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Eternity clauses in post-conflict and post-authoritarian constitution-making: Promise and limits

  • SILVIA SUTEU (a1)
Abstract:
Abstract:

The literature on entrenchment as a means to achieve constitutional endurance has grown in recent years, as has the scholarship on unamendable provisions as a mechanism intended to safeguard the constitutional project. However, little attention has been paid to the promise and limits of eternity clauses in transitional settings. Their appeal in this context is great. In an effort to safeguard hard-fought agreements, drafters often declare unamendable what they consider the fundamentals to the political deal: the number of presidential term limits, the commitment to human rights and to democracy, the form of the state (whether republican or monarchical), the territorial integrity of the state, the territorial division of power, secularism or the official religion. This article explores the distinctive role and problems posed by eternity clauses in transitional constitution-building, as guarantees of the pre-constitutional political settlement in such fragile periods. The article also compares unamendability to other techniques of constitution-making in uncertain times, such as sunset clauses, deferring hard choices and other forms of constitutional incrementalism.

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*Email: s.suteu@ucl.ac.uk
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1 LevinsonS, ‘Designing an Amendment Process’ in FerejohnJ et al., Constitutional Culture and Democratic Rule (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001) 275.

2 R Albert, ‘The Expressive Function of Constitutional Amendment Rules’ (2013) 59(2) McGill Law Journal 230–1. See also, generally, RosenfeldM, The Identity of the Constitutional Subject: Selfhood, Citizenship, Culture, and Community (Routledge, New York, NY, 2010) and JacobsohnGJ, Constitutional Identity (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2010) (both discussing unamendable provisions as embodying commitments to the constitutional identity of a given polity).

3 See, inter alia, PJ Yap, ‘The Conundrum of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments’ (2015) 4(1) Global Constitutionalism 114; C Bernal, ‘Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments in the Case Study of Colombia: An Analysis of the Justification and Meaning of the Constitutional Replacement Doctrine’ (2013) 11(2) International Journal of Constitutional Law 339; Y Roznai, ‘Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments—The Migration and Success of a Constitutional Idea’ (2013) 61 American Journal of Comparative Law 657; G Halmai, ‘Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments: Constitutional Courts as Guardians of the Constitution?’ (2012) 19(2) Constellations 182; Y Roznai and S Yolcu, ‘An Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendment—The Turkish Perspective: A Comment on the Turkish Constitutional Court’s Headscarf Decision’ (2012) 10(1) International Journal of Constitutional Law 175; MF Mohallem, ‘Immutable Clauses and Judicial Review in India, Brazil and South Africa: Expanding Constitutional Courts’ Authority’ (2011) 15(5) The International Journal of Human Rights 765; R Albert, ‘Constitutional Handcuffs’ (2010) 42(3) Arizona State Law Journal 663; R Albert, ‘Nonconstitutional Amendments’ (2009) 22(1) The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 5; and K Gözler, Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments: A Comparative Study (Ekin Press, Bursa, 2008).

4 See, inter alia, KrishnaswamyS, Democracy and Constitutionalism in India: A Study on the Basic Structure Doctrine (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2009); and K Williams, ‘When a Constitutional Amendment Violates the “Substantive Core”: The Czech Constitutional Court’s September 2009 Early Elections Decision’ (2011) 36 Review of Central and Eastern European Law 33.

5 Roznai (n 3) 667.

6 Constitutional Petition No 12 of 2010 etc, Supreme Court of Pakistan, 5 August 2015.

7 L Aucoin, ‘Introduction’ in LE Miller and L Aucoin (eds), Framing the State in Times of Transition: Case Studies in Constitution Making (United States Institute for Peace, Washington, DC, 2010) xviii.

8 Albert, ‘Constitutional Handcuffs’ (n 3) 666–7.

9 Albert (n 2) 245.

10 Ibid.

11 A Bonime-Blanc, ‘Constitution Making and Democratization: The Spanish Paradigm’ in Miller and Aucoin (n 7) 417. See also JJ Linz and A Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 1996) 3 (defining the end point of a democratic transition); and, broadly, JJ Linz, ‘Transitions to Democracy’ (1990) 13(3) The Washington Quarterly 143.

