Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Constitutional Law Related Abstracts

7 Rethinking the Constitutionality of Statutes: Rights-Compliant Interpretation in India and the UK

Authors: Chintan Chandrachud

Abstract:

When primary legislation is challenged for breaching fundamental rights, many courts around the world adopt interpretive techniques to avoid finding such legislation incompatible or invalid. In the UK, these techniques find sanction in section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which directs courts to interpret legislation in a manner which is compatible with European Convention rights, ‘so far as it is possible to do so’. In India, courts begin with the interpretive presumption that Parliament intended to comply with fundamental rights under the Constitution of 1949. In comparing rights-compliant interpretation of primary legislation under the Human Rights Act and the Indian Constitution, this paper makes two arguments. First, that in the absence of a section 3-type mandate, Indian courts have a smaller range of interpretive tools at their disposal in interpreting primary legislation in a way which complies with fundamental rights. For example, whereas British courts frequently read words into statutes, Indian courts consider this an inapposite interpretive technique. The second argument flows naturally from the first. Given that Indian courts have a smaller interpretive toolbox, one would imagine that ceteris paribus, Indian courts’ power to strike down legislation would be triggered earlier than the declaration of incompatibility is in the UK. However, this is not borne out in practice. Faced with primary legislation which appears to violate fundamental rights, Indian courts often reluctantly uphold the constitutionality of statutes (rather than striking them down), as opposed to British courts, which make declarations of incompatibility. The explanation for this seeming asymmetry hinges on the difference between the ‘strike down’ power and the declaration of incompatibility. Whereas the former results in the disapplication of a statute, the latter throws the ball back into Parliament’s court, if only formally.

Keywords: Judicial Review, Constitutional Law, constitution of India, UK Human Rights Act

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6 Feasibility Study of Iraq' Decomposition and Its Effects on the Region

Authors: Ebrahim Rahmani, Siyamak Moazeni

Abstract:

According to the Iraq's first constitutional law (approved 2005), Iraq is an independent with sovereignty and its governmental structure is parliamentary democratic republic and federal. Even in reforms in 2009, this article of law did not changed at all. But considering the existence of this emphasis and clarity which is mentioned in the law, different and sometimes contradictory interpretations and positions are expressed about federalism in the way that we can say, considering the importance of the matter, federalism is a focus point to create and expansion of the cold war among leaders of different groups of the country. Iraq's today political and security position has granted the suitable opportunity to Iraq's Kurdistan in appearing of the recent security crisis to increase its share from the central political power or to achieve to its independent dream. The federalism the weakest point of Iraq's territorial integrity in a way that if different groups do not come to a consensus about it and do not think about a mechanism which is accepted by all of them, this can effect on and Iraq's political stability and security. Iraq's Kurdistan follows the option of disintegration and separation under the shadow of political and security changes, even with existence of some Iraqi groups' hopes regarding the improvement of situation after parliament election and also considering Masoud Barezani's power will for separation from Iraq as well as regarding special international changes and disintegration of Karime from Ukraine and ISIS crises; concerns have been created among regional and international powers and interior players. In this article, a paradox due constitutional law about federalism, Iraq's central government view and its politicians to the matter and the regional effect of this action on region's geopolitics are reviewed as well.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Decomposition, federalism, Iraq's Kurdistan

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5 Between Legal Authority and Epistemic Competence: A Case Study of the Brazilian Supreme Court

Authors: Júlia Massadas

Abstract:

The objective of this paper is to analyze the role played by the institute of the public hearings in the Brazilian Supreme Court. The public hearings are regulated since 1999 by the Brazilian Laws nº 9.868, nº 9.882 and by the Intern Regiment of the Brazilian Supreme Court. According to this legislation, the public hearings are supposed to be called when a matter of circumstance of fact must be clarified, what can be done through the hearing of the testimonies of persons with expertise and authority in the theme related to the cause. This work aims to investigate what is the role played by the public hearings and by the experts in the Brazilian Supreme Court. The hypothesis of this research is that: (I) The public hearings in the Brazilian Supreme Court are used to uphold a rhetoric of a democratic legitimacy of the Court`s decisions; (II) The Legislative intentions have been distorted. To test this hypothesis, the adopted methodology involves an empirical study of the Brazilian jurisprudence. As a conclusion, it follows that the public hearings convened by the Brazilian Supreme Court do not correspond, in practice, to the role assigned to them by the Congress since they do not serve properly to epistemic interests. The public hearings not only do not legitimate democratically the decisions, but also, do not properly clarify technical issues.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Brazilian Supreme Court, public hearings, epistemic competence, legal authority

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4 Examining Institutional and Structural Racism to Address Persistent Racial Inequities in US Cities

Authors: Zoe Polk

Abstract:

In cities across the US, race continues to predict an individual’s likelihood to be employed, to receive a quality education, to live in a safe neighborhood, to life expectancy to contacts with the criminal justice system. Deep and pervasive disparities exist despite laws enacted at the federal, state and local level to eliminate discrimination. This paper examines the strengths of the U.S. civil rights movement in making discrimination a moral issue. Following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, cities throughout the US adopted laws that mirror the language, theories of practice and enforcement of the law. This paper argues that while those laws were relevant to the way discrimination was conducted in that time, they are limited in their ability to help cities address discrimination today. This paper reviews health indicators This paper concludes that in order for cities to create environments where race no longer predicts one’s success, cities must conduct institutional and structural racism audits.

