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Article

Reconciliation potential of Rwandans convicted of genocide

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Rwanda, genocide, perpetrators, posttraumatic stress, reconciliation
Authors Kevin Barnes-Ceeney, Laurie Leitch and Lior Gideon
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study examines the reconciliation potential of Rwandans incarcerated for the crime of genocide. Utilising survey data from 302 male and female prisoners incarcerated in the Rwandan Correctional System, this study explores genocide perpetrators’ depression, anxiety, anger-hostility and somatic symptoms, levels of posttraumatic stress, degree of social support and attitudes towards unity and reconciliation. The data demonstrate that engaging in killing can have deep psychological impacts for genocide perpetrators. The data indicate that although more than two decades have passed since the genocide, perpetrators are experiencing high levels of genocide-related posttraumatic suffering. Perpetrators are persistently re-experiencing genocide, purposefully avoiding thoughts and memories of the genocide, and experiencing physical and emotional arousal and reactivity. The sample had a strong desire for all Rwandans to live in peace and unity. There is, however, an urgent need for physical and mental health interventions, as well as services that facilitate the rebuilding of family relationships well in advance of release. Improving the physical and mental well-being of both perpetrators of the genocide and victims can only be a positive development as Rwanda continues to build a unified, reconciled and resilient future.


Kevin Barnes-Ceeney
Kevin Barnes-Ceeney is Assistant Professor at the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven, West Haven, USA.

Laurie Leitch
Laurie Leitch is Director, Threshold GlobalWorks, New York, USA.

Lior Gideon
Lior Gideon is Professor of Criminal Justice at the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, USA.
Article

Listening deeply to public perceptions of Restorative Justice

What can researchers and practitioners learn?

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Public perception, media, apophatic listening, online comments, understandings of restorative justice
Authors Dorothy Vaandering and Kristin Reimer
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores public perceptions of restorative justice through the examination of media articles and negative online reader comments surrounding a high-profile incident in a Canadian university in which a restorative process was successfully engaged. Utilising relational discourse analysis, we identify how restorative justice is presented in the media and how that presentation is taken up by the public. Media representations of restorative justice create understandings among the public that are profoundly different from how many restorative justice advocates perceive it. The aim of this article is to examine media representations of restorative justice and how these are received by the public so that we can respond constructively.


Dorothy Vaandering
Dorothy Vaandering, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada.

Kristin Reimer
Kristin Reimer, Ph.D., is a lecturer in Restorative Justice and Relational Pedagogies at the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Gian Luigi Lepri
Gian Luigi Lepri is a psychologist and psychotherapist coordinator of the Restorative Justice Practices Team, University of Sassari, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences – Dumas, Italy.

Ernesto Lodi
Ernesto Lodi is researcher in Social Psychology at the University of Sassari, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences – Dumas, Italy.

Patrizia Patrizi
Patrizia Patrizi is full professor of Social Psychology and Psychology and Law at the University of Sassari, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences – Dumas, Italy, member of the board of the European Forum for Restorative Justice.
Article

How framing past political violence affects reconciliation in the Basque Country

The role of responsibility attributions and in-group victimhood

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Political violence, apologies, in-group victimhood, responsibility attributions, Basque Country
Authors Magdalena Bobowik, Darío Páez, Nekane Basabe e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    The present study examines the impact of reminders of political violence with and without an apology on the desire for intergroup revenge in the context of political violence in the Basque Country. We expected attributions of responsibility and perceived in-group victimhood to explain these effects. A total of 257 Basque adults were assigned to three conditions: no reminder, reminders of political violence without an apology and reminders of political violence with an apology. Results showed that, as compared to no reminder condition, reminders of political violence without an apology led to assigning more responsibility to police forces and the Spanish state and less responsibility to Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) and Basque nationalism, as well as increased perceptions of in-group victimhood and the desire for intergroup revenge. Reminders of political violence accompanied by an apology activated less assignment of responsibility to police forces and the Spanish state, but more responsibility attributions to ETA and Basque nationalism, as well as activated perceptions of in-group victimhood. As expected, there was a sequential indirect effect of reminders without an apology (but not with an apology) on revenge through responsibility attributions and then perceptions of in-group victimhood. We discuss implications of these findings for intergroup relations in post-conflict contexts.


