Freedom of Speech

Author: Uladzislau Belavusau
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135071985
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book considers the issue of free speech in transitional democracies focusing on the socio-legal developments in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. In showing how these Central and Eastern European countries have engaged with free speech models imported from the Council of Europe / EU and the USA, the book offers valuable insights into the ways States have responded to challenges associated with transformation from communism to Western democracy. The book first explores freedom of expression in European and American law looking particularly at hate speech, historical revisionism, and pornography. It subsequently enquires into the role and perspectives of those European (mandatory) and US-American (persuasive) models for the constitutional debate in Central and Eastern Europe. The study offers an original interpretation of the "European" model of freedom of expression, beyond the mechanisms of the Council of Europe. It encompasses the relevant aspects of EU law (judgments of the Court of Justice and the harmonised EU instruments) as mandatory standards for courts and legislators, including those in transitional countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The book argues for de-criminalisation of historical revisionism and pornography, and illuminates topics such as genocide denial, the rise of Prague and Budapest as Europe’s porno-capitals, anti-Semitism and anti-Gypsyism, religious obscurantism and homophobia, virulent Islamophobia, and the glorification of terrorism. The research methodology in this study combines a descriptive case law assessment (comparative constitutional, public international, and EU law) with a normative critique stemming from post-structuralist scrutiny, rhetoric, postmodern legal movements, legal history, history of ideas, and art criticism. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of, comparative constitutional law, law and society, human rights and European law as well as political philosophers.

Democracy and the Human Rights Act

Author: Dennis Dixon
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351999958
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book discusses the extent to which the UK Human Rights Act successfully balances protection of rights and democracy. It is generally accepted that the Act prevents government from violating fundamental rights, but the extent to which the Act can legitimately be overridden as a result of public opinion and participation is less clear. The work considers the Act’s effect on this popular element of the British Constitution. It uses analytical tools from republican political theory to explore the claim that the Act achieved a reconciliation between the protection of rights and democracy. In particular, it employs republican analysis of domination to consider how the Human Rights Act could operate so that public opinion invigilates legislative responses to judicial decisions. The key question is whether judicial decisions under the Human Rights Act serve to ‘remove, reduce or replace’ opportunities for the electorate to control judicial decision-making, remembering always that the electorate is seldom engaged in politics, but should it choose to, its ability to do so is at the heart of democracy. The study also examines the difficulty of isolating national constitutional forms where bills of rights are internationalised as with the European Convention on Human Rights. The book will be a valuable resource for students and academics researching constitutional legal theory and comparative constitutional law. While the focus is on the UK HRA, broader theoretical issues of constitutional review will have significant international interest and relevance to domestic debates on a British Bill of Rights.

Dynamics in the French Constitution

Author: David Marrani
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135105421
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The promulgation of the Fifth French Republic Constitution in 1958 marked the end of a complex constitutional history that has since 1789 seen more than twenty constitutions and five Republics. Lasting now for more than fifty years, the Fifth Republic Constitution has proven to be the right settlement for the French people; a consensual text. However, while offering the appearance of stability, the Fifth French Republic Constitution has often been reconsidered and changed, not least in the year of its fiftieth anniversary, when the Constitution was 'modernised'. These dynamics of the Fifth Republic Constitution are neither a recent matter nor entirely the result of the successive constitutional amendments. Instead, the history of the Constitution has involved the resurgence of repressed archaic elements from the ancient regime, while the social, economic and environmental contexts have penetrated not only the text itself but more extensively its spirit, and behind it, the philosophy and our perception of the Republic. In Dynamics in the French Constitution, David Marrani questions the foundations of the French Fifth Republic. In using specific themes, current and traditional debates, contemporary and archaic factors, that have enlightened the road of long lasting Republic, the book explores some of the changes of the last fifty years and the tensions that are present within the constitutional text. In combining theoretical concepts of constitutional law with key contemporary and historical developments, such as the European integration, the response to environmental challenges, the practice of human rights and the pillars supporting French republicanism, this book offers varied and creative tools for a better understanding of the Republic of today.

Equal Citizenship Civil Rights and the Constitution

Author: Christopher Green
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317539397
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is arguably the most historically important clause of the most significant part of the US Constitution. Designed to be a central guarantor of civil rights and civil liberties following Reconstruction, this clause could have been at the center of most of the country's constitutional controversies, not only during Reconstruction, but in the modern period as well; yet for a variety of historical reasons, including precedent-setting narrow interpretations, the Privileges or Immunities Clause has been cast aside by the Supreme Court. This book investigates the Clause in a textualist-originalist manner, an approach increasingly popular among both academics and judges, to examine the meanings actually expressed by the text in its original context. Arguing for a revival of the Privileges or Immunities Clause, author Christopher Green lays the groundwork for assessing the originalist credentials of such areas of law as school segregation, state action, sex discrimination, incorporation of the Bill of Rights against states, the relationship between tradition and policy analysis in assessing fundamental rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment rights of corporations and aliens. Thoroughly argued and historically well-researched, this book demonstrates that the Privileges or Immunities Clause protects liberty and equality, and it will be of interest to legal academics, American legal historians, and anyone interested in American constitutional history.

Law and Memory

Author: Uladzislau Belavusau
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110718875X
Format: PDF
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The volume revisits memory laws as a phenomenon of global law, transitional justice, historical narratives and claims for historical truth. It will appeal to those interested in the conflict between legal governance of memory with values of democratic citizenship, political pluralism, and fundamental rights.

