Category Archives: The Law

Is the Independence Referendum in Catalonia Unconstitutional

The autonomous community of Catalonia – one of the 17 autonomous communities that form the country of Spain – voted on October 1, 2017 in a referendum for independence from Spain. Voting day was marred by violent clashes between Catalan voters on one side, and Spanish police and the Guardia Civil on the other side. It was also marred by the seizure of some ballot boxes by the Spanish authorities. One of the main reasons for these clashes was that the Constitutional Court of Spain had already suspended the referendum (on September 8) on constitutional grounds. Was the Catalan referendum – whose results state that 92.01% of participating voters backed independence in a 43.03% voting turnout (not accounting for the missing ballot boxes) – unconstitutional? This article will look at just this question without discussing any political, economic or social implications. Continue reading

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Kurdish Referendum: Legitimacy and Policy Implications

Introduction

On Monday, September 25, 2017 Iraqi Kurds voted on a referendum for independence, and on Wednesday results came in with an overwhelming approval (92.73% as Wikipedia cited a KHEC URL which cannot be accessed from the United States) of an independent Iraqi Kurdistan. While Kurds in Iraq were cheering, the central government in the Iraqi capital Baghdad had already expressed its disapproval of the referendum, mainly on constitutional grounds, while Iraq’s neighbors – Iran and Turkey – who also have Kurdish minorities – over fear that their Kurdish minority populations will demand independence as well, did not approve of the referendum either. Syria, the other country with Kurdish minority in the Middle East, was also opposed to the referendum on the grounds that it is a unilateral action – and understandably so, since Kurdish leaders in Syria were quoted by Reuters as saying that the referendum could “bolster their cause for autonomy in negotiations with the Damascus government”. Continue reading

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Should Ukraine Allow Minorities to Study Their Mother Tongue

As a Bulgarian citizen and as a follower of events concerning Bulgaria and Bulgarian culture I learned that Ukraine’s Parliament (the Verkhovna Rada) approved a bill on September 5 that “restructures Ukraine’s education system and specifies that Ukrainian must be the main language used in schools, rolling back the option for lessons to be taught in other languages,” as ABC News reported. Continue reading

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The End of DACA

Introduction to DACA

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was signed as an executive order by former President Barack Obama on June 15, 2012. It was aimed at providing temporary work permits to people who met the following criteria: Continue reading

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Thoughts on a debate on Egypt

The American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka wrote an article for the New York Times where she criticized the Obama administration for having not defined as a coup d’etat the July 3 Egyptian military’s takeover of the Egyptian government and ouster of President Mohammad Morsy and the cabinet constituted of the Muslim Brotherhood. Continue reading

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Law Abiding Citizen

I am usually not a huge fan of movies. Most of them seem too predictable to me – be they comedy, action, drama, and so on. Continue reading

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Nebraska Legislature – the only unicameral state legislature

As a country, from political aspect, the United States of America is a federation. It has a federal government in Washington, D.C. and state governments in every single state that is part of its territory. Unlike in a unitary system, where the central government has an entire or almost entire control over local governments in terms of internal affairs, in the United States the 50 different states have certain autonomy and sovereignty in decision-making given to them by the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution where it is said that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are preserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”1 Therefore, every state government has more flexibility in decision-making than do local governments in countries with unitary system such as Great Britain, France and others. Continue reading

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