Magdalena Bobowik
Magdalena Bobowik is Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behaviour Sciences at the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain.

Darío Páez
Darío Páez is Full Professor at the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behaviour Sciences at the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain and at the Facultad de Educación y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago de Chile, Chile.

Nekane Basabe
Nekane Basabe is Full Professor at the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behaviour Sciences at the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain.

Patrycja Slawuta
Patrycja Slawuta is a PhD Candidate at the New School for Social Research, New York, USA.

John Winterdyk
John Winterdyk is Full Professor of Criminology, Department of Economics, Justice and Policy Studies, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada
Article

Looking beneath the iceberg: can shame and pride be handled restoratively in cases of workplace bullying

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Bullying, victimisation, shame management, pride management, social connectedness
Authors Valerie Braithwaite and Eliza Ahmed
AbstractAuthor's information

    Central to restorative justice interventions that follow revised reintegrative shaming theory (Ahmed, Harris, Braithwaite & Braithwaite, 2001) is individual capacity to manage shame and pride in safe and supportive spaces. From a random sample of 1,967 Australians who responded to a national crime survey, 1,045 completed a module about bullying experiences at work over the past year, along with measures of shame and pride management (the MOSS-SASD and MOPS scales). Those who identified themselves as having bullied others were pride-focused, not shame-focused. They were more likely to express narcissistic pride over their work success, lauding their feats over others, and were less likely to express humble pride, sharing their success with others. In contrast, victims were defined by acknowledged and displaced shame over work task failures. In addition to these personal impediments to social reintegration, those who bullied and those targeted had low trust in others, particularly professionals. While these findings do not challenge macro interventions for culture change through more respectful and restorative practices, they provide a basis for setting boundaries for the appropriate use of restorative justice meetings to address particular workplace bullying complaints.


Valerie Braithwaite
Valerie Braithwaite is a Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Eliza Ahmed
Eliza Ahmed is a visiting fellow at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Article

Mobile Online Dispute Resolution Tools’ Potential Applications for Government Offices

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords mobile online dispute resolution, MODR, ODR, computer mediated communication, dispute prevention, workplace conflict
Authors Stephanie Gustin and Norman Dolan
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online communication practices have become intrinsic to government work environments. Understanding the impact of these practices, whether they be general computer mediated communication (CMC) or specifically online dispute resolution (ODR) processes, is an essential step in supporting respectful and healthy work environments. ODR literature focuses almost exclusively on e-commerce, leaving large gaps in the body of knowledge as ODR applications diversify. Available ODR tools, which simply transpose traditional alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes online through the use of office videoconferencing systems, are not mobile and do not utilize the full capabilities of the existing technology. This article explores the potential impacts mobile ODR (MODR) tools could have on the dispute interventions and prevention initiatives in government office settings. The study used an exploratory model to establish an understanding of the experiences and needs of Canadian and Australian government employees. Findings demonstrate an interest in the introduction of education-oriented MODR tools as supplementary support with the purposes of knowledge retention and further skill development following dispute prevention training. Findings suggest that workplace attitudes towards online communication and ODR have a significant impact on the extent to which individuals successfully develop and maintain relationships either fully or partially through the use of CMC.


Stephanie Gustin
Stephanie Gustin holds an MA in Dispute Resolution from the University of Victoria, Canada.

