Recent Publications

political party finance regulation cover

Political Party Finance Regulation: Constitutional reform after the Arab Spring

July 23, 2014

Political party finance law is the set of norms governing the income and expenses of political parties. Countries transitioning from authoritarian to democratic systems often grapple with questions of how to regulate political party finance in a way that both ensures political parties can compete effectively for votes during elections, while limiting the improper influences of clientelism, vote buying, business and the media. The key questions are what the ultimate goals of the system of party finance regulation should be; which rules will best reflect those goals; and when and how to implement reforms.

icon.oxfordjournals.org_content_11_3_local_front-matter

The Turkish “model” of civil–military relations

October 4, 2013

As Egypt underwent a tumultuous military-led transition from autocracy to democracy beginning in 2011, a chorus of commentators advocated a “Turkish model” for civil–military relations in Egypt’s nascent democracy. This article takes up the task of giving content to that elusive phrase, beginning with an account of Turkish military involvement in politics and ending with an explanation of the recent exodus of the Turkish military from politics. It offers observations and lessons for other nations seeking to normalize their civil–military relations. Part of the International Journal of Constitutional Law Special Issue: Constitutional Transitions in the Middle East.

icon.oxfordjournals.org_content_11_3_local_front-matter

Between text and context: Turkey’s tradition of authoritarian constitutionalism

October 4, 2013

Constitutionalism is often understood to mean more than mere adherence to the formal terms of a constitution. However, with the example of the 1982 Turkish Constitution in mind, this article develops a theory of “authoritarian constitutionalism” as a system in which the constitution, rather than constraining the exercise of public power, is coopted to sanction oppressive uses of it. This suggests that constitutions do, in fact, “matter,” though not uniformly as a force for political liberalization. Part of the International Journal of Constitutional Law Special Issue: Constitutional Transitions in the Middle East.

icon.oxfordjournals.org_content_11_3_local_front-matter

Courts and constitutional transition: Lessons from the Turkish case

October 4, 2013

In contexts of democratization, the definition of judicial independence may require refinement, in order to take account of the special challenges of moving from the rule of the few to the rule of the many: an independent judiciary may stall legislative and constitutional reform by engaging in a form of constitutional review designed to shield elite preferences from democratic reversal. This article explores this problem through a detailed examination of a recent set of controversial constitutional cases in Turkey. Part of the International Journal of Constitutional Law Special Issue: Constitutional Transitions in the Middle East.

icon.oxfordjournals.org_content_11_3_local_front-matter

Judicial institutions, the legitimacy of Islamic state law and democratic transition in Egypt: Can a shift toward a common law model of adjudication improve the prospects of a successful democratic transition?

October 4, 2013

This article contrasts the jurisprudence of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) construing the meaning of “shari’a” with the practice of ordinary Egyptian courts construing Egypt’s civil code. The article argues that a shift from the lower courts’ positivist outlook on law to the common-law style of legal reasoning deployed by the SCC would increase the Islamic legitimacy of Egypt’s overall legal system, facilitate Egyptian courts’ reconciliation with the constitutional commitments to Islamic authenticity, modernization and human rights, and assist in Egypt’s democratic transition. Part of the International Journal of Constitutional Law Special Issue: Constitutional Transitions in the Middle East.

icon.oxfordjournals.org_content_11_3_local_front-matter

Designing Islamic constitutions: Past trends and options for a democratic future

October 4, 2013

In recent years, a growing number of countries have adopted constitutional provisions requiring that state law be consistent with Islamic law (sharia). This article explores the trends that gave rise to “sharia guarantee clauses” (SGCs) and provides a history of their incorporation into national constitutions. It then surveys a number of the remarkably varied schemes that countries have developed to interpret and enforce their SGCs, and it considers the impact that different schemes have had on society. Finally, building on this background, the article considers what types of SGC enforcement scheme, if any, are consistent with democracy. Part of the International Journal of Constitutional Law Special Issue: Constitutional Transitions in the Middle East.

icon.oxfordjournals.org_content_11_3_local_front-matter

International Journal of Constitutional Law Special Issue: Constitutional Transitions in the Middle East: Introduction

October 4, 2013

Debates over constitutional design are at the very heart of political life as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) witnesses the greatest degree of political transformation and regime change in a generation—the Arab Awakening. These momentous events mark the occasion for this ICON Symposium, “Constitutional Transitions in the Middle East.” Part of the International Journal of Constitutional Law Special Issue: Constitutional Transitions in the Middle East.

CT-DRI-BP_EN_International_Standards_for_the_Independence_of_the_Judiciary_2013

International Standards for the Independence of the Judiciary

October 1, 2013

This briefing paper, presented by Constitutional Transitions in cooperation with Democracy Reporting International, highlights the essential functions of an independent judiciary in a constitutional democracy. Drawing on a combination of both hard and soft sources of international law, the paper reveals a definition of judicial independence that can be met in various legal and constitutional contexts, while allowing courts to protect human rights, secure the rule of law, and ensure the principles of a constitutional democracy.

CT-DRI-BP-EN_Constitutional_Review_in_New_Democracies_2013

Constitutional Review in New Democracies

October 1, 2013

This briefing paper, presented by Constitutional Transitions in cooperation with Democracy Reporting International, asks key questions about designing a constitutional court. Using examples from constitutional courts around the world, it identifies the core issues that policymakers will need to address when creating a new court. It emphasizes the role of constitutional review in legitimizing new democracies, especially on the constitutionality of legislation and government action.

8_Welikala_Egypt_Parliament 1

The Legislature under the Egyptian Constitution of 2012

June 3, 2013

Egypt’s political architecture under Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian leadership and the 1971 Constitution was characterized by weak legislatures and a strong executive. This paper considers the constitutional arrangement for the form, powers and functions of Egypt’s legislature in the broader context of the framework of government established by the 2012 Constitution, and assesses whether these arrangements are likely to establish a strong legislature capable of restraining executive power. This paper is part of the 2013 Working Paper Series, “Consolidating the Arab Spring: Constitutional Transition in Egypt and Tunisia.”