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With its emphasis on emerging and cutting-edge debates in the study of comparative constitutional law and politics, its suitability for both research and teaching use, and its distinguished and diverse cast of contributors, this handbook is a must-have for scholars and instructors alike. This versatile volume combines the depth and rigor of a scholarly reference work with features for teaching in law and social science courses. Its interdisciplinary case-study approach provides political and historical as well as legal context: each modular chapter offers an overview of a topic and a jurisdiction, followed by a case study that simultaneously contextualizes both. Its forward-looking and highly diverse selection of topics and jurisdictions fills gaps in the literature on the Global South as well as the West. A timely section on challenges to liberal constitutional democracy addresses pressing concerns about democratic backsliding and illiberal and/or authoritarian regimes.
This chapter discusses legal-ethical challenges posed by the emergence of emotional artificial intelligence (AI) and its manipulative capabilities. The focus lies on the European legal framework and on the use of emotional AI for commercial business-to-consumer purposes, although some observations are also valid for the public sector, or in the context of political micro-targeting or fake news. On the basis of a literature review, the chapter addresses privacy and data protection concerns, challenges to individual autonomy and human dignity as overarching values. It also presents a number of responses, specifically those suggesting the introduction of new (constitutional) rights to mitigate the potential negative effects of such developments and it provides the foundation for a future research agenda in that direction.
In this chapter I explore how Irish unification may affect the attitude of the Irish courts towards minority rights adjudication. First I examine minority rights protection under the current Constitution of Ireland. I show that the Irish judiciary have not developed an understanding that their constitutional function includes a particular role in ensuring the rights of minorities specifically are protected against attack. I then consider how unification, and the incorporation into the Irish constitutional order of a large and politically significant minority - the Ulster Scots/Ulster British population of Northern Ireland – could affect judicial attitudes towards minority rights. I ground this analysis on comparative constitutional research, particularly of American and Canadian jurisprudence. In this, building on the contribution of Doyle, Kenny, and McCrudden in this volume, I also consider how maintaining consociationalism for what is presently Northern Ireland upon unification may also inform the judiciary’s understanding of their role in adjudicating upon minority rights claims.
This article explores the regulation of sex work in South Africa and follows the trajectory of the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) in investigating whether sex work should be decriminalized. The legal regulation of sex work is a hotly contested topic. South Africa currently criminalizes the selling and buying of sex, but policy reform has been on the cards since the SALRC launched its project on the topic in the early 2000s. As most sex work policy responses are grounded in feminist theory, the article analyses the main theoretical ideologies and questions the influence of these ideologies in structuring sex work law reform in the South African context. The author calls for a more inclusive understanding of feminism and sex work, and the need to acknowledge the importance of rights discourse in furthering political growth and protecting sex workers’ constitutional rights.
French law counters the idea that positive dimensions of free speech are not part of the freedom, or that media pluralism is distinct from free communication. Instead, protecting pluralism is central to French constitutional law. The approach echoes ideas of sustained plural public speech raised in earlier chapters. French law aims for an effective freedom for recipients. For people to express opinions that have political effect, as is said to occur in a democracy, people must be able to form opinions first. Democracy depends on plural public speech, involving multiple diverse outlets and transparency over information sources and financing. The French example is interesting for what it says about free speech and democracy, but what the requirements actually amount to is less than expected. A great deal of detail is left to actors beyond courts. In part, this reflects French traditions of protecting rights, although they are changing. Overall, strong statements about pluralism do not translate into as precise or demanding constitutional requirements as they might, but trends to date suggest more could eventuate.
This chapter outlines the structural diversity of public speech that democratic government requires, and the claim that democracy entails positive freedom of communication, not only a negative freedom or liberty. The state has obligations to support communicative freedom; both positive and negative dimensions of free speech need protection for democracy to have substantial communicative legitimacy. This book, often using historical comparative material, examines speech and varied forms of democracy; what it would mean for society to have a voice, formulate judgments and make claims of government that are heard; and free speech law’s role in the voice, judgments and claims. The chapter explains terminology, challenges in the approach and sources used: media studies, human rights, political theory and legal writing and case law. Further possible sources are considered, including analyses based on communication rights and republican freedom. The book is not an exegesis of any one legal system but explores ideas and techniques relevant to positive dimensions of free speech. The aim is show how law should treat positive free speech and raise questions for democratic systems.
Waluchow considers inclusive and exclusive legal positivism, first explaining that the idea behind the separation thesis is that there is nothing in the bare notion of law that guarantees that law has any degree of moral merit. He presents Ronald Dworkin’s challenge to the separation thesis, i.e., that since law necessarily consists not only of the so-called settled law (statutes, precedents, etc.) but also of the principles of political morality that are part of the best constructive interpretation of the settled law, the connection between what the law is and what the law ought to be is much stronger than the separation thesis allows for. He considers responses to Dworkin’s challenge: exclusive positivists insist that the separation thesis, properly understood, has it that, as a conceptual matter, legal validity cannot depend on morality, while inclusive positivists maintain that the thesis has it that legal validity can, but need not, depend on morality. Finally, Waluchow rejects Joseph Raz’s argument from authority, which supports the exclusivist interpretation, while accepting Jules Coleman’s argument from convention, which supports the inclusivist interpretation.