12 See J Widner, ‘Constitution-Writing in Post-Conflict Settings: An Overview’ (2008) 49(4) William and Mary Law Review 1513.

13 V Hart, ‘Constitution-Making and the Transformation of Conflict’ (2001) 26(2) Peace & Change 165.

14 K Samuels, ‘Post-Conflict Peace-Building and Constitution-Making’ (2006) 26(2) Chicago Journal of International Law 2.

15 Bonime-Blanc in Miller and Aucoin (n 7) 422.

16 Hart (n 13) 156.

17 On the complex interplay between peace agreements and constitutions, see C Bell, On the Law of Peace: Peace Agreements and the Lex Pacificatoria (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) 19; and F Ní Aoláin, DF Haynes and N Cahn, On the Frontlines: Gender, War, and the Post-Conflict Process (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011) 204.

18 DL Horowitz, ‘Conciliatory Institutions and Constitutional Processes in Post-Conflict States’ (2008) 49(4) William and Mary Law Review 1230.

19 Ibid 1227–30.

20 Ibid 1226–7.

21 For a discussion of the problems of eternity clauses creating an internal constitutional hierarchy, see Albert, ‘Constitutional Handcuffs’ (n 3) 683–4.

22 FinnJE, Constitutions in Crisis: Political Violence and the Rule of Law: Political Violence and the Rule of Law (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1991).

23 For more on the drafting process, see ‘The Constitution-Making Process in Tunisia: Final Report 2011–2014’, The Carter Center, 15 April 2015, 68–71 (hereinafter ‘Carter Center Report’), available at <http://www.cartercenter.org/news/publications/peace/democracy_publications/tunisia-peace-reports.html>; and J Gluck and M Brandt, ‘Participatory and Inclusive Constitution Making: Giving Voice to the Demands of Citizens in the Wake of the Arab Spring’ (United States Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, 2015) 7–10, available at <http://www.usip.org/publications/participatory-and-inclusive-constitution-making>.

24 See Loi Constituante no. 2011-6 du 16 décembre 2011, portant organisation provisoire des pouvoirs publics; and Décret-loi no. 2011-14 du 23 mars 2011, portant organisation provisoire des pouvoirs publics.

25 E Gamha, ‘Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly: How Long Will It Last?’, Tunisia Live, 10 October 2011, available at <http://www.tunisia-live.net/2011/10/10/constituent-assembly-what-about-its-duration/>.

26 S Zemni, ‘The Extraordinary Politics of the Tunisian Revolution: The Process of Constitution Making’ (2015) 20(1) Mediterranean Politics 2.

27 S Stearns, ‘Kerry: Tunisia’s New Constitution Is Model for Arab World’, Voice of America, 18 February 2014, available at <http://www.voanews.com/content/kerry-visits-tunisia-amid-democratic-transition/1853607.html>.

28 The Nobel Committee, ‘The Nobel Peace Prize for 2015’, Press Release, 10 October 2015, available at <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2015/press.html>.

29 C Sarsar, ‘The Transitional Governments’ in H Redissi et al. (eds), La transition démocratique en Tunisie, Etat des lieux: Les acteurs (Diwen Edition, Tunis, 2012) 15–34 cited in A Boubakri, ‘Interpreting the Tunisian Revolution: Beyond Bou’azizi’ in L Sadiki (ed), Routledge Handbook of the Arab Spring: Rethinking Democratization (Routledge, Abingdon, 2015) 74.

30 RousselinM, ‘Is Religion Truly the Main Source of Cleavage in the Tunisian Party Landscape?’ in RousselinM and SmithC (eds), The Tunisian Constitutional Process: Main Actors and Key Issues (Centre for Global Cooperation Research Global Dialogues 7, Duisburg, 2015) 37.

