In the November Newsletter, we share with you four original Voices from the Field and a number of updates on constitutional reform processes in different parts of the world.
Proposed changes to the process by which judges in Malaysia are appointed could help revive the independence and credibility of a judiciary undermined by years of regressive constitutional and legal adjustments. However, without a corresponding shift in legal and political culture, the reforms may not produce the desired result. While Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has upheld the country’s strict presidential nomination requirements, an earlier decision that presidential and legislative elections must be held simultaneously has complicated their application.
The Austrian government described the recently proposed amendments to the country’s federal system as the most far-reaching constitutional reform since 1929. While the reform project points towards (slightly) more separation between government levels, Austria remains overall, and in line with international trends, a classic example of cooperative federalism.
The failure of the constitutional referendums in Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda to replace the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) may signal the beginning of the end of the CCJ. The only lifeline may lie with the Privy Council refusing to hear appeals from the region, which is unlikely to be forthcoming.
The number of activities in November signify that it will be another busy month for constitutional reform. For updates on the developments from Albania to Tunisia, and from Ecuador to Zimbabwe, see below.