Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Author: Tom Ginsburg

  • The Top Constitutional Events Of 2014

      2014 was a landmark year for governments around the world. Here are some of the most important constitutional events of the past twelve months, brought to you by the Comparative Constitutions Project and Constitute.   Jan|Feb|Mar|May|Jun|Sept|Oct|Nov|Dec     January: Egypt Holds Constitutional Referendum On January 24, 2014, poll results showed that Egyptian voters approved a constitutional referendum by over 98 percent.

  • How “Islamic” is Pakistan’s Constitution?

    –Dawood Ahmed, University of Chicago During peace negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in Pakistan, Taliban leaders declared that they did not accept the Constitution of Pakistan as “Islamic” and therefore did not believe in holding peace talks under it. Indeed, they alleged that there was not a single Islamic clause in the Constitution.

  • Constitutions…in Dictatorships?

    [cross posted from the Cambridge University Press blog 1584] “What is the difference,” went an old joke in the Soviet Union, “between the Soviet and U.S. Constitutions? The Soviet Constitution guarantees freedom of speech; the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom after speech.”

  • Perverse Ruling from Thai Constitutional Court Extends Political Crisis

    Thailand’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the Feb. 2 election was unconstitutional. This decision returns the country to its near-constant state of political crisis, which has become acute for the last several months, as Bangkok has been convulsing with demonstrations and counter-demonstrations.

  • Afghanistan’s Constitution at Ten

    –Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq [cross-posted from] On January 26, Afghanistan’s Constitution turned 10. While simply making it to a tenth birthday is an achievement of sorts, as many national constitutions today do not survive that long, the impending withdrawal of international troops and a pivotal presidential election on the horizon provide an opportunity to reflect on the U.S-backed

  • Prime Minister Abe’s latest revisionist interpretation

    –Tokujin Matsudaira, Associate Professor of Law, Kanagawa University Japan has long had a parliamentary cabinet system. A major event in the political calendar is the questioning of ministers in Diet committees, especially budget-related ones. In these sessions, the prime minister and other ministers have to answer the questions from members of parliament, even if not budget-related.

  • The Dynamics of Constitutional Change in Mexico 1997-2012: New Data from Reformar sin Mayorias

    Editor’s Note: Last Friday, I was honored to participate in an event in Mexico City for the publication of a new book, Reformar sin Mayorias (Reforming without Majorities) on the recent pattern of constitutional amendment in Mexico.  The book, edited by the distinguished scholars María Amparo Casar and Ignacio Marván, is in Spanish but has some very interesting findings that ought to be of general interest. 

  • Hong Kong’s Constitutional Moment of 2014

    –Albert Hung-yee Chen, Chan Professor of Constitutional Law, Hong Kong University Mr C.Y. Leung, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), announced on 17 October 2013 the establishment of a three-person “Task Force on Constitutional Development” which will prepare to launch a public consultation exercise on the electoral reforms for the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive (CE) to be elected in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

  • Untilting the Constitutional Playing Field in Myanmar (Burma)

    – Dominic J. Nardi, Jr., Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan If you were the leader of the governing political party in a quasi-democratic state and you intended to run for president in the next general election, would you (a) propose to amend the constitution in a way that would allow your expected opponent, the widely admired leader of the opposition party, to compete, or (b) support the status quo?

  • Egypt’s Third Constitution in Three Years: A Critical Analysis

    –Zaid Al-Ali, International IDEA [Cross-posted at & International IDEA] Egypt’s new draft constitution includes a number of important improvements. It contains clear language on the issue of discrimination and violence against women; it grants significant rights and affords protection to children and the disabled; the list of socio-economic rights has been lengthened and is more detailed than it has ever been.