31 T Heneghan, ‘Tunisia’s Islamist-Led Government Rejects Laws to Enforce Religion’, Tunis Reuters, 5 November 2011, available at <https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/05/175612.html>. See also Carter Center Report (23) 80; and M Böckenförde, ‘The Dynamics of Comprehensive Constitution-Building: Religion and the Concept of Twin Tolerations in Tunisia’ in Rousselin and Smith (n 30) 27.

32 Böckenförde (n 31) fn 15.

33 Ibid 27.

34 Rousselin (n 30) 36.

35 Ibid 39.

36 M Hachemaoui, ‘Tunisia at a Crossroads: Which Rules for Which Transition?’, SWP Research Paper, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, August 2013, 25, available at <http://www.swp-berlin.org/en/publications/swp-research-papers/swp-research-paper-detail/article/tunisia_which_rules_for_which_transition.html>.

37 Ibid 26–7. See also ML Marks, ‘Convince, Coerce, or Compromise? Ennahda’s Approach to Tunisia’s Constitution’, Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper, No 10, February 2014, 26–8, available at <http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2014/02/10-ennahda-tunisia-constitution-marks>.

38 R Hinnebusch, ‘Introduction: Understanding the Consequences of the Arab Uprisings – Starting Points and Divergent Trajectories’ (2015) 22(2) Democratization 212; and F Volpi and E Stein, ‘Islamism and the State after the Arab Uprisings: Between People Power and State Power’ (2015) 22(2) Democratization 287.

39 E Goldberg, ‘Arab Transitions and the Old Elite’, The Washington Post, 9 December 2014, available at <https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/12/09/arab-transitions-and-the-old-elite/>.

40 R Hinnebusch, ‘Globalization, Democratization, and the Arab Uprising: The International Factor in MENA’s Failed Democratization’ (2015) 22(2) Democratization 350.

41 ‘The UN Constitutional: A Newsletter on United Nations Constitutional Support’, Issue 2, Spring/Summer 2014, 16–17, available at <http://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/TheUNConstitutional_Issue2.pdf>. See also S Besbes, ‘L’ONU – Acteur du Processus Transitionnel en Tunisie’, Tunisia in Transition: German-Arab Research Group, Working Paper, December 2013, 6, available at <http://tunisia-in-transition.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Working-Paper-Salma.pdf>.

42 ‘Opinion on the Final Draft Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia Adopted by the Venice Commission at its 96th Plenary Session (Venice, 11–12 October 2013)’, CDL-AD(2013)032, 17 October 2013 (hereinafter ‘Opinion on the Final Draft Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia’).

43 The texts of the drafts may be found at ‘Constitutional history of Tunisia’, ConstitutionNet, available at <http://www.constitutionnet.org/country/constitutional-history-tunisia>.

44 Art 114(1) of the Draft Constitution of the Tunisian Republic, 22 April 2013.

45 ‘Enhancing the Rule of Law and Guaranteeing Human Rights in the Constitution: A Report on the Constitutional Reform Process in Tunisia’, International Commission of Jurists, 2013, available at <http://icj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/TUNISIA-CONSTITUTION-REPORT-FINAL.pdf>.

46 ‘Constitutional Review in New Democracies’, The Center for Constitutional Transitions and Democracy Reporting International, Briefing Paper No 40, September 2013, 1, available at <http://constitutionaltransitions.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/CT-DRI-BP-EN_Constitutional_Review_in_New_Democracies_2013.pdf>.

47 Opinion on the Final Draft Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia, paras 165–82.

48 See, generally, Gözler (n 3).

49 Y Bellamine, ‘Tunisie - Projet et proposition de loi sur la Cour Constitutionnelle: Ce qu’il faut savoir’, Huffington Post Tunisie, 1 September 2015, available at <http://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/2015/09/01/projet-proposition-loi-cour-constitutionnelle_n_8071672.html>. See also ‘Opinion on the Draft Institutional Law of the Constitutional Court of Tunisia Adopted by the Venice Commission at its 104th Plenary Session (Venice, 23–24 October 2015), CDL-AD(2015)024, 26 October 2015.

