Saturday, July 24, 2021

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Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking and Changing Constitutions – A Review

What is the most important part of a constitution? In the introductory chapter of his book ‘Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitutions’, Richard Albert provides an unlikely response: amendment procedures. The remainder of the book offers a compelling defense for this position and makes a case for placing the often-forgotten subject of constitutional amendment at the center of the modern study of constitutional change.

CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION Interpreting The Book Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitutions, by Richard Albert.

Constitutional change is not a totally discretionary derived constituent power (a power generally held by the legislature and, when called upon to elect representatives, by the citizenry); it is an activity carried out following specified procedures while preserving consistency with respect to delineations set out as fundamental constitutional principles by the originating holder of constituent power.

Introductory Note: Jumpstarting the Study of Constitutional Amendment

At their core, amendment rules reflect both faith and distrust in political actors: they authorize alterations to the constitution, though they limit how and when constitutional modifications are permissible. Given the many functions served by these essential rules of amendment, we would expect constitutions to entrench them, and indeed almost all of them do.

NLSIR Online Book Symposium 2021: Introduction

The National Law School of India Review is proud to announce NLSIR Online’s first Book Symposium. In a series of NLSIR Online posts over the upcoming weeks, constitutional law experts from across the globe will engage with Professor Richard Albert’s (William Stamps Farish Professor in Law, Professor of Government, and Director of Constitutional Studies - University of Texas) latest book, Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitutions (Oxford University Press 2019), through book reviews.

Confidentiality Clubs: Has The Delhi High Court Gone Too Far?

The recent judgement of the Delhi High Court in Interdigital Technology v. Xiaomi Corporationon the structure of ‘Confidentiality Clubs’ to ensure confidentiality of sensitive information/documents in litigation, has far-reaching implications. The Court rejected a prayer that suggested the preclusion of a Party’s in-house representative/employee (other than the advocate or independent expert) from access to the ‘Confidentiality Club’. This was a patent infringement case involving Standard Essential Patents (‘SEPs’) that cover technologies which are essential for devices to be standard-compliant.

Restricting Free Speech through Bail Orders

While government measures against free speech have some global history, a new phenomenon that has emerged is the attack by the judiciary on free speech. In this vein, Indian courts have started to impose speech restrictions as conditions of bail. In this post, I argue that the approach of restraining speech through bail orders is legally and politically problematic.

Combat Roles for Women in India’s Armed Forces – Constitutionality of the Prohibition

In 2019, the Supreme Court of India (‘the Court’) delivered seminal judgments with regard to the role of women in the armed forces. In two landmark rulings, The Secretary, Ministry ofDefencev. Babita Puniya, (‘Babita Puniya’) and Union of Indiav. Lt. Cdr. Annie Nagaraja, (‘Annie Nagaraja’), the Court struck down the discriminatory policy of not allowing permanent commission for women in the Army and Navy. This article argues that the recent judgments in Babita Puniyaand Annie Nagaraja only scratch the proverbial patriarchal surface of institutional roadblocks that the Constitution still preserves.

Kashmir and Transgender Rights

On August 5, 2019, India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill of 2019 after little substantive debate. On the very same day, India’s president took steps to abrogate the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir’s territorial integrity and autonomy. As I explain in this brief blog post, these two developments are not just temporally but substantively linked too.

Heathrow Runway and Mopa: The Limits of the Law’s Role in Environmental Impact Management

The way in which the law manages the environmental impact of major infrastructure projects is different in different jurisdictions. Despite the differences in legal culture, the following analysis of the two cases will be used to reflect on a single lesson about the limitations of the law’s role in managing the environmental impacts of major infrastructure projects.

The Problem with India’s Living Constitution

The Supreme Court of India has repeatedly held that our Constitution is a ‘living document’ which evolves according to the changing times. How does this evolution take place? Does this evolution mean a change in the text of the Constitution? Or does it mean a change in the way we understand the text of the Constitution?