Publikationen

REVISITING THE PATH OF LEBANON OVER THE PAST 100 YEARS

Analysis of Different Constitutional Aspects of the State

The Lebanese State, with its multi-confessional and pluralistic society looks back at a rich and diverse history that has been shaped by alternating periods of political stability and turmoil, all too often building a fertile arena for internal strife and external interventions. Lebanon’s Constitution of 1926, although amended on several occasions, is still in force today. Subsequent constitutional amendments and agreements, such as the National Pact, the Taef and Doha agreements only reinforced and expanded the the most distinctive feature of the Lebanese state: an overall framework of power-sharing between the different religious communities. While Lebanon is often considered a model of plural democracy in the Middle East assuring equal political representation in a multi-ethnic and pluri-religious society through its confessional framework, others argue that the consociational arrangements have led to institutional instability, clientelism, and state frailty. In this light, the Rule of Law Programme Middle East and North Africa in cooperation with the Notre Dame University-Louaize initiated in November 2017 a series of roundtables on key aspects in Lebanon’s constitutional history and state building. In the course of one year and four roundtables, legal scholars and representatives of governmental institutions were brought together to exchange their expertise, and to revisit and evaluate the achievements and challenges of the past 100 years in Lebanon. The idea of revisiting the path of Lebanon over the past 100 years has resulted in the publication of this book. We wish to thank the Notre Dame University-Louiaze, and especially the authors Dany Ghsoub, Elie El Hindi, Chady Al Hajal, Georges Sharaf as well as all those who shared their expertise and experience for their inspiring input and their willingness and commitment in producing this book. Today, a hundred years after the proclamation of the State of Greater Lebanon, the country is going through an unprecedented economic and sociopolitical crisis. As a result, more and more voices are calling for a new social contract in Lebanon. It is our hope that this publication will stir more discussions and provide a vital contribution to much needed structural reforms in Lebanon.

The Legal System of Morocco

An Overview

The history of Morocco shows a divide between the rigid and enforceable nature of the French civil code and the traditional Amazigh informal justice system as well as Sharia law that focuses more on custom than strict adherence to text. Thus, there is a strong basis for access to justice and the legal system generally, but with room to follow a less legally principled path. This overview further considers the way these primary influences coexist in the context of legal pluralism.

Administrative Justice: Who protects the State? Who defends it?

Special Issue in L'Orient le Jour / 15.06.2020

The Legal Agenda, together with the Rule of Law Programme Middle East / North Africa published a special issue on the administrative judiciary in Lebanon and its reform potentials in L'Orient le Jour on 15 June 2020.

Impartiality of Judges and Social Media

Approaches, Regulations and Results

In March 2019, the Rule of Law Programme Middle East / North Africa organized an international expert meeting in Cadenabbia, Italy, on Impartiality of Judges and Social Media: Approaches, Regulations and Results. In the course of the event, legal scholars, law professors, lawyers and judges from the US, Canada, Germany, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Morocco traced, compared and evaluated different approaches that may be or already have been implemented to deal with the challenges resulting from statements made by judges on media - especially social media. Among the key topic of discussion was the question of how a judge’s freedom of expression and the requirement of impartiality should be balanced. We have tried to adopt a comparative approach, including experts from countries that differ in legal traditions and regulatory concepts and shed light on systematic differences and the variety of approaches on the relatively new phenomenon of social media and its impact on the judicial function. The results of this expert meeting have been assembled in this publication.

The Weimar Constitution

Germany’s first Democratic Constitution, its Collapse, and the Lessons for Today

On 14 August 1919, Germany’s first democratic constitution came into force. The Constitution of the German Reich, soon known as Weimar Constitution marked the end of the German Empire and introduced a legal framework that was ambitious for its time - maybe too ambitious: Only 14 years later, the Weimar Republic collapsed into Nazi Germany, an authoritarian state with its dictator as untouchable center of the law. The question of whether or not Hitler’s rise to power had been predetermined by the flaws and weaknesses inherent to the Weimar Constitution was heavily discussed throughout the second half of the 20th century. The legacy of the 1919 constitution, however, reaches far beyond its failure: Germany’s post-World War II constitution, the Basic Law of 1949 was largely drafted in reflection of the Weimar Republic but also incorporated certain of its constitutional provisions, acknowledging their progressive design. Today, the Weimar experience provides the potential of critical reflection for constitution-building in young democracies as well as for established democratic states, whose foundations are more and more subject to illiberal and populist attacks.

Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG)

Legal Texts translated into Arabic

The Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG) is the normative basis of the administrative procedure and thus regulates the proceedings of authorities. It is, therefore, one of the most important pieces of legislation of the executive branch. Due to the federal structure of the Federal Republic of Germany, a distinction must be made between the administrative procedure laws of the federal states and administrative procedure law of the Federal Government, which is the subject of this legal text.

Rules of Procedure of the German Federal Constitutional Court (GOBVerfG)

Legal Texts translated into Arabic

The Rules of Procedure of the German Federal Constitutional Court (GOBVerfG) are the organizational framework for the day-to-day functioning of the Constitutional Court.

Code of Administrative Court Procedure (VwGO)

Legal Texts translated into Arabic

The power to review and correct administrative decisions is one important instrument to ensure that decisions of public bodies and authorities are subject to legal scrutiny and control. This power can either be given to judicial or to non-judicial bodies. In Germany, this power review is divided between judicial and non-judicial bodies, although the ultimate power of review remains with the judicative. The Code of Administrative Court Procedure (Verwaltungsgerichtsordnung) regulates the administrative court procedure and the administrative court system in Germany.

Lebanon’s Administrative Judiciary and its Implication on the Country’s Rule of Law

What is administrative jurisdiction and why is it important for a country?

Countries in the MENA region currently lack thorough and stable administrative judiciary systems, which in turn reinforces the people’s lack of confidence towards it. Hence, a wave of recent reforms and changes within the administrative judiciary has appeared in order to implement and ensure the proper application of justice, as well as to increase and enhance the effective access to it.

reuters/Muhammad Hamed

Covid-19 in Nahost und Nordafrika

Belastungsprobe für eine instabile Region

Die globale Ausbreitung des neuartigen Coronavirus wird für den Nahen Osten und Nordafrika zu einer zusätzlichen Belastungsprobe. Vielerorts bestimmten politische und wirtschaftliche Krisen bereits den Alltag, sind staatliche Strukturen und Legitimität nur schwach ausgeprägt. In den fortwährenden Transformationsprozessen der Region könnte die Pandemie als Katalysator wirken. Die Corona-Krise wirft damit nicht nur Fragen zur Krisenreaktions- und Widerstandsfähigkeit der betroffenen Staaten und ihre Gesundheitssystemen auf, sondern auch zu den politischen und sozioökonomischen Folgen in einer Region, deren Entwicklung immer auch Folgen für Europa nach sich zieht.

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Länderberichte

Politische Kurzberichte der KAS-Auslandsbüros

Die Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung ist in rund 80 Ländern auf fünf Kontinenten mit einem eigenen Büro vertreten. Die Auslandsmitarbeiter vor Ort können aus erster Hand über aktuelle Ereignisse und langfristige Entwicklungen in ihrem Einsatzland berichten. In den „Länderberichten“ bieten sie den Nutzern der Webseite der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung exklusiv Analysen, Hintergrundinformationen und Einschätzungen.

Veranstaltungsberichte

Die Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, ihre Bildungsforen und Auslandsbüros bieten jährlich mehrere tausend Veranstaltungen zu wechselnden Themen an. Über ausgewählte Konferenzen, Events, Symposien etc. berichten wir aktuell und exklusiv für Sie unter www.kas.de. Hier finden Sie neben einer inhaltlichen Zusammenfassung auch Zusatzmaterialien wie Bilder, Redemanuskripte, Videos oder Audiomitschnitte.

Grundlagenwerke des Verfassungsgerichts

Übersetzt ins Arabische

Supporting Comparative Constitutional Law

by Anja Schoeller-Schletter

 

In recent years, the institutions charged with constitutional review in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa – be it Constitutional Courts, Constitutional Councils, Supreme Courts, or High Tribunals - are being reformed (e.g. Morocco, Tunisia). Some have been established for the first time (e.g. Bahrain in 2002, Iraq in 2004 or Saudi Arabia in 2009), some have been attributed new competences, and new procedures have been introduced, thus indicating a rising awareness for the importance of constitutional review as an instrument for judicial oversight.

 

Fundamental topics of constitutional law have gained prominence in regional debates as societies face similar challenges. How powers are distributed is at the very heart of every state. The fundamental principles of government, the ways and means of exercising powers, the efficiency of checks and balances, and the guarantee of rights and freedoms are subject to constant interpretation and development as societies are evolving. With constitution-building processes and reform of constitutional courts ongoing, comparative constitutional law has become a topic on the rise. 

 

Constitutional scholars and judges world-wide increasingly take into consideration other countries experience and practice, analysing different constitutional models, principles, designs, and functioning. Many of the challenges currently discussed in the Middle East and North Africa have been faced in other continents in the past, and are still being faced, including the control of elections, banning of extremist parties as unconstitutional, balancing individual rights and religious freedom. Along with the recently vibrant debates on constitutional law issues and constitutional control in the Middle East and North Africa, an immense quantity of highly interesting court decisions on constitutional matters has been published during the past years. Some countries have undertaken remarkable efforts to encourage regional or continent-wide African discussions. More efforts are to be expected with regards to the digitalization and accessibility as benefits of visibility and accessibility to the international research community are becoming more and more obvious. With the world becoming increasingly interconnected, countries are not limited to look for inspiration or options in their neighbourhood only. 

 

Over the past three years the Rule of Law Programme Middle East/ North Africa, has put considerable emphasis on fostering and linking thematic discussions of cross-cutting regional and international interest. In accordance with our aim of encouraging exchange of expertise and partnership on a peer-to-peer-level regionally and internationally, one of the ongoing initiatives is dedicated to making key decisions and developments in constitutional jurisdiction from the MENA Region accessible in English to the international community.

 

In order to meet a growing interest of young scholars from the region in comparative constitutional law, the Rule of Law Programme Middle East/ North Africa has decided to complement this endeavour by also publishing a series of selected works on German constitutional law in Arabic translation.

 

Over the past half century, the German post-war constitutional state has gained respect internationally. At the basis of its economic, political and social development lies its constitutional system. Having been created in the aftermath of the complete failure of its previous political and governmental system, the German “Basic Law” (Grundgesetz) of 1949 integrated key elements of what was then considered one of the most successful democracies – the United States of America – with Germany’s own legal and constitutional tradition. The members of the constitutional council spelled out the essence of what they considered to be essential lessons for building a democratic state that upholds the rule of law and protects human dignity (Menschenwürde) against all imaginable future threats.

 

The German Federal Constitutional Court has played a fundamental role since in the country’s efforts to establish a stable, balanced system of government, and in upholding the constitution, its principles and the individual rights vested in it. Within more than 70 years of jurisdiction it has continuously done so by applying, interpreting and developing the constitutional framework of Germany. 

 

Unfortunately, for many decades, most major works on German constitutional law have been published in German only, and are thus inaccessible to most international scholars. To make constitutional jurisdiction accessible, the German Federal Constitutional Court in the 1990s has established an in-house translation service. While at first only selected decisions were translated into English on demand, summaries of all decisions are now translated systematically and compilations of translated decisions are published, enabling more profound comparative research and international debate by experts.

 

This newly initiated series of the Rule of Law Programme Middle East/ North Africa strives to present constitutional concepts that have been of fundamental relevance to the (positive) development of the German constitutional state. The series starts off with four papers on cross-cutting topics of fundamental and lasting relevance written by the most eminent of German Constitutional Law Experts - most of them judges at the Federal Constitutional Court at some point in their life. 

 

The translation into Arabic is intended to improve accessibility to a wider circle of Arabic speaking readers, to young researchers, students and interested readers of the region. The works translated into Arabic and published in this series invite to explore, compare and debate existing concepts and solutions that were developed to address certain questions - always aware that “copy-paste” never works, and what may seem to be a good solution in one country may not necessarily serve for another. 

 

We wish that such initiatives in the region and on a global level will contribute to the evolution of an international community of comparative constitutional law experts.