50 An example would include Ukraine’s art 157, which barred amendments ‘oriented toward the liquidation of the independence or violation of the territorial indivisibility of Ukraine’. The 2014 Crimean crisis was a blunt demonstration of the impotence of state independence or territorial integrity as constitutional principles and exposed them as serving a mostly aspirational function. See Y Roznai and S Suteu, ‘The Eternal Territory? The Crimean Crisis and Ukraine’s Territorial Integrity as an Unamendable Constitutional Principle’ (2015) 16(3) German Law Journal 570.

51 Y Roznai, Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments: A Study of the Nature and Limits of Constitutional Amendment Powers, a thesis submitted to the Department of Law of the London School of Economics for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, London, February 2014, at 30.

52 D Baranger, ‘The Language of Eternity: Judicial Review of the Amending Power in France (or the Absence Thereof)’ (2011) 44 Israeli Law Review 403.

53 Decision No 62-20DC, 6 November 1962; Decision No 92-308DC, 9 April 1992; and Decision No 2003-469DC, 26 March 2003. See also discussion in Baranger ibid 391–8.

54 M Eljarh, ‘What if Libya’s Political Dialogue Fails?’, Atlantic Council, 2 October 2015, available at <http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/what-if-libya-s-political-dialogue-fails>; and J Tilouine, ‘Libye: le Guide est mort, vive le roi!’, Jeune Afrique, 30 April 2014, available at <http://www.jeuneafrique.com/133647/politique/libye-le-guide-est-mort-vive-le-roi/>.

55 Laurence Tribe discusses this scenario as a potential violation of art IV, section 4 of the US constitution, which declares that ‘the United States shall guarantee to every State … a Republican Form of Government’; L Tribe, The Invisible Constitution (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) 90.

56 See art 178 of the constitution of Algeria, art 120 of that of Bahrain, art 143 of that of Moldova, art 152 of that of Romania, and art 4 of that of Turkey.

57 Opinion on the Final Draft Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia, para 211.

58 See also M Schwartzberg, Democracy and Legal Change (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2009) at 47 for a similar point on the entrenchment of official languages in Azerbaijan and Romania.

59 Case No 1992/1 (Political Party Dissolution), Decision No: 1993/1, 14 July 1993, cited in D Kogacioglu, ‘Progress, Unity, and Democracy: Dissolving Political Parties in Turkey’ (2004) 38(3) Law & Society Review 459 and, generally, 445, 447.

60 Hachemaoui (n 36) 25.

61 Marks (n 37) 15, 17.

62 Ibid 17.

63 Hachemaoui (n 36) 25.

64 The main difference between Islamists and secularists on this point has been said to be their respective attitudes to individual rights: as an end in themselves for the latter, versus as only instruments for the moral development of the community for the former. See MarzoukiN, ‘From Resistance to Governance: The Category of Civility in the Political Theory of Tunisian Islamists’ in GanaN (ed), The Making of the Tunisian Revolution: Contexts, Architects, Prospects (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2013) 212–13.

65 Opinion on the Final Draft Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia, para 15.

66 Ibid, paras 27–37.

67 Ibid, para 32.

68 Hachemaoui (n 36) 26.

69 Farida Laabidi cited in Marks (n 37) 21.

70 E Bousbih and A Yaalaoui, ‘The Interplay of Politics and Religion in the New Tunisian Constitution: A Legal Analysis’ in Rousselin and Smith (n 30) 20 and 17.

71 Ibid 22 and Böckenförde (n 31) 28.

72 M Ben Lamine, ‘L’interprétation de l’article 1er de la Constitution tunisienne au regard de la liberté de conscience: Quel risque?’, CCMO: Cercle des Chercheurs sur le Moyen-Orient, 19 October 2010, 2, available at <https://cerclechercheursmoyenorient.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/linterpretation-de-larticle-1er-de-la-constitution-tunisienne-au-regard-de-la-liberte-de-conscience-quel-risque/>.

73 Such as the entrenchment of Islam in the constitutions of Algeria (art 178), Bahrain (art 120), Iran (art 177) or Morocco (art 100).

