill on Amendments to the Law of the Council of State and Other Laws” (Danıştay Kanunu ile Bazı Kanunlarda Değişiklik Yapılmasına Dair Kanun Tasarısı),[2] purports to be aimed at adapting the judiciary to the launch of regional appellate courts.

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