Symposium: Foundation and Framework: How Unwritten Constitutional Principles Shape Political Decision-Making

Symposium: Foundation and Framework: How Unwritten Constitutional Principles Shape Political Decision-Making

Vanessa MacDonnell

Since the 1980s, the Supreme Court of Canada has articulated a jurisprudence of “unwritten constitutional principles.” In a series of decisions dealing with constitutional questions in contexts ranging from patriation to secession, it has recognized a number of unwritten principles as constitutional, including…

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The English Common Law as a Vehicle for the Protection of Uncodified Constitutional Rights

The English Common Law as a Vehicle for the Protection of Uncodified Constitutional Rights

Christina LIENEN

Whereas constitutional rights jurisprudence is well-established in Canada, in the United Kingdom, a traditionally rights-skeptic jurisdiction, the jurisprudential foundation and normative reach of constitutional rights remains contested. It is only recently that the UK Supreme Court has started to refer to common law concepts that are constitutional in character…

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Symposium: The Unwritten Constitutional Principle of Ecological Sustainability: A Lodestar for Canadian Environmental Law?

Symposium: The Unwritten Constitutional Principle of Ecological Sustainability: A Lodestar for Canadian Environmental Law?

Lynda COLLINS

Environmental law in Canada and around the world has achieved many significant victories – saving countless human lives, bringing species back from the brink of extinction and improving quality of life for millions of people. However, when assessed against the crucial parameter of sustainability…

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Symposium: ‘A Constitution Similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom’: Constitutional Principles and the Importance of Context – A Sustainable Jurisprudence

Symposium: ‘A Constitution Similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom’: Constitutional Principles and the Importance of Context – A Sustainable Jurisprudence

Peter OLIVER

In recent years, unwritten constitutional principles have often found their place in Canadian constitutional law via their supposed foothold in the part of the Preamble to the Constitution Act, 1867 that refers to 'a Constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom'. Principles such as judicial independence, democracy…

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Symposium: The Demands of Unwritten Constitutionalism on Institutional Design

Symposium: The Demands of Unwritten Constitutionalism on Institutional Design

Kate Glover Berger

For scholars of public law, an important open question lies at the intersection of constitutional and administrative law. The question asks about the relationship between unwritten constitutionalism and constitutional structure. Or more specifically, in what ways does the unwritten constitution make demands on institutional design within the public order?

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Symposium: Guest Editors' Introduction: Contemporary Perspectives on Unwritten Constitutional Principles

Symposium: Guest Editors' Introduction: Contemporary Perspectives on Unwritten Constitutional Principles

Vanessa MACDONNELL & Se-shauna WHEATLE

On March 22, 2019, a group of scholars and practitioners convened at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law for a full-day symposium on the role of unwritten constitutional principles in contemporary constitutional law. Scholars from Canada, Jamaica and the United Kingdom presented innovative new research, a portion of which is featured in this blog symposium.

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Symposium: We Can Work It Out: Crafting a Constitutional Transition in Venezuela

Symposium: We Can Work It Out: Crafting a Constitutional Transition in Venezuela

José Ignacio Hernández G.

In the last years, Constitutional Law scholars have been studying the consequences of political decay in democratic regimes that are moving towards authoritarianism. The traditional dichotomy between democracy and authoritarianism vanished, and the reality of competitive authoritarianism or hybrid regimes – illiberal democratic regimes that preserve a thick patina of constitutionality – became clearer.

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Belize votes in referendum to refer territorial dispute with Guatemala to the International Court of Justice

Belize votes in referendum to refer territorial dispute with Guatemala to the International Court of Justice

Derek O’BRIEN

In a referendum held on 8th May 2019, the citizens of Belize voted by a majority of 55% (on a turnout of 65%) to approve the referral of the long-standing territorial dispute between Guatemala and Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) pursuant to a Treaty signed on December 8, 2008, (the Special Agreement) between Guatemala and Belize (the State Parties). The outcome of the referendum is clearly significant in terms of future relations between Belize and Guatemala, but it also has considerable constitutional significance…

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Simposio: Recuperando la integridad electoral en Venezuela: condiciones electorales necesarias para garantizar elecciones presidenciales libres y transparentes

Simposio: Recuperando la integridad electoral en Venezuela: condiciones electorales necesarias para garantizar elecciones presidenciales libres y transparentes

Daniela UROSA

El sistema electoral venezolano carece actualmente de las mínimas condiciones adecuadas de integridad electoral. Tales condiciones han ido mermando progresivamente en los procesos electorales de los últimos años, muy especialmente durante la fraudulenta elección presidencial de 2018.

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Constitutional Paternalism: The Israeli Supreme Court as Guardian of the Knesset

Constitutional Paternalism: The Israeli Supreme Court as Guardian of the Knesset

Yaniv ROZNAI

In 2017, the Israeli Supreme Court sitting as High Court of Justice (HCJ) has adopted two dramatic judicial decisions. Firstly, the HCJ invalidated a law based upon flaws in the legislative process for the first time in its history, and second, issued a nullification notice to a temporary Basic Law that changed – for the fifth time in a row – the annual budget rule to biennial one, by applying a doctrine of ‘misuse of constituent power.’

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Symposium: The Venezuelan Interim Government and its Time Constraints

Symposium: The Venezuelan Interim Government and its Time Constraints

Rolando SEIJAS

It is three months now since Juan Guaidó assumed the office of the Presidency of the interim government of Venezuela. The interim government claims its legitimacy due to the fraudulent nature of the presidential election of 2018. The interim government has asserted that those elections could not have rendered a mandate to form a legitimate government.

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Symposium: A Constitutionally Enabled Crisis? The Problem of Venezuela's Self-Negating Constitution

Symposium: A Constitutionally Enabled Crisis? The Problem of Venezuela's Self-Negating Constitution

Rafael MACÍA BRIEDIS

That Venezuela is currently in the midst of a serious institutional crisis is undeniable. That crisis is largely the product of constant abuses by the Maduro regime, which despite plummeting approval rates and a collapsing economy has sought to cling to power at any cost, using the constitutional structure as a façade through which to justify the concentration of all state authority in its own hands.

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Analysis: The Strasbourg Court's First Advisory Opinion under Protocol 16

Analysis: The Strasbourg Court's First Advisory Opinion under Protocol 16

Antoine BUYSE

On 10 April, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg handed down its first advisory opinion on a substantive issue under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), a competence given to the Court under Protocol 16 to the Convention. The opinion, delivered upon the request of the French Court of Cassation, related to a very specific family law matter…

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