Keywords: Social Justice, Racism, Constitutional Law, racial equity

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3 An Analytical Study on the Politics of Defection in India

Authors: Diya Sarkar, Prafulla C. Mishra

Abstract:

In a parliamentary system, party discipline is the impulse; when it falls short, the government usually falls. Conceivably, the platform of Indian politics suffers with innumerous practical disorders. The politics of defection is one such specie entailing gross miscarriage of fair conduct turning politics into a game of thrones (powers). This practice of political nomaditude can trace its seed in the womb of British House of Commons. Therein, if a legislator was found to cross the floor, the party considered him disloyal. In other words, the legislator lost his allegiance to his former party by joining another party. This very phenomenon, in practice has a two way traffic i.e. ruling party to the opposition party or vice versa. The democracies like USA, Australia and Canada were also aware of this fashion of swapping loyalties. There have been several instances of great politicians changing party allegiance, for example Winston Churchill, Ramsay McDonald, William Gladstone etc. Nevertheless, it is interesting to cite that irrespective of such practice of changing party allegiance, none of the democracies in the west ever desired or felt the need to legislatively ban defections. But, exceptionally India can be traced to have passed anti-defection laws. The politics of defection had been a unique popular phenomenon on the floor of Indian Parliamentary system gradually gulping the democratic essence and synchronization of the Federation. This study is both analytical and doctrinal, which tries to examine whether representative democracy has lost its essence due to political nomadism. The present study also analyzes the classical as well as contemporary pulse of floor crossing amidst dynastic politics in a representative democracy. It will briefly discuss the panorama of defections under the Indian federal structure in the light of the anti-defection law and an attempt has been made to add valuable suggestions to streamline remedy for the still prevalent political defections.

Keywords: Democracy, Constitutional Law, Polarization, defection, political anti-trust

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2 The Standard of Reasonableness in Fundamental Rights Adjudication under the Indian Constitution

Authors: Nandita Narayan

Abstract:

In most constitutional democracies, courts have been the gatekeepers of fundamental rights. The task of determining whether a violation is in fact justified, therefore, is judicial. Any state action, legislative or administrative, has to be tested by the application of two standards – first, the action must be within the scope of the authority conferred by law and, second, it must be reasonable. If any action, within the scope of the authority conferred by law is found to be unreasonable, it will be struck down as unconstitutional or ultra vires. This paper seeks to analyse the varying standards of reasonableness adopted by the Supreme Court of India where there is a violation of fundamental rights by state action. This is sought to be done by scrutinising case laws and classifying the legality of the violation under one of three levels of judicial scrutiny—strict, intermediate, or weak. The paper concludes by proving that there is an irregularity in the standards adopted, thus resulting in undue discretionary power of the judiciary which strikes at the very concept of reasonableness and ultimately becomes arbitrary in nature. This conclusion is reached by the comparison of reasonableness review of fundamental rights in other jurisdictions such as the USA and Canada.

Keywords: Judicial Review, Constitutional Law, India, Fundamental Rights, Reasonableness

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1 State of Emergency in Turkey (July 2016-July 2018): A Case of Utilization of Law as a Political Instrument

Authors: Neslihan Cetin

Abstract:

In this study, we will aim to analyze how the period of the state of emergency in Turkey lead to gaps in law and the formation of areas in which there was a complete lack of supervision. The state of emergency that was proclaimed following the coup attempt of July 15, 2016, continued until July 18, 2018, that is to say, 2 years, without taking into account whether the initial circumstances persisted. As part of this work, we claim that the state of emergency provided the executive power with important tools for governing, which it took constant use. We can highlight how the concern for security at the center of the basic considerations of the people in a city was exploited as a foundation by the military power in Turkey to interfere in the political, legal, and social spheres. The constitutions of 1924, 1961, and 1982 entrusted the army with the role of protector of the integrity of the state. This became an instrument at the hands of the military to legitimize their interventions in the name of public security. Its interventions in the political field are indeed politically motivated. The constitution, the legislative, and regulatory systems are modified and monopolized by the military power that dominates the legislative, regulatory, and judicial power, leading to a state of exception. With the political convulsions over a decade, the government was able to usurp the instrument called the state of exception. In particular, the decree-laws of the state of emergency, which the executive makes frequent and generally abusive use, became instruments in the hands of the government to take measures that it wishes to escape from the rules and the pre-established control mechanisms. Thus the struggle against the political opposition becomes more unbalanced and destructive. To this must also be added the ineffectiveness of ex-post controls and domestic remedies. This research allows us to stress how a legal concept, such as ‘the state of emergency’ can be politically exploited to make it a legal weapon that continues to produce victims.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Rule of Law, state of emergency, instrumentalization of law

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