Norman Dolan
Norman Dolan holds a PhD in Public Administration and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, Canada.
Article

Split Offer and Homogeneous Response in Belgium

The Conceptual and Empirical Limitations of (De)Nationalization

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Keywords (de-)nationalization, voting behaviour, party offer, voter response, methodological nationalism
Authors Luana Russo, Kris Deschouwer and Tom Verthé
AbstractAuthor's information

    By examining the Belgian case, this article aims to show that methodological nationalism is strongly present in the literature on nationalization of party offer and voting behaviour. In nationalization studies, Belgium is often presented as a typical example of a denationalized country. This is true for the party offer, as it is de facto split between the two language groups since the 1980s, and therefore also voter response at the national level. However, voter response within each separate subnational party system is very homogeneous and shows interesting differences between these party systems that inform us about important electoral dynamics. We argue, on the basis of our results, that rather than stretching the concept of nationalization, it is preferable and justified to treat the concepts of nationalization of the party offer and homogenization of voter response as analytically distinct and not as two sides of the same coin.


Luana Russo
Luana Russo, Maastricht University.

Kris Deschouwer
Kris Deschouwer, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Tom Verthé
Tom Verthé, Ghent University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

Fiscal Consolidation in Federal Belgium

Collective Action Problem and Solutions

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Keywords fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy, federalism, intergovernmental relations, High Council of Finance
Authors Johanna Schnabel
AbstractAuthor's information

    Fiscal consolidation confronts federal states with a collective action problem, especially in federations with a tightly coupled fiscal regime such as Belgium. However, the Belgian federation has successfully solved this collective action problem even though it lacks the political institutions that the literature on dynamic federalism has identified as the main mechanisms through which federal states achieve cooperation across levels of government. This article argues that the regionalization of the party system, on the one hand, and the rationalization of the deficit problem by the High Council of Finance, on the other, are crucial to understand how Belgium was able to solve the collective action problem despite its tightly coupled fiscal regime and particularly high levels of deficits and debts. The article thus emphasizes the importance of compromise and consensus in reducing deficits and debts in federal states.


Johanna Schnabel
School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent, Rutherford College, Canterbury CT2 7NX, United Kingdom.
PhD Review

‘The Internal Legitimacy of European Interest Groups. Analyses of National Intrest Groups Perspectives’

PhD by Samuel Defacqz (Université catholique de Louvain), supervisors: Virginie Van Ingelgom, Benoît Rihoux & Theodoros Koutroubas.

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Authors Stéphanie Yates Ph.D.
Author's information

Stéphanie Yates Ph.D.
Ph.D., Université du Québec à Montréal.
Law Review

2019/1 EELC’s review of the year 2018

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2019
Authors Ruben Houweling, Catherine Barnard, Filip Dorssemont e.a.
Abstract

    For the second time, various of our academic board analysed employment law cases from last year. However, first, we start with some general remarks.


Ruben Houweling

Catherine Barnard

Filip Dorssemont

Jean-Philippe Lhernould

Francesca Maffei

Niklas Bruun

Anthony Kerr

Jan-Pieter Vos

Luca Ratti

Daiva Petrylaite

Andrej Poruban

Stein Evju
Article

Constitutional Resilience and Unamendability

Amendment Powers as Mechanisms of Constitutional Resilience

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords constitutional change, constitutional resilience, unamendability, constitutional identity
Authors Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article aims to explore the relationship between unamendability and constitutional resilience. Inspired by Roznai’s theory on the limits of amendment powers, this article seeks to examine how such limits may function as a mechanism of constitutional resilience exploring how unamendability may impact the resilience of a constitution, allowing it to withstand crises while retaining its core functions. The key question is whether entrenchment enhances resilience through its protective shield or, by contrast, fetters resilience by foreclosing adaptability – what does not bend often breaks. The complex relationship between unamendability and constitutional resilience unfolds in the context of different amendment patterns.


Xenophon Contiades
Xenophon Contiades is Professor of Public Law, Panteion University; Managing Director of the Centre for European Constitutional Law, Athens, Greece.