74 Such as the entrenchment of secularism in the Constitutions of Angola (art 236), Congo (art 220), Portugal (art 288) or Turkey (art 4).

75 On this point, see HashimzaiMQ, ‘The Separation of Powers and the Problem of Constitutional Interpretation in Afghanistan’ in GroteR and RöderTJ (eds), Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012) 671–2. See also KM Abou El Fadl et al., Democracy and Islam in the New Constitution of Afghanistan (RAND, Santa Monica, CA, 2003).

76 R Albert, ‘The Unamendable Core of the United States Constitution’ in A Koltay (ed), Comparative Perspectives on the Fundamental Freedom of Expression (Wolters Kluwer, Budapest, 2015) 5, available at <http://works.bepress.com/richardalbert/46/>.

77 See Jacobsohn (n 2).

78 Hachemaoui (n 36) 25; and Human Rights Watch, ‘Tunisia: Revise the Draft Constitution: An Analysis of Human Rights Concerns’, 13 May 2013, available at <https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/13/tunisia-revise-draft-constitution>.

79 Human Rights Watch (n 78).

80 Marks (n 37) 25.

81 Ibid 26.

82 See C Gall, ‘Tunisian Constitution, Praised for Balance, Nears Passage’, The New York Times, 14 January 2014, available at <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/world/africa/tunisian-constitution-praised-for-balance-nears-passage.html>; and S Mersch, ‘Tunisia’s Compromise Constitution’, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 21 January 2014, available at <http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/?fa=54260>.

83 See Algeria (art 178(5)), Angola (art 236(e)), Brazil (art 60(4)IV), the Central African Republic (art 101), Chad (art 223), Congo (art 185), the Democratic Republic of Congo (art 220), Ethiopia (art 10), Guatemala (art 40 rendered unamendable by art 281), Kosovo (art 144(3)), Moldova (art 142(2)), Morocco (art 175), Mozambique (art 292(d)), Namibia (art 131), Portugal (art 288(d)), Qatar (art 146), Romania (art 152(2)), Russia (art 135(1)), São Tomé and Principe (art 154(d)), Somalia (art 112(3)(d)), Turkey (art 2 rendered unamendable by art 4) and Ukraine (art 157).

84 Albert (n 76) 6. See also Albert, ‘Constitutional Handcuffs’ (n 3) 685–7.

85 LorenzN-LA, GroussotX and PeturssonGT, The European Human Rights Culture – A Paradox of Human Rights Protection in Europe? (Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden, 2013) 209.

86 The Klass case (30 BVerfGE 1, 24 (1970)), cited in ‘Final Draft Report: On Constitutional Amendment Procedures’, European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), CDL(2009)168, 4 December 2009, fn 161.

87 Şahin v Turkey App No 44774/98, 10 November 2005.

88 ‘Democratisation Process in Turkey in the Light of a New Constitution’, Conference ‘Turkey in Europe’, Keynote Speech by Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, 2 November 2010, available at <http://www.venice.coe.int/Newsletter/NEWSLETTER_2010_04/8_Speech_TUR_EN.html>.

89 L Garlicki and ZA Garlicka, ‘External Review of Constitutional Amendments? International Law as a Norm of Reference’ (2011) 44 Israel Law Review 343.

90 R Dixon and D Landau, ‘Transnational Constitutionalism and a Limited Doctrine of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendment’ (2015) 13(3) International Journal of Constitutional Law 606.

91 An example not involving human rights is the Lisbon decision, Case No 2 BvE 2/08, 30 June 2009, in which Germany’s Constitutional Court pushed back against European integration on the grounds that it infringed upon the country’s unamendable constitutional identity as rooted in art 79(3) of the constitution.

92 See Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Case No AP-2678/06, 29 September 2006; and Case of Sejdić and Finci v Bosnia and Herzegovina, App Nos 27996/06 and 34836/06, 22 December 2009.

