In the April newsletter, we share with you two original Voices from the Field pieces and a number of updates on constitutional reform processes in different parts of the world.
The Citizens’ Assembly considering the planned referendum on the 8th Amendment (abortion) in Ireland seemed to provide a mechanism to mediate activist demands with political caution. The Assembly made recommendations that went beyond the consensus in the political establishment. However, because regular political institutions retain the ultimate authority to propose the referendum, the final proposals are considerably more conservative than the Assembly’s recommendations.
Proposed reforms to the Basic Law in Israel would cement the country’s illiberal turn in favor of the state’s Jewish character, with potentially serious implications to the rights of minority groups and women. While similar reform efforts have failed in the past, the absence of a supermajority requirement to effect such changes may allow the current government to successfully push through the reforms.
The remaining updates cover reforms around the world from Botswana to Armenia and Japan to Venezuela. There are also new publications on constitution-building processes in Latin America since 1978, semi-presidentialism in Ukraine, and constitutional jurisprudence on women’s equality and empowerment.