Constitution Digest

News and announcements from the Comparative Constitutions Project

July 16, 2015

Top Russian court rules that constitution takes precedence over international law. On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court of Russia ruled that the country is not obligated to recognize decisions handed down by the European Court of Human Rights if they violate the nation's constitution. The Court chairman Valery Zorkin argued that other European countries, such as Germany and Italy, also give precedence to their national constitutions, but critics fear the ruling could lead to human rights abuses.
Rwanda parliament supports lifting presidential term limits. On Tuesday, Rwandan MPs voted in favor of a constitutional change that would allow incumbent president Paul Kagame to run for a third consecutive term. The vote follows a petition signed by 3.7 million Rwandans to change Article 101 of the Rwandan constitution, which limits the president's tenure to two terms.
Nepal Constituent Assembly continues to collect feedback on preliminary constitution.  In addition to collecting public feedback via email and telephone, lawmakers from various political parties are visiting 75 districts and 240 electoral constituencies in Nepal to collect responses to the draft constitution. According to staffers, citizens have already expressed opinions on capital punishment, national religion, federalism, and other issues: meanwhile, members of the media have publicly voiced concern that several clauses of the draft constitution significantly limit freedom of the press.
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