Inclusion, Cities and the Law: Rethinking Urban Planning in the Context of Increased Litigation in Colombia

In the 1990s, a new Constitution and progressive laws in Colombia facilitated the transition from a modernist urban planning paradigm to one where participation was privileged. 30 years later, studies show the limited impact of participatory planning in addressing social and environmental injustices. While several mayors acquired local and global recognition by ‘constructing’ their cities as international “best practices,” vulnerable populations continue to be excluded from everyday planning decisions. At the same time, there has been a rise in litigation around urban planning in Colombia. The rise in litigation against cities has resulted in judges often dictating how housing, public space, or waste management ought to be implemented. This article analyzes the extent of litigation in Colombian cities and its impact on urban planning decisions. Using Bogotá as a case study it reflects on the prospects and limits of the judicialization of urban planning in the country.

Autonomous institutions in Brazil: success and failure beyond law

The rise of autonomous institutions out of the three traditional branches is a worldwide tendency. The phenomenon is especially pervasive in Brazil, whose legal system grants autonomy to oversight bodies, regulatory agencies and other entities. Although these institutions are invested with prerogatives such as the sole authority to manage their financial and human resources and the right to elaborate their mandatory budgets, the degree of autonomy they hold varies considerably. While oversight bodies have achieved a high level of autonomy in Brazil, regulatory agencies repeatedly suffer from undue interference. Yet, entities as the Central Bank lack formal legal autonomy, but are almost immune to interventions. The paper reveals that, while important, normative provisions may sometimes be not enough nor, at other times, necessary to assure independence. Political or conventional factors are just as or even more important in determining the autonomy effectively held by public entities.

The Amendment Proposal of the Constitution (PEC – Initials in Portuguese) N. 80/2019: theoretical reinforcements and critical and legal developments in Brazil

This research has as its goal the study of the Amendment Proposal of the Constitution (PEC – initials in Portuguese) n. 80/2019, from a threatening perspective to the constitutional norm of the social function of property, in the case of its discussing and approval. It is subdivided into two parts. While the first one is dedicated to a study that involves some concepts of property and social function, as well as a specific Brazilian constitutional historical evolution of the social function of property, the second part of the research gives already a growing thematic funneling into PEC 80/2019, its norms, formal motivations and, conclusevely, critical questions. Deductive methodology, under analytical theoretical line, using mainly legislative and doctrinal sources, focuses on the social function of property as a legal principle and on the validity, the term, effectiveness and efficiency of PEC 80/2019 and its possible transformation as an amendment to the 1988 Brazilian Constitution.

Trends of Contemporary Judicial Review of Legislation

This study aims to address the trends of judicial review of legislation, in view of contemporary issues of Constitutional Law. The scientifical investigation is geared to detect the shared practices by the constitutional courts, meanwhile it establishes the points of divergence between those courts. In fact, the work focuses on the area of concentration of the judicial review in democratic legal systems and, more particularly, in the line of research on the globalization of the constitutional decision-making process. The research is organized into five chapters, each of them discussing the mentioned trends, such as the rational justification for the internationalization of the decision fundamentals. The most important results will undoubtedly be related to the role of contemporary judicial review of legislation in safeguarding democracy, protecting and promoting civil rights.

Electoral Jurisprudence in Nigeria and the Burden of Trust of the Judex: Deconstructing Gubernatorial Decisions of the Apex Court

Since 1999 and debut of the 4th Republic, the Judiciary has played considerably roles in the determination of who governs. In the discharge of this constitutional duty, there has been distrust of the judiciary and this is easily situated within the concept of justice with its slants. This is compounded by the dominant Machiavellian doctrine.The political class is pitching the citizens against the judex on its decisions. This paper intends to do a critical analysis of judging, justice and the constitutional role of the judiciary in Nigeria in the determination of electoral victories.The analysis will identify the sociology of the decisions and effects on the electorates. Judiciary’s understanding of political questions doctrine and how the judex has navigated same will be addressed. Deconstruction of the narrative and the perception of distrust of the judex by the citizenry by appropriately pigeon hole the distrust with the political class. The paper will come up with recommendations.

The Power and Function of the Cabinet in Japan

This study analyzes the role of the cabinet under Article 65 of the Japanese constitution. In general, three constitutional studies have defined the administrative power.
The prevailing view defines the role of the cabinet by excluding legislative and judicial power. The second approach defines it more positively as an actual, continuous function designed to achieve an overarching national purpose. The third one focuses on the leading role of the cabinet in forming public policies, defining it as part of the “executive” branch.
The current cabinet has been in place since 2012, from just after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. The Abe government represents the longest-serving cabinet in Japanese constitutional history, causing the legislative branch to lose its purpose of forming basic national policies.
This study examines the definitions of administrative power in the text regarding the cabinet in the Japanese constitution.

Restrictive Right to Religious Freedom of Protestant House Churches in China

This article seeks to explore how the right to religious freedom of Protestant house churches has been restricted under the existing repressive legal framework from a socio-legal perspective given that China has established an instrumentalist legal system. The recent dissolution of a large number of Protestant house churches in China has been widely reported in the international press, which indicates a significant change of approach to Protestant house churches under the newly revised Regulation of Religious Affairs (RRA). The existing literature has focused on Protestant house churches largely from religious and sociological perspectives. Through analyzing the RRA, it was found that it has taken an integrated legalistic-political approach to Protestant house churches, which has been understudied in the scholarship.

Reflections on Constitutional Unamendability: View from 2019 Constitutional Court Judges’ Selection Hearings in Slovakia

This paper examines judicial conceptions of the doctrine of constitutional unamendability, articulated by candidates for appointment to the Slovak Constitutional Court in the 2019 selection hearings. These hearings took place at the heels of a historic decision of the Court on the implicit “material core” of the Constitution, which invalidated parts of a constitutional amendment. Every candidate received a question on the subject at least once during the five rounds of hearings took place between January 23 and September 10. They struggled, in front of live cameras, to answer whether constitutional unamendability is a tool that has an appropriate place in the toolbox of the Constitutional Court. this paper uses the collected replies from the selection hearing as a probe into thinking of legal professionals vying for a position on the most powerful court of the land. The result is a contextualised understanding of a material core and constitutional unamendability.

Dissent and the Rule of Law

In this paper, we shall explore the idea that dissent lies at the very heart of the rule of law. We compare the rule of law with the principle of socialist legality in the constitutions of the communist states in Central and Eastern Europe after World War II. We argue that in a political system that suffocates any kind of critique, resistance or dissent legal formalism cannot put restraints on power but rather reinforces the abuses of power. No laws or institutional frameworks may produce the rule of law in a society that has no practices of political dissent or academic critique. Demonstration of this is the failure of the rule of law in the European post-communist states, and in particular, in Bulgaria. We see the silent rallies of judges in defense of judicial independence in Poland and Bulgaria as such practices essential for the emergence of rule of law in the post-communist societies.

Constitutional Crises, Constitutional Routine and Constitutional Dialogue

pls note: my e-mail is

Constitutional crisis theories tend to focus on institutions, principles, and values and not on people. Hence, they miss many details from the overall picture that they wish to analyze. In this paper, I focus on one specific detail: the rights of ‘ordinary’ petitioners that wait lengthily for judicial rulings regarding constitutionality of legislation, rulings that are separated from the mere existence of the crisis, and yet affected by it. Constitutional crises silence and oppress the constitutional routine, in which supreme courts and constitutional courts function their everyday constitutional judicial review. Petitioners are waiting for judicial decisions that are being delayed, waiting for a better time to be handed down. I offer the constitutional dialogue theory as a theoretical paradigm to enable supreme and constitutional courts to keep fulfilling their constitutional function without jeopardizing their institutional legitimacy.