93 S Issacharoff, ‘Constitutional Courts and Democratic Hedging’, 99 The Georgetown Journal (2011) 971.

94 F Volpi, ‘Explaining (and Re-explaining) Political Change in the Middle East during the Arab Spring: Trajectories of Democratization and of Authoritarianism in the Maghreb’ (2012) 20(6) Democratization 978.

95 HabeebWM, The Middle East in Turmoil: Conflict, Revolution, and Change (Greenwood, Santa Barbara, CA, 2012) 157.

96 Marks (n 37) 28.

97 Among these are: the Central African Republic (art 108), El Salvador (art 248), Guatemala (art 281), Honduras (art 374), Mauritania (art 99), Guinea (art 154), Madagascar (art 163), Niger (art 136), Qatar (art 147), The Republic of Congo (art 185) and Rwanda (art 193).

98 Opinion on the Final Draft Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia, para 215.

99 Albert, ‘Constitutional Handcuffs’ (n 3) 688.

100 G Maltz, ‘The Case for Presidential Term Limits’ (2007) 18(1) Journal of Democracy 128.

101 T Ginsburg, J Melton and Z Elkins, ‘On the Evasion of Executive Term Limits’ (2011) 52(6) William and Mary Law Review 1840.

102 Maltz (n 100) 129.

103 Ginsburg, Melton and Elkins (n 101) 1818–27.

104 See T Ginsburg, Z Elkins and J Melton, ‘Do Executive Term Limits Cause Constitutional Crises?’ in T Ginsburg (ed), Comparative Constitutional Design, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012) 370.

105 Ginsburg, Melton and Elkins (n 101) 1814.

106 Ibid 1868.

107 Ibid 1814.

108 For an overview of events, see ‘Q&A: Political crisis in Honduras’, BBC News, 27 January 2010, available at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8124154.stm>.

109 J Goodman and B Schmidt, ‘Honduras Supreme Court Judge Defends President Ouster (Update1)’, Bloomberg, 1 July 2009.

110 See D Cassel, ‘Honduras: Coup d’Etat in Constitutional Clothing?’ (2009) 13(9) ASIL 29 July; LlanosM and MarsteintredetL, ‘Epilogue: The Breakdown of Zelaya’s Presidency: Honduras in Comparative Perspective’ in LlanosM and MarsteintredetL, (eds), Presidential Breakdowns in Latin America. Causes and Outcomes of Executive Instability in Developing Democracies (Palgrave Macmillan, New York, NY, 2010) 229; JM Ruhl, ‘Honduras Unravels’ (2010) 21(2) Journal of Democracy 93; and FM Walsh, ‘The Honduran Constitution Is Not a Suicide Pact: The Legality of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya’s Removal’ (2010) 38 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 339.

111 The prohibition on re-election is compounded by additional constitutional provisions which attach severe penalties to its breach or attempted breach (see arts 239 and 42).

112 Albert, ‘Constitutional Handcuffs’ (n 3) 692. He states: ‘It was none other than this constitutional clause that pit the leading popular democratic institution in Honduras—the presidency—versus the other national democratic institutions, namely the legislature, courts, and leading independent bodies.’

113 T Ginsburg, ‘The Puzzle of Unamendable Provisions: Debate-Impairing Rules vs. Substantive Entrenchment’, Comparative Constitutions Project, 12 August 2009, <www.comparativeconstitutions.org/2009/08/puzzle-of-unamendable-provisions-debate.html>.

114 Ibid.

115 FD Colburn and A Trejos, ‘Democracy Undermined: Constitutional Subterfuge in Latin America’ (2010) 57(3) Dissent 11.

116 Corte Suprema de Justicia, Sala de lo Constitucional, 22 April 2015, available at <http://www.poderjudicial.gob.hn/Documents/FalloSCONS23042015.pdf>. See also L Marsteintredet, ‘The Honduran Supreme Court Renders Inapplicable Unamendable Constitutional Provisions’, I-CONnect Blog, 2 May 2015, available at <http://www.iconnectblog.com/2015/05/marsteintredet-on-honduras/>.

