Constitution Digest

News and announcements from the Comparative Constitutions Project

November 10, 2017

High courts declare Iraqi, Spanish independence movements illegal. On Monday, the Supreme Federal Court of Iraq ruled that no region may secede from Iraq, recognizing the central government’s legal authority to prevent Kurdish secession. On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court of Spain annulled the Catalan parliament’s declaration of independence.
German court requires government to abandon gender binary. On Wednesday, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the government must recognize a third sex on birth documents. Between 0.5% and 1.7% of children are born with characteristics that do not align with binary notions of male or female, and the court held that forcing such individuals to be identified as male or female violates constitutional guarantees of privacy and non-discrimination.
Indonesian court rules government must allow public identification of native faiths. On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court of Indonesia ruled that the government must allow adherents of native faiths to disclose their religion on state ID cards, which previously included categories for only the country’s six recognized faiths. Under the previous law, members of religious minorities faced the difficult decision of either falsely professing belief in one of the six recognized faiths, or selecting no religion and risking accusations of atheism, both of which are punishable offenses in Indonesia.
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