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Constitutional law

  • Turkey: Constitutional Referendum during a State of Emergency

    March 30, 2017

    Turkey’s upcoming constitutional referendum on 16 April 2017 is deeply polarizing Turkish society and concurrently threatening its foreign relations with Western allies. According to the latest polls, the battle for the constitutional reform package is a neck and neck race, with the opposition having a slight lead for now. So far neither side has taken a convincing lead but if president Erdoğan gains the necessary support for the referendum, eighteen amendments will alter the Turkish constitution in a way that will grant the president sweeping powers and mark the biggest changes since the inception of the 93-year old Turkish Republic. Prior to the referendum, Turkey’s already brittle democracy had been dealt a huge blow by the declaration of the State of Emergency after the failed coup in July 2016, which initiated a purge of nearly unprecedented scale.

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  • Enforcing the Rule of Law: The Case of Poland

    Enforcing the Rule of Law: The Case of Poland

    January 22, 2016

    After the Law and Justice Party (PiS) took control over the presidency in May 2015 and won a clear majority in Poland’s last parliamentary elections in October 2015, the new conservative PiS government quickly expanded its control over the media and judiciary. They did so by introducing controversial amendments to laws, which were first passed through the Sejm: the Polish Parliament and then approved by the Senate and Poland’s new President Duda.

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  • America’s Gun Crisis

    January 15, 2016

    In recent years, the United States of America has experienced a rise in mass shootings which are unparalleled compared to other nations in the world. Mass shootings by gunmen in civilian settings are not only taking place on a frequent basis, over time they have also become deadlier. Earlier this month, President Obama stated that every year, 30,000 individuals lose their life due to gun violence which equals the same number of deaths resulting from car accidents. This has stirred heated debates over the issues of gun control laws.

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  • (Judicial) Constitutional Review in the Netherlands: A Comparative Law Blog

    March 6, 2015

    With the provincial elections coming up, the Dutch Legislature this week discussed another important and long discussed topic in Dutch politics. The Dutch parliament for the second time reads the bill that would make judicial constitutional review in the Netherlands possible with regard to certain named constitutional provisions detailing constitutional rights. A bill first introduced by former Second Chamber member Halsema in 2002.

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  • Bibliotheek van het Vredespaleis viert 200 jaar Nederlandse Grondwet

    Dutch Constitution Festival

    April 11, 2014

    On Saturday 29 March, the Netherlands celebrated the 200-year anniversary of the 1814 Dutch constitution, the oldest constitution in the world after the American constitution. The Peace Palace Library participated in this event with an interactive tour explaining the relationship between the Dutch constitution and international law.

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  • Grondwet Festival (01)

    Constitution Festival, The Hague, 28-29 March 2014

    March 26, 2014

    Saturday, 29 March 2014 marks the 200-year anniversary of the Dutch constitution, the oldest in the world after the U.S. constitution. On 28 and 29 March, The Hague will provide the setting for a grand scale event called the Constitution Festival (Grondwet Festival).
    Constitution Festival, The Hague, 28-29 March 2014

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  • Bibliotheek van het Vredespaleis viert 200 jaar Nederlandse Grondwet

    Bibliotheek van het Vredespaleis viert 200 jaar Nederlandse Grondwet

    March 25, 2014

    On Saturday 29 March, the Netherlands will celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the 1814 Constitution. During the so-called Grondwetfestival (Constitution Festival) government buildings normally off limits to the public, like the Catshuis and Trêveszaal, will open especially for this occasion. The Peace Palace Library will also participate in this event with an interactive tour – in Dutch – explaining the relationship between the Dutch Constitution and international law. [Further information in Dutch]

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  • A Justification for Russia’s Intervention?

    A Justification for Russia’s Intervention?

    March 7, 2014

    In the last week Russian military forces have occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula where the majority of the population is ethnic Russian and the Russian Black Sea Fleet is deployed in the city of Sevastopol. In the Russian constitution a few articles describe circumstances where a primacy of Russian constitutional law above international law may occur. How does Russia legally justify its intervention? Guest Blog by Anna K. Duszczyk.

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  • Kralendijk, Bonaire

    State Reform and Multilingualism: The Use of Papiamentu on Bonaire

    February 22, 2013

    In 2010, an important State reform took place in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Three little islands, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, too small to become a state in this federal Kingdom, are from October 10, 2010, governed by the Dutch Parliament in The Hague. The legislation introduced for these islands contained some paragraphs on language. The islands have their own home-languages, on Bonaire most of the inhabitants speak Papiamentu, on the other islands English is the common language. In the case of Bonaire a language regulation had to be made, to codify rules on the use of written Papiamentu in government documents.

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  • The Netherlands Celebrates Prince’s Day (Prinsjesdag)

    September 18, 2012

    Every year, on the third Tuesday in September, The Netherlands celebrates Prince’s Day (Prinsjesdag). This day signals the start of the Dutch parliamentary year. Queen Beatrix, Head of State, delivers the “Speech from the Throne” ( De Troonrede) before a joint meeting of both chambers of parliament, members of the cabinet, the Council of State and other invited guests. The Speech sets out the main features of government policy for the coming parliamentary session

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