117 Comisión de la Verdad y la Reconciliación (CVR), ‘Hallazgos y recomendaciones Para que los hechos no se repitan’, July 2011, <https:www.oas.org/es/sap/docs/DSDME/2011/CVR/Honduras%20-%20Informe%20CVR%20-%20RECOMENDACIONES.pdf>.

118 D Landau, ‘The Honduran Constitutional Chamber’s Decision Erasing Presidential Term Limits: Abusive Constitutionalism by Judiciary?’, I-CONnect Blog, 6 May 2015, available at <http://www.iconnectblog.com/2015/05/the-honduran-constitutional-chambers-decision-erasing-presidential-term-limits-abusive-constitutionalism-by-judiciary/>.

119 Marsteintredet (n 116).

120 ‘East Africa: Burundi - Application Against President Third Term Bid Filed in Court of EAC’, allAfrica, 8 July 2015, available at <http://allafrica.com/stories/201507081720.html>.

121 ‘Rwanda Court Backs Scrapping Presidential Term Limits’, BBC News, 8 October 2015, available at <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34477023>.

122 See also AT Hengari, ‘Presidential Term Limits: A New African Foreign Policy Challenge’, Policy Briefing 138, Foreign Policy Programme, June 2015, available at <http://www.saiia.org.za/policy-briefings/presidential-term-limits-a-new-african-foreign-policy-challenge>.

123 On the first instance of constitutionalisation of amnesties, in South Africa, see DR Mekonnen and SM Weldehaimanot, ‘Transitional Constitutionalism: Comparing the Eritrean and South African Experience’, Paper presented at ANCL-RADC Annual Conference on ‘The Internationalisation of Constitutional Law’, Rabat, Morocco, 2–5 February 2011 at 10.

124 Albert (n 76) 6; T Ginsburg and Y Ngenge, ‘The Judiciary and Constitution Building in 2013’ in S Bisarya (ed), Constitution Building: A Global Review (2013) (International IDEA, Stockholm, 2014) 32; and Albert, ‘Constitutional Handcuffs’ (n 3) 693–8.

125 Indeed, subsequent developments have shown how precarious the transitional justice system instituted in Tunisia may be, with a draft law being proposed in 2015 to grant amnesties to former elites accused of corruption and other economic crimes. See A Guellali, ‘Tunisia: Transitional Justice in the Crosshairs’, OpenDemocracy, 8 September 2015, available at <https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/amna-guellali/tunisia-transitional-justice-in-crosshairs>; and H Saleh, ‘Tunisia Struggles to Hold Former Regime to Account’, Financial Times, 24 February 2016, available at <https://www.ft.com/content/501f8704-d34a-11e5-8887-98e7feb46f27>.

126 Albert (n 76) 6.

127 Ginsburg and Ngenge (n 124) 32.

128 Azanian Peoples Organization (AZAPO) and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others 1996 (4) SA 672 (CC), 25 July 1996.

129 Ibid, para 21.

130 See discussions in LessaF and PayneLA, Amnesty in the Age of Human Rights Accountability (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012); and FreemanM, Necessary Evils: Amnesties and the Search for Justice (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009).

131 See discussions in O Varol, ‘Temporary Constitutions’ (2014) 102(2) California Law Review 409; and V Jackson, ‘What’s in a Name? Reflections on Timing, Naming, and Constitution-making’ (2008) 49(4) William and Mary Law Review 1249. For an in-depth analysis of interim constitutions in conflict-affected settings, see K Zulueta-Fülscher, Interim Constitutions: Peacekeeping and Democracy-Building Tools (International IDEA Policy Paper, Stockholm, October 2015).

132 Varol (n 131) 418.

133 A Arato, ‘Multi-Track Constitutionalism Beyond Carl Schmitt’ (2011) 18(3) Constellations 324.

134 For the full list of constitutional principles which guided the South African constitution-making process, see (Interim) Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 200 of 1993, Sched 4.

