Constitution Digest

News and announcements from the Comparative Constitutions Project

August 19, 2016

Polish government disregards court ruling on judicial bill. Poland's Constitutional Tribunal ruled last Thursday that the Law and Justice party's judicial reform bill, passed in July in advance of a NATO summit in Warsaw, conflicts with basic law, but the Polish government promptly declared that it will not respect the ruling. Many speculate that the government is intentionally prolonging the constitutional crisis into next year, when some justices' terms are set to expire, so the ruling party can appoint more sympathetic judges.
Australia to close detention center in Papua New Guinea. Following an April ruling by the Papuan Supreme Court which found that Australia's detention of refugees on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island is unconstitutional, officials from both countries have announced that the prison will close. Australia, which has long maintained a policy of denying residence to refugees who arrive by boat, is considering relocating the prisoners to facilities in the island-nation Nauru.
South Africa's ANC questions electoral system. Last Thursday, South Africa's ruling ANC party called for a review of the country's electoral system after losing its majority in several major city councils following local elections. The ANC wants the country to review the local electoral system, which combines first-past-the-post "ward" voting with proportional representation, suggesting that it unfairly boosts smaller parties at the expense of the popular vote.
From the Comparative Constitutions Project

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