Constitutionalism in the Global Realm

Author: Poul F. Kjaer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317804805
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book develops a sociologically informed theory of constitutionalism in the global realm, addressing both national and transnational forms of constitutional ordering. The book begins with the argument that current approaches to constitutionalism remain tied to a state-based conception of constitutions, and overlooks underlying structural transformations that trigger the emergence of constitutional forms of ordering. Poul F. Kjaer aims to address this shortcoming by offering a sociological and historically informed analysis of the evolution of constitutionalism in the face of globalisation. The analysis contextualises on-going constitutional developments through the use of a long-term historical perspective, which is capable of highlighting the impact of deeper structural transformations unfolding within society. The book looks at the ways in which national and transnational legal forms have evolved alongside one another. It demonstrates that the formation of global constitutions has not resulted in a corresponding decrease in the power of nation states, but instead, legal and political aspects of both the nation state and the transnational have been reconfigured and intensified in a mutually supportive manner. In combining insights from a range of fields, this interdisciplinary book will be of great interest to students and scholars of constitutional law, sociology, global governance studies, and legal, social and political theory.

The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law

Author: Michel Rosenfeld
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191640174
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The field of comparative constitutional law has grown immensely over the past couple of decades. Once a minor and obscure adjunct to the field of domestic constitutional law, comparative constitutional law has now moved front and centre. Driven by the global spread of democratic government and the expansion of international human rights law, the prominence and visibility of the field, among judges, politicians, and scholars has grown exponentially. Even in the United States, where domestic constitutional exclusivism has traditionally held a firm grip, use of comparative constitutional materials has become the subject of a lively and much publicized controversy among various justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. The trend towards harmonization and international borrowing has been controversial. Whereas it seems fair to assume that there ought to be great convergence among industrialized democracies over the uses and functions of commercial contracts, that seems far from the case in constitutional law. Can a parliamentary democracy be compared to a presidential one? A federal republic to a unitary one? Moreover, what about differences in ideology or national identity? Can constitutional rights deployed in a libertarian context be profitably compared to those at work in a social welfare context? Is it perilous to compare minority rights in a multi-ethnic state to those in its ethnically homogeneous counterparts? These controversies form the background to the field of comparative constitutional law, challenging not only legal scholars, but also those in other fields, such as philosophy and political theory. Providing the first single-volume, comprehensive reference resource, the Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law will be an essential road map to the field for all those working within it, or encountering it for the first time. Leading experts in the field examine the history and methodology of the discipline, the central concepts of constitutional law, constitutional processes, and institutions - from legislative reform to judicial interpretation, rights, and emerging trends.

Constitutionalism and Democratic Transitions

Author: Veronica Federico
Publisher: Firenze University Press
ISBN: 8884534011
Format: PDF
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"The book - as the outcome of a research performed by the University of Florence and the United States Institute of Peace of Washington - explores the role of law in the process of democratic transition in South Africa. More specifically it emphasize how constitutional law may contribute to "civilize" apparently reconcilable conflicts, a part from laying down the foundations of the new legal order and institutions. The book - as the outcome of a research performed by the University of Florence and the United States Institute of Peace of Washington - explores the role of law in the process of democratic transition in South Africa. More specifically it emphasize how constitutional law may contribute to "civilize" apparently reconcilable conflicts, a part from laying down the foundations of the new legal order and institutions"--Publisher's description.

The Internet and Constitutional Law

Author: Oreste Pollicino
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317407997
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book analyses emerging constitutional principles addressing the regulation of the internet at both the national and the supranational level. These principles have arisen from cases involving the protection of fundamental rights. This is the reason why the book explores the topic thorough the lens of constitutional adjudication, developing an analysis of Courts’ argumentation. The volume examines the gradual consolidation of a "constitutional core" of internet law at the supranational level. It addresses the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union case law, before going on to explore Constitutional or Supreme Courts’ decisions in individual jurisdictions in Europe and the US. The contributions to the volume discuss the possibility of the "constitutionalization" of internet law, calling into question the thesis of the so-called anarchic nature of the internet.

Engineering Constitutional Change

Author: Xenophōn I. Kontiadēs
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 041552976X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This volume provides a holistic presentation of the reality of constitutional change in 18 countries (the 15 old EU member states, Canada, Switzerland and the USA). The essays offer analysis on formal and informal constitutional amendment bringing forth the overall picture of the parallel paths constitutional change follows, in correlation to what the constitution means and how constitutional law works. To capture the patterns of constitutional change, multi-faceted parameters are explored such as the interrelations between form of government, party system, and constitutional amendment; the interplay between constitutional change and the system of constitutionality review; the role of the people, civil society, and experts in constitutional change; and the influence of international and European law and jurisprudence on constitutional reform and evolution. In the extensive final, comparative chapter, key features of each country's amendment procedures are epitomized and the mechanisms of constitutional change are explained on the basis of introducing five distinct models of constitutional change. The concept of constitutional rigidity is re-approached and broken down to a set of factual and institutional rigidities. The classification of countries within models, in accordance with the way in which operative amending mechanisms connect, leads to a succinct portrayal of different modes of constitutional change engineering. This book will prove to be an invaluable tool for approaching constitutional revision either for theoretical or for practical purposes and will be of particular interest to students and scholars of constitutional, comparative and public law.