This article examines the principle of legality, a principle of statutory interpretation that requires clear statutory words to oust basic common-law norms. The principle is of growing importance in the Supreme Court's public law jurisprudence, yet it has garnered little scholarly attention. This article offers a comprehensive account of the principle, unpacking its core elements and identifying key controversies. The article reveals that lying beyond this apparently straightforward principle is a complex and elaborate jurisprudence, which raises fundamental issues of principle, policy and judicial legitimacy.
We argue that Americans’ policy attitudes on firearm availability are influenced by the identity of the prospective owner. We use an experiment to demonstrate that attitudes towards gun control/availability are influenced by both race and gender; whether subjects are primed to think of African-Americans versus whites or men versus women has a substantial impact on the degree to which they support firearm access. We find that for many white Americans, Black men and white women stand on opposite poles – priming white Americans with the thought of a Black man decreases support for gun availability, whereas priming the thought of a white woman increases support for gun availability. Further, the magnitude of this effect is quite large – comparable to the difference between Democrats and Republicans. These findings underscore the importance of thinking about the complicated role identity groups play in understanding Americans’ preferences for government (in)action, even in policy areas with explicit Constitutional mandates.
International law often fails to regulate cross-border affairs due to a lack of consent or pace among the states. As a consequence, transnational governance arrangements, which are established by contract mainly among non-state actors, step in to fill the gap. The arrangement that allocates domains on the Internet offers the most sophisticated example to date. This chapter argues that a new approach to the horizontal effect of constitutional rights may both account for the emergence of such arrangements and offer a solution to the problem of their legitimacy. According to this understanding, constitutional rights at the same time enable and restrict transnational regulation. In this way, they guarantee a comprehensive protection of freedom under conditions of globalisation. As long as transnational governance arrangements are not able to generate constitutional rights of their own, however, the national legal orders must complement them. Hence, the legitimacy of law in world society may only be ensured through a dialectical process of internal and external constitutionalisation, resulting from the interaction of its various constituents.
Chapter 1 provides the background for the story told in the book. In the nineteenth century, when mobilizing to ban abortion, physicians insisted that outlawing the procedure would strengthen the traditional family and improve the nation’s genetic stock by forcing Anglo-Saxon women to have more children. While abortion was illegal for decades, physicians still performed the procedure, justifying it as necessary to save women’s life. But in the 1940s and 1950s, obstetric care improved, making it harder to invoke this justification. Doctors organized to seek the reform of abortion laws, initially arguing that reform would improve women’s health. In the 1960s, however, reformers also argued that legal abortion would prevent the birth of severely disabled children and preserve scarce environmental resources. In the 1960s, as groups formed to defend criminal abortion laws, pro-lifers emphasized arguments about a right to life as a way to expand their movement beyond its existing Catholic membership. As more feminists joined the abortion-rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, grassroots activists demanded the outright repeal of all abortion restrictions, and reformers emphasized rights-based claims of their own. Roe v. Wade made rights-based claims even more important to the discussion.
Asha Kaushal takes as her subjects the relationships between immigration law and constitutional law, and between external and internal sovereignty. Kaushal focuses in particular on the importance of immigration to the constitution of ‘the people’. As she writes: ‘Immigration is both an external objective of the constitutional order and a modifier of that order’. Her chapter approaches these connections between outward projection and inward constitution by way of a conceptual and historical exploration of the relationship between citizenship and constituent power. These concepts, it turns out, surprisingly, are not often discussed in the same frame. Kaushal details what she calls the ‘division of labour between immigration law and constitutional law’ and the foundational role of the internal/external distinction in that division, through a rich historical overview ranging from Emer de Vattel’s public international law to modern Canadian judicial decisions on the Charter’s demands in the context of immigration law.
Karen Knop takes up the question ‘[h]ow do we study doorways and the constitution?’ and offers an answer in a deliberately ‘explanatory and experimental vein’. Her contribution focuses on the curious introduction, by the Supreme Court of Canada, of ‘comity’ as a principle of interpretation for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Curious, because, as Knop writes, while the ‘constitutionalization of comity is familiar’, notably in the area of private international law, ‘the “comitization” of the Constitution is not’. Knop analyzes four leading decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, each of which figured ‘something(s) called “comity”’ as ‘a way in which the existence of, dependence on and regard for the Other figure in the constitution’. Using these four cases, Knop is able to elaborate a history of ‘cosmopolitanism introduced into the Constitution by comity’, that both reaches further back and is richer – in including also private legal relations – than familiar accounts of the post-Second World War emergence of international human rights regimes in public international law.