Alkmene Fotiadou
Alkmene Fotiadou is Research Fellow, Centre for European Constitutional Law.
Article

From Supra-Constitutional Principles to the Misuse of Constituent Power in Israel

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords unconstitutional constitutional amendment, constitutional law, constitutional principles, constituent power, Israel, judicial review
Authors Suzie Navot and Yaniv Roznai
AbstractAuthor's information

    Israel has no one official document known as ‘the Constitution’ and for nearly half a century was based on the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. Still, since the ‘constitutional revolution’ of the 1990s, Israel’s supreme norms are expressed in its basic laws and laws are subject to judicial review. This situation is the result of the enactment of two basic laws dealing with human rights in 1992 – which included a limitation clause – and of a judicial decision of monumental significance in 1995, the Bank Hamizrahi case. In that decision, the Supreme Court stated that all basic laws – even if not entrenched – have constitutional status, and therefore the currently accepted approach is that the Knesset indeed dons two hats, functioning as both a legislature and a constituent authority. The novelty of the Bank Hamizrahi decision lies in its notion of a permanent, ongoing constituent authority. The Knesset actually holds the powers of a constitutional assembly, and legislation titled ‘Basic-Law’ is the product of constituent power. Though it is neither complete nor perfect, Israel’s constitution – that is, basic laws – addresses a substantial number of the issues covered by formal constitutions of other democratic states. Furthermore, though this formal constitution is weak and limited, it is nonetheless a constitution that defends the most important human rights through effective judicial review.
    Still, given the ease with which changes can be made to basic laws, the special standing of basic laws differs from the standing generally conferred on a constitution. Most basic laws are not entrenched, which means that the Knesset can alter a basic law by a regular majority. Over the past few years, there has been a tendency towards ad casum amendments of basic laws. These amendments are usually adopted against a background of political events that demand an immediate response on the part of the Knesset. The latter then chooses the path of constitutional – not regular – legislation, which is governed by a relatively smooth legislative passage procedure. Even provisional constitutional amendments were passed with relative ease followed by petitions presented to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Knesset’s constituent power is actually being ‘abused’.
    These petitions, as well as Israel’s peculiar constitutional development, presented the Supreme Court with several questions as to the power for judicial review of basic laws. Thus far, the Court’s endorsement of judicial review was based on the limitation clause found in both basic laws on human rights, but limitation clauses do not establish the criteria for a constitutional violation by constitution provisions. Does this mean that the Knesset’s constituent power is omnipotent?
    This article examines the almost unique position of Israeli jurisprudence in relation to the doctrine of ‘unconstitutional constitutional amendments’. It focuses on the possibility of applying the doctrine in the Israeli case laws, the often-raised notion of ‘supra-constitutional’ values that would limit the Knesset’s constituent power, and a third – newly created – doctrine of abuse (or misuse) of constituent power. A central claim of this article is that in light of the unbearable ease with which basic laws can be amended in Israel, there is an increased justification for judicial review of basic laws.


Suzie Navot
Suzie Navot is Full Professor, the Haim Striks School of Law, College of Management Academic Studies, Rishon Lezion.

Yaniv Roznai
Yaniv Roznai is Senior Lecturer, Harry Radzyner Law School, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya.
Article

Limited Constitutional Amendment Powers in Austria?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords total revision, amendment, constitutional principles
Authors Manfred Stelzer
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Austria, constitutional amendments can be attained rather easily. A two-thirds majority in parliament allows for engineering constitutional amendments. The Austrian constitution only knows one exception to its flexibility: the principles of the constitution (‘Verfassungsprinzipien’). When the constitutional principles were to be affected by formal amendment in terms of a ‘total revision’ (‘Gesamtänderung’), a higher threshold needs to be met in order to engineer an amendment. In addition to a two-thirds majority in parliament, a referendum is required. Two questions are of particular interest: First, when does a constitutional amendment amount to a total revision and what are its limits? Second, and even more important, which core principles are recognized by the Austrian constitution and what is their content? These questions may be briefly outlined.