135 However, it has been argued that the temporary nature of the German Basic Law was meant in a geographic sense and did not refer to its substantive commitments: ‘[t]he Basic Law in general and especially the decision to institute democracy as well as for the rule of law was … definite’. W Heun, The Constitution of Germany: A Contextual Analysis (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2011) 10. See also E Benda, ‘The Protection of Human Dignity (Article 1 of the Basic Law)’ in Fifty Years of German Basic Law: The New Departure for Germany, Conference Report (American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC, 1999) 36.

136 See, broadly, T Roux, The Politics of Principle: The First South African Constitutional Court, 1995–2005 (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013). Despite this initial choice against total unamendability, the South African Constitutional Court has repeatedly had to consider whether to embrace a doctrine of substantive limits on amendment. See most recently United Democratic Movement v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others (No 2) (CCT23/02) [2002] ZACC 21; 2003 (1) SA 495; 2002 (11) BCLR 1179, 4 October 2002. See also discussion in A Govindjee and R Kruger, ‘The Basic Structure Doctrine Debate: South African Explorations’ in SS Jain and S Narayan (eds), Basic Structure Constitutionalism: Revisiting Kesavananda Bharati (Eastern Book Company, New Delhi, 2011) 209.

137 For a more in-depth discussion, see Carter Center Report (n 23) 25.

138 ‘Tunisian Constituent Assembly Adopts Provisional Constitution’, ConstitutionNet.org, 12 December 2011, available at <http://www.constitutionnet.org/news/tunisian-constituent-assembly-adopts-provisional-constitution>; and Carter Center Report (n 23) 56.

139 Zulueta-Fülscher (n 131) 18.

140 For a detailed account of the use of sunset clauses in legislation, see RanchordasS, Constitutional Sunsets and Experimental Legislation: A Comparative Perspective (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2015).

141 See P Suber, Paradox of Self-Amendment (Peter Lang Publishing, Bern, 1990) section 14, ‘Amendment by Sunset Clause’.

142 See ElkinsZ, GinsburgT and MeltonJ, The Endurance of National Constitutions (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009) 13; and Schwartzberg (n 58) 11–12.

143 Schwartzberg (n 58) 12.

144 Widner (n 12) 1534.

145 Art 147 of the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia, 14 December 2012.

146 Elkins, Ginsburg and Melton (n 142) 13.

147 R Dixon and T Ginsburg, ‘Deciding Not to Decide: Deferral in Constitutional Design’ (2011) 9(3–4) Journal of International Constitutional Law 645.

148 On incrementalism as a useful mechanism of constitutional design in divided societies, see H Lerner, Making Constitutions in Deeply Divided Societies (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011). See also M Tushnet, ‘Constitution-Making: An Introduction’ (2013) 91 Texas Law Review 2007–12.

149 Lerner (n 148) 149 and generally 109–51.

150 Ibid 149.

151 C Erk and AG Gagnon, ‘Constitutional Ambiguity and Federal Trust: Codification of Federalism in Canada, Spain and Belgium’ (2000) 10(1) Regional & Federal Studies 92.

152 Bousbih and Yaalaoui (n 70) 17, 19.

153 M Foley, The Silence of Constitutions: Gaps, ‘Abeyances’ and Political Temperament in the Maintenance of Government (Routledge, Abingdon, 2011 [1989]).

154 Ibid 8–9.

155 V Jackson, ICON-Society Annual Conference, New York, 1 July 2015.

156 J Di John and J Putzel, ‘Political Settlements’, Issues Paper, (Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, June 2009) 4, available at <http://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/103642.pdf>.

157 Volpi and Stein (n 38) 280, 289.

158 C McCormick-Cavanagh, ‘Tunisia MPs Resign to Stop Creation of “Dynastic Legacy” by Country’s President’, The Middle East Eye, 9 November 2015, available at: <http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/tunisia-mp-says-mass-resignations-aimed-stopping-dynastic-legacy-countrys-president-2059371519/>.

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Global Constitutionalism
  • ISSN: 2045-3817
  • EISSN: 2045-3825
  • URL: /core/journals/global-constitutionalism
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