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Azerbaijan: President Appointed His Wife as First Vice-President

(Mar. 24, 2017) On February 21, 2017, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, appointed his wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, as the First Vice-President of the Republic, in accordance with newly added article 1031 of Azerbaijan’s Constitution.  (Appointment by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan of M. A. Aliyeva as the First Vice-President of the Republic […]

Italy: Update on Legislative Electoral Reform (Italicum)

(Feb. 7, 2017) On January 25, 2017, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on the constitutionality of amendments to Italicum, the colloquial name given to the electoral reform introduced by Law No. 52 of 2015 on the election of members of the Chamber of Deputies. (Decisione sulla legge elettorale cd.Italicum, Corte Costituzionale website (Jan. […]

Gambia: State of Emergency Lifted

(Jan. 30, 2017) On January 24, 2017, Gambia’s legislature ended the state of emergency in the country and rescinded the extension of executive power that had been granted to former President Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh had lost an election in December 2016 to Adama Barrow, but for a time refused to leave office and hand over […]

Turkey: Parliamentary Commission Approves Amendments to Constitution that Would Enhance President’s Powers

(Jan. 9, 2017) On December 30, 2016, the Commission on the Constitution in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly (GNA, the parliament) approved several draft amendments to the country’s Constitution that would, among other measures, augment the powers of the president and change the government to a presidential system from the current prime minister-led system. Of an […]

United Kingdom: Identification Trial at Polls to Prevent Electoral Fraud

(Jan. 5, 2017) The Government of the United Kingdom recently announced its intention to hold trials in certain polling stations to combat electoral fraud by requiring voters to show photographic identification, such as a driving license or passport, in order to receive a ballot paper to vote.  This is one of a number of measures introduced as a result […]

Gabon: Court Confirms Election of Incumbent President

(Oct. 3, 2016) On September 24, 2016, Gabon’s Constitutional Court upheld the re-election of the country’s President, Ali Bongo Ondimba; the results of the August 27 vote, in which the margin of victory was initially reported as about 6,000 votes, have been in dispute and resulted in civil unrest. (Steven Wildberger, Gabon Court Confirms Incumbent […]

Israel: Laws Authorize Expulsion of Lawmakers Engaged in Incitement to Racism or Support of Armed Struggle Against the State

(July 21, 2016) On July 20, 2016, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Basic Law: the Knesset (Amendments No. 44) (BLK), and the Knesset Law (Amendment No. 43) (KL), both dated 5776-2016.  (Knesset website (click on Issue No. 216 (last visited July 20, 2016) (both laws in Hebrew); Basic Law: the Knesset, (5718 – 1958), […]

Burundi/East African Court of Justice: Case Brought on President’s Legitimacy

(June 16, 2016) On June 13, 2016, it was announced that the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), which is located in Arusha, Tanzania, will hear a case on the legitimacy of the President of Burundi’s third run for office. (Burundi: East African Court of Justice to Hear Case Against Burundi President’s Legitimacy, BBC WORLD […]

Vanuatu: Amendments to Reserve Seats in Parliament for Women to Be Introduced

(May 27, 2016) On May 20, 2016, the Vanuatu Minister of Justice, Ronald Warsal, stated in a radio interview that the government would introduce a bill that would reserve a certain number of seats for women in the Parliament.  (Michael Walsh, Vanuatu Paves Way for Women’s Seats in Parliament, ABC NEWS (May 20, 2016).)  The […]

Russian Federation: Constitutional Court Allows Country to Ignore ECHR Rulings

(May 18, 2016) On April 19, 2016, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (RF) ruled for the first time that a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) cannot be implemented in Russia because measures aimed at its implementation would contradict the Russian Constitution. (Press Release, RF Constitutional Court, Constitutional Court Announced […]