Constitution Digest

News and announcements from the Comparative Constitutions Project

June 18, 2015

Thousands face possible deportation from the Dominican Republic.  Following a 2013 Constitutional Court ruling that requires children of immigrants to register for legal citizenship status by this Thursday even if they were born in the country, an estimated 210,000 people could soon be rendered stateless. The ruling has been widely criticized by neighboring countries and human rights groups for unfairly discriminating against Haitian immigrants and their families, with some suggesting that the policy is racially motivated.
Spanish Constitutional Court dismisses Catalan independence vote. On Thursday, the Constitutional Court of Spain unanimously rejected the Catalan government's independence referendum of 2014, declaring it wholly unconstitutional. The court dismissed the referendum, in which well over half of the 2.3 million Catalans who voted chose secession from Spain, on the grounds that the regional government lacked jurisdiction to hold a referendum on a national issue.
Legal experts speak out against plan to expand Japanese military. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to reinterpret Article 9 of the Japanese postwar constitution now faces criticism from legal scholars who have called Abe's proposed security legislation unconstitutional. One prominent critic, Professor Setsu Kobayashi, also expressed concern that approval of the legislation would set a precedent for future constitutional violations.

From the Comparative Constitutions Project

CCP Co-Directors reflect on the legacy of Magna Carta. In commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the Great Charter, CCP co-directors Tom Ginsburg and James Melton have released two pieces critically analyzing the political legacy and functional failures of the document. To learn more, read their articles: "Stop Revering Magna Carta" and "Celebrating the birth (and death) of Magna Carta."
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