Constitution Digest

News and announcements from the Comparative Constitutions Project

January 27, 2017

Brexit requires parliamentary approval, says Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the UK Supreme Court ruled that only an act of Parliament can trigger Article 50 and thereby initiate Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, introduced such legislation yesterday, which is expected to be ultimately approved by both chambers of Parliament.
Italian court rules on election law. On Wednesday, Italy’s constitutional court upheld a law which establishes that any party which gets 40% of the popular vote will receive 55% of the seats in the lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies. As no Italian parties poll close to 40%, the ruling suggests coalition governance for the foreseeable future.
Syrian opposition rejects Russian constitutional proposal. On Wednesday, the Syrian opposition rejected a Russian-drafted proposed constitution that included provisions for a seven-year single-term presidency, a bicameral legislature, and a rejection of Islamic sharia as the basis of law. Russian officials claim the draft incorporates proposals from both the Syrian government and the opposition, but the opposition has asserted that only Syrians are entitled to draft a constitution for the country.
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