Manfred Stelzer
Manfred Stelzer is Professor of Public Law at the University of Vienna.
Article

Unamendability and Constitutional Identity in the Italian Constitutional Experience

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Unamendability, constitutional identity, republic, counterlimits, European integration, Italy
Authors Pietro Faraguna
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article explores the historical roots of the explicit unamendable clause(s) in the Italian Constitution. Following, it explores the scholarly debate over the interpretation of unamendable provisions. The article investigates theories of implicit unamendability of the Italian Constitution, and, in particular, it analyses the crucial role played by the Constitutional Court of Italy (ICC) and the principles that characterize Italian constitutional identity. Furthermore, the article explores the other side of constitutional identity, namely the theory of ‘counterlimits.’ The ICC specified that constitutional identity not only sets a limit to constitutional amendment powers but also sets ‘counterlimits’ to the entry of external norms (i.e., supranational and international law) in the domestic legal system. Finally, the article draws some conclusions and argues that the two sides of constitutional identity, although legally and logically independent, mutually reinforce each other and, ultimately, reinforce the counter-majoritarian nature of unamendability.


Pietro Faraguna
Pietro Faraguna is Assistant professor of constitutional law, University of Trieste.
Article

Constitutional Narcissism on the Couch of Psychoanalysis

Constitutional Unamendability in Portugal and Spain

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords unamendable/ eternity clauses, de jure and de facto constitutional change, constitutional narcissism, foundational design, helicopter founding fathers, constitutional alma mater
Authors Catarina Santos Botelho
AbstractAuthor's information

    Comparing the Portuguese Constitution, which has the longest unamendable clause in the world, with the silence of the Spanish Constitution regarding the language of eternity is indeed a fascinating exercise. Each state’s quantum of constitutional change seems to be quite different. One can wonder how two neighbouring states that share a heavy history of right-wing dictatorships and transitioned to democracy forty years ago opted for such dissimilar constitutional designs. However, appearances are often misleading, and an effort should be done to unveil this curious mismatch.
    Both legal orders suffer from what I call constitutional narcissism, which manifests itself through the urge to perpetuate the foundational constitutional moment. Unamendable clauses (Portugal) and quasi-unamendable clauses (Spain) recast one of constitutional theory’s inner paradoxes: Can the constituent power of the people be petrified in one historical constituent decision and constrain future democratic transitions? And what if a volatile contemporary majority seeks to undermine the democratic process and run against the constitutional DNA achievements of the last centuries?
    Even if the original version of the Portuguese Constitution prohibited several provisions from ever being amended, some of these provisions were indeed modified or removed in the 1989 constitutional amendment process. This occurred without major disagreement from the political organs, scholars, or the judiciary. Therefore, the vexata quaestio remains unanswered: Given their obsolescence or hindrance towards good governance, should entrenchment clauses be eliminated de jure (through a channelled constitutional amendment process, such as the double amendment procedure) or de facto (through a revolutionary process materialized outside of the constitutional framework)?


Catarina Santos Botelho
Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Constitutional Law at the Porto Faculty of Law, Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Email: cbotelho@porto.ucp.pt. I thank Paul Kahn, Nuno Garoupa, Richard Albert, Gonçalo Almeida Ribeiro, Yaniv Roznai, Ana Teresa Ribeiro, and Luís Heleno Terrinha for their very helpful comments.
Article

Constitutional Unamendability in the Nordic Countries

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords the Nordic constitutions, constitutional unamendability, explicit limits, implicit limits, supra-constitutional limits, review of constitutional amendments
Authors Tuomas Ojanen
AbstractAuthor's information

    With the exception of the Constitution of Norway, the Constitutions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden are silent on any substantive limits to the power of constitutional amendment. Until now, the topic of constitutional unamendability has also attracted very little attention in Nordic constitutional scholarship.
    However, some idiosyncrasies making up the identity of the Nordic constitutions, as well as constitutional limits to Nordic participation in European integration, may implicate the existence of some implicit limits to amendment powers. Similarly, international human rights obligations binding upon the Nordic countries, as well as European Union law and European Economic Area law, may impose some external, supra-constitutional limitations on the powers of Nordic constitutional amenders. However, the existence of any implicit or supra-constitutional unamendability is speculative in the current state of evolution of Nordic constitutionalism. This is even more so since the use of constitutional amendment powers are beyond judicial review by the Nordic courts.


Tuomas Ojanen
Tuomas Ojanen is Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Helsinki, contact: tuomas.ojanen@helsinki.fi.
Article

A View on the Future of Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments in Turkey

An Invitation to Judicial Dialogue

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords basic structure doctrine, Constitutional Court of Turkey, constitutional identity, judicial dialogue, immunity amendment, unconstitutional constitutional amendments
Authors Ali Acar
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, I discuss and analyse the Turkish case concerning judicial review of constitutional amendments in light of a recent decision by the Constitutional Court of Turkey (CCT). In the said decision, the CCT rejected carrying out judicial review over a controversial constitutional amendment, which lifted MPs’ parliamentary immunity. This decision urges to consider its implications for the possible future cases. I refer to comparative constitutional law with the hope to shed more light on the Turkish example and grasp it comprehensively. In this respect, I illustrate the most crucial arguments developed by the Supreme Court of India (SCI), the Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVG), and the Conseil Constitutionnel (FCC) in their case law. Based on the comparative account, I draw some lessons for the CCT and invite it to get into a judicial dialogue with other supreme/constitutional courts with regard to the issue.


Ali Acar
Cankaya University Faculty of Law and visiting researcher at Osgoode Hall Law School. I thank Richard Albert, Vicente F. Benítez-Rojas, and Mehmet Turhan for their comments and critiques, which were insightful to develop the ideas in this article.
Article

Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments in Turkey

The Question of Unamendability

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords judicial review of constitutional amendments, constitutional unamendability, judicial activism, competitive authoritarianism, abusive constitutionalism
Authors Ergun Özbudun
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article deals with the judicial review of constitutional amendments, which has been a hotly debated constitutional and political issue in Turkey, particularly with regard to the unamendable provisions of the constitution. Since its creation by the Constitution of 1961, the Turkish Constitutional Court has followed a markedly activist and tutelarist approach regarding this issue and annulled several constitutional amendments arguing that they violated the unamendable provisions of the Constitution. Recently, however, the Court adopted a self-restraining approach. This shift can be explained as part of the political regime’s drift towards competitive authoritarianism and the governing party’s (AKP) capturing almost total control over the entire judiciary.


Ergun Özbudun
Ergun Özbudun is Professor of Constitutional Law at İstanbul Şehir University. This is an enlarged and updated version of my article ‘Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments in Turkey’, European Public Law, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2009, pp. 533-538.
Article

Transitional Constitutional Unamendability?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords transitional constitutionalism, constitutional unamendability, decline of constitutional democracy, constitution-making in Hungary, the Hungarian Constitutional Court
Authors Gábor Halmai
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses the pros and cons for a suggestion to use unamendable provisions in transitional constitutions to protect the integrity and identity of constitutions drafted after a democratic transition. The presumption for such a suggestion could be that most democratic constitution-making processes are elite-driven exercises in countries with no or very little constitutional culture. The article tries to answer the question, whether in such situations unamendable constitutional provisions can help to entrench basic principles and values of constitutionalism with the help of constitutional courts reviewing amendments aimed at violating the core of constitutionalism. The article investigates the experiences of some backsliding constitutional democracies, especially Hungary, and raises the question, whether unamendable constitutional provision could have prevented the decline of constitutionalism.
    In order to discuss the issue of transitional unamendability, the article engages in the scholarly discussion on transitional constitutionalism in general, and deals with the relationship of constitutional law and constitutional culture. Another side topic of the article is whether such transitional unamendability provisions should also contain international or transnational values and principles, and what happens if those are not in conformity with the unamendable provisions that serve to build up a national constitutional identity. Again, the example of Hungary can be important here, how national constitutional identity protected by the Constitutional Court can serve to abandon the European constitutional whole.


Gábor Halmai
Gábor Halmai is Professor and Chair of Comparative Constitutional Law, European University Institute, Florence; email: gabor.halmai@eui.eu.
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