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2017 International Law Study Trip to The Hague, Netherlands
Distinguished Guest Professors visit CCSDD to discuss IACL project on Constitutionalism in Illiberal Democracies and to talk about constitutional development and human rights in Asia
Guest Lectures at the Beijing Jiaotong University
October/November CCSDD Activities Update
The Role of Constitutional Courts in the Challenges to Democratization and the Protection of Human Rights in Central AsiaMain Researcher: Dr. Čarna Pištan
The project on "The Role of Constitutional Courts in the Challenges to Democratization and Protection of Human Rights in Central Asia" aims to examine the progress made during the last two decades by the five former Soviet Union republics of Central Asia in their efforts to introduce democratic reforms and to identify the major obstacles they have encountered up to now. In adDr.essing this topic a special evaluation is made of the contribution offered