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Constitutional Courts after the Arab Spring: Appointment mechanisms and relative judicial independence

The Constitutional Transitions Clinic ‘back office’ is preparing a series of thematic,comparative research reports on issues in constitutional design that have arisen in theMiddle East and North Africa. Zaid Al-Ali, Senior Adviser on Constitution Buildingat International IDEA, has acted as an adviser on these reports and has overseenInternational IDEA’s participation in the report-drafting process. These reports will bejointly published by Constitutional Transitions and International IDEA in Englishand Arabic, and will be used as engagement tools in support of constitution-buildingactivities in the region (e.g. in Libya, Tunisia and Yemen).

This report, Constitutional Courts after the Arab Spring: Appointment mechanisms and relative judicial independence, discusses and analyses four models for constitutional court appointments. A constitutional court may play an important role in consolidating democracy after a constitutional transition, and it is important for this reason that constitutional courts are independent, yet accountable institutions. This report investigates how constitutional court appointment procedures can promote both judicial independence and judicial accountability to a democratically elected government, analyzing four models of appointments as they are applied in six countries (Germany, South Africa, Egypt, Iraq, Italy and Turkey). The report also compares the qualifications required for appointment to the constitutional court, and the rules for removing constitutional court judges, in these six countries. It concludes with a set of recommendations for constitution drafters and policy makers in the MENA region.

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The Center for Constitutional Transitions, International IDEA

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