Audrey Macklin engages with Canadian case law on the ‘deportability’ of non-citizen residents, as a case study on how the protection offered by constitutional rights guarantees is undermined in the field of immigration law. This project, she emphasizes, ‘is not a “whodunit” – everyone knows the culprit is sovereignty, conventionally understood’. The question to be explored, rather is how this conception of sovereignty and its exclusionary effects are ‘operationalized in a modern constitution, and at what cost’. Macklin explores this operationalization of sovereignty in the case law on the state’s right to exclude. The guiding image for Macklin’s investigation is not so much the two-faced image of Janus, but, following the sociologist Didier Bigo, the metaphor of the ‘Mobius strip’ – ‘a rectangular ribbon that has been twisted and then joined’. Whether any claim for constitutional protection raises what Macklin calls an ‘inside problem’ for a constitutional order, is a matter of perspective. Importantly, this alternative metaphor does not deny the existence of insides and outsides: ‘it does not contemplate a borderless world, but rather one where borders are relational and perspectival [&] dynamic and contingent, but no less real’.
This chapter examines the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark First Amendment religious liberty cases to show how the judiciary has come to terms with the disputes that arise over religious liberty. The religion clauses are often seen as upholding the concept of individual rights and defending religious liberty against religious majoritarianism. However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the religion clauses often belies this perception. This chapter demonstrates that the religion clauses largely epitomize majoritarianism. That is, rather than protecting religious minorities, the scope and protection of the religion clauses reflect both the trajectory of the Supreme Court’s broader constitutional rights jurisprudence, as well as the wider political landscape, both as it relates to judicial politics as well as contemporary social discourse.
International law sometimes fails to regulate cross-border affairs due to a lack of consent or pace among the states. As a consequence, transnational governance arrangements, which are established by contract mainly among non-state actors, step in to fill the gap. The arrangement that allocates domains on the Internet offers the most sophisticated example to date. The present article argues that a new approach to the horizontal effect of constitutional rights may both account for the emergence of such arrangements and offer a solution to the problem of their legitimacy. According to this understanding, constitutional rights at the same time enable and restrict transnational regulation. In this way, they guarantee a comprehensive protection of freedom under conditions of globalisation. As long as transnational governance arrangements are not able to generate constitutional rights of their own, however, the national legal orders must complement them. Hence, the legitimacy of law in world society may only be ensured through a dialectical process of internal and external constitutionalisation, resulting from the interaction of its various constituents.
The value of civility is grounded upon acceptance of the legitimacy of moral disagreement and the need for mutual respect and cooperation in the face of such disagreement. The distinction between rights and goods plays a fundamental role in the form of civility espoused by liberal society. Current models of constitutional rights and proportionality, in a variety of ways, erode that distinction and thereby place the liberal model of civility in jeopardy.
The wording of article 47 of Kenya's Constitution of 2010 is almost identical to that of the section 33 rights to just administrative action in South Africa's 1996 Constitution. Like section 33, article 47 mandates the enactment of legislation to give effect to these constitutional rights, and Kenya's Fair Administrative Action Act 4 of 2015 was strongly influenced by the equivalent South African legislation, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA). South Africa can thus be regarded as a sort of laboratory for Kenyan administrative justice. The aim of this article is to highlight some of the South African experience in relation to section 33 and the PAJA in the hope that Kenya will learn from some of South Africa's mistakes. It argues that the Kenyan courts should avoid following the example of their South African counterparts in allowing their mandated legislation to become almost redundant.
This article explains why and how some Canadians have asserted a right to possess firearms from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. It demonstrates that several late-nineteenth-century politicians asserted a right to arms for self-defence purposes based on the English Bill of Rights. This “right” was forgotten until opponents of gun control dusted it off in the late twentieth century. Firearm owners began to assert such a right based upon the English Bill of Rights, William Blackstone, and the English common law. Their claims remained judicially untested until recent cases finally undermined such arguments.
For those disadvantaged by bias and barriers based on socioeconomic status (SES), constitutions can provide a defense against discrimination and a foundation for greater equality in social, economic, and political life. In light of the near-global commitment to a multi-dimensional poverty reduction agenda and the increased inclusion of marginalized groups in constitution-drafting processes, this article examines how 193 constitutions address SES and how this has changed over time. The majority of constitutions guarantee equal access to primary education across SES (59%) and prohibit discrimination on this basis (58%). Fewer guarantee access to healthcare (20%), equal rights in employment (15%), eligibility for legislative office (4%), and voting rights (4%) across SES. Constitutions adopted after 1990 are considerably more likely to protect equal rights across SES than older ones. However, 25% of constitutions – including 17% of those adopted since 1990 – restrict political participation based on socioeconomic characteristics.