Search result: 7 articles

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Year 2011 x
Article

From Uneasy Compromises to Democratic Partnership

The Prospects of Central European Constitutionalism

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords Central Europe, parliamentarism, freedom of religion, Roma people, discrimination
Authors Gábor Attila Tóth
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Central European constitutional democracies were created by the political and constitutional transition of 1989. However, twenty years later, in the light of antidemocratic, authoritarian and intolerant tendencies, it is far from clear whether the negotiated revolution is a story of success or failure. This paper first outlines the constitutional background of revolutionary transition. It shows that the achieved structures and rules do not prevent political communities from realizing the full promise of democracy. Second, this analysis attempts to explore how the century-old historical circumstances, the social environment, and the commonly failed practice of constitutional institutions interact. This section focuses on the constitutional features of presidential aspirations, the privileges of churches and certain ethnic tensions. Finally, the paper argues that the chances of success of liberal democracies depend significantly on extraconstitutional factors. It seems that Hungary is in a more depressing and dangerous period of its history than for example Poland.


Gábor Attila Tóth
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Debrecen, former senior adviser, Constitutional Court of Hungary. The author welcomes comments via email: tga818@law.unideb.hu.
Article

The Combination of Negative with Positive Constitutionalism in Europe

The Quest of a ‘Just Distance’ between Citizens and the Public Power

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords democracy, constitutionalism, totalitarism, fundamental rights, judicial review
Authors Cesare Pinelli
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article is focused on European constitutionalism as resulting from the transformations following the experiences of totalitarian states. The notion of democracy was then significantly re-shaped, to the extent that democratic devices (federalism and sometimes referendum) were introduced with a view to balance the excesses of a purely representative democracy. The recognition of social rights and of human dignity reacted against totalitarism and, on other hand, against the individualistic notion of rights affecting the XIX century’s constitutionalism. Constitutional review of legislation was introduced, thus overriding the myth of parliamentary sovereignty, particularly the idea of parliament as the sole authority capable of granting fundamental rights.


Cesare Pinelli
Cesare Pinelli is Professor of Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law, La Sapienza University of Rome.
Article

Is Africa Ready for Electronic Commerce?

A Critical Appraisal of the Legal Framework for Ecommerce in Africa

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2011
Authors Nnaemeka Ewelukwa
AbstractAuthor's information

    It remains a daunting but not insurmountable challenge to actualize broad-based long term economic development in Africa. Statistics indicate that the poverty level in the continent is very high and the continent’s contribution to global trade remains very low in terms of export outflows. While acknowledging the negative aspects of Africa’s development however, it is important to note that the future may yet become brighter if key steps are taken by law and policy makers in the continent to put in place laws and policies that can facilitate the development process. One of the ways in which economic development can be facilitated is to significantly boost Africa’s contribution to global trade. In this regard, it has been noted that ‘After falling by 2.5% in 2009, export volumes of African countries are expected to increase on average by 3.2% in 2010 and by 5% in 2011.


Nnaemeka Ewelukwa
Dr. iur. (Queen Mary, London), Senior Teaching Fellow, International Trade Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS).
Article

Access_open De halve waarheid van het populisme

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2011
Keywords populism, self-inclusion, vitalism, democracy, Lefort
Authors Bert Roermund
AbstractAuthor's information

    Does populism add value to the political debate by showing that the ideals of Enlightenment are too abstract and rationalist to understand politics in democratic terms? The paper argues two theses, critically engaging Lefort’s work: (i) instead of offering valuable criticism, populism feeds on the very principle that Enlightenment has introduced: a polity rests on self-inclusion with reference to a quasi-transcendent realm; (ii) populism’s appeal to simple emotions feeds on the vitalist (rather than merely institutionalist) pulse in any polity. Both dimensions of politics are inevitable as well as elusive. In particular with regard to the vitalist pulse we have no response to the half-truths of populism, as both national and constitutional patriotism seem on the wrong track.


Bert Roermund
Bert van Roermund has held the Chair in Legal Philosophy at Tilburg University and is currently Professor of (Political) Philosophy at the same University as well as 2010-2011 Visiting Professor at K.U. Leuven.

Sanne Taekema
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