Comparative Constitutional Law

Notwithstanding the Right to Strike:
A Canadian Province Defies the Constitution — And Workers Strike Back

November 28, 2022

The “Notwithstanding Clause,” the common name for section 33 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms—the country’s constitutional bill of rights—authorizes time-bound legislation that violates the Charter. Recently, in Bill 28, the province of Ontario used the Notwithstanding Clause to override the Charter’s protection of the right to strike. The “draconian” legislation unilaterally imposed a contract on educational workers and…

States of Emergencies: Part II

April 20, 2020

Introduction In our earlier post, we described how the legal bases for countries’ coronavirus responses typically fall into three broad categories. First, some countries have declared a state of emergency under their constitutions, which allow them to take special measures, including restrictions of civil liberties, for the duration of the emergency. Second, some countries have…


States of Emergencies: Part I

April 17, 2020

 Introduction The fight against COVID-19 has led many countries, including liberal democracies, to take extraordinary measures that would undoubtedly be constitutionally problematic in normal times. Around the world, we have witnessed entire countries being locked-down, with mass surveillance of cellphones, suspended religious services, restricted travel, and military-enforced curfews. While these measures are widely supported by…


Knowledge Institutions in Constitutional Democracies: of Objectivity and Decentralization

August 29, 2019

“Knowledge institutions” are fundamental components of successful constitutional democracies.  As recent scholarship suggests (see Ginsburg & Huq (2018); Graber et al. (2018)), threats against the press, against institutions of higher learning, and against NGOs often accompany threats to independent judiciaries, to government watchdog offices, and to genuinely free, fair and open elections in countries with…