Constitution Digest

News and announcements from the Comparative Constitutions Project

March 23, 2017

Britain to trigger Article 50 next week. British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon on Wednesday, beginning the United Kingdom’s two-year withdrawal from the European Union. Brexit has inspired a renewed independence movement in Scotland, and the Scottish Parliament will soon vote on whether to hold a second referendum on the matter.
Indian court confers legal personhood on certain rivers. The Uttarakhand High Court in India has granted legal person/living entity status to the Ganga (Ganges) and Yamuna rivers. The ruling, which emphasized the religious significance and imperiled status of the rivers, affords the Ganga and Yamuna all rights guaranteed by the constitution, including the right to sue.
Polish court approves protest ban under questionable circumstances. Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal has approved legislation that bans protests held within 100 meters of “events of national significance.” The ruling has received intense criticism because four out of the seven judges appointed by previous regimes were disqualified from ruling on the case by the eight judges appointed by the current regime; the composition of the court has been the subject of an ongoing constitutional crisis in Poland.
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