Spanish Constitutional Court As Guardian of the Constitution

The Spanish Constitutional Court has been confronted by a secessionist movement posed by Institutions of the Autonomous Region of Catalonia. Through rulings as Decision n. 114/2017, of 17 October [Action of unconstitutionality against the Law of the Catalonian Parliament ‘On Self-determination Referendum’]; Decision n. 120/2017, of 31 October [Action against the Resolution on nominating members of the ‘Catalonian Electoral Commission’], and Decision n. 124/2017, of 8 November [Action of unconstitutionality against the Law of the Catalonian Parliament ‘On Legal Transition and Republic’s Foundation’], the Spanish Constitutional Court has firmly confirmed the validity of the constitutional principles: national sovereignty belongs the Spanish people (art. 1.2) and unity of the Spanish Nation (art.2) as the basis of the Spanish Constitution of 1978. By requiring the constitutional reform through the procedure set out therein also defended the supremacy of the Spanish Constitution.

Good governance through the prism of the European Court of Human Rights

The principle of good administration has many intellectual homes yet seldom is it analyzed outside the European Union context. Such lack of academic attention does not seem warranted because since the Beyeler case of 2000 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has named an increasing number of requirements that national administrations have to respect. In Moskal case of 2009, the ECtHR has explicitly labeled the whole of these requirements as a ‘principle of good governance’. This article seeks to uncover the (normative) origins, scope, and implications of ‘good governance’ notion as well as its possible pitfalls in this lesser researched field. By analyzing the rich trove of case-law adopted in this regard, it will deconstruct how the ECtHR conceptualizes this notion and take stock of what concrete obligations do national administrative authorities have to fulfill if they want to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Saved by the Court?

Most of the discourse regarding courts focuses on the debate between traditional and popular constitutionalism. Yet both approaches have faith in a strong political theory. In contrast with the trust in theory, I believe that our knowledge is largely determined by the present reality. That explains why there have been decades of research on high courts emphasizing deficiencies in existing judiciaries without virtually any effect. The stress on protection of rights continues to glow simply because it constitutes a backbone of political imagination native to a modern era.
My paper is going to test this skeptical assumption. The Czech Constitutional Courts serves as a national court of the last resort in all cases. My goal is to evaluate if the court actually helped the petitioners by remanding the case. I intend to track the representative sample of 10 years old cases to the final ruling and assess whether the remanding had at least noticeable effect on the litigants.

Militarization by Infra-constitutional Means: How the Mexican Supreme Court Paved the way for the Ley de Seguridad Interior and How It Should Invalidate It

In December 2017, President Peña enacted the Law of internal security. It empowers the military to counter any threat to internal security, including organized crime. Article 129 of the Constitution forbids the military, during peacetime, to perform any functions not linked to military affairs. Moreover, social movements and NGO’s have argued that militarization failed. Also, there are four judgments from the Inter-American Court for military violations, 30,000 missing persons and two unsolved cases of military abuses. However, Peña did not veto the law but urged the Court to rule on its constitutionality. This paper analyses the Court’s ruling in A.I. 1/96 that held that the army might perform security functions provided it be subordinated to civil institutions. It argues that the 2008 and 2011 amendments on security and Human Rights limit the role of the military. Thus because of formal and informal constitutional change, the SC should overrule its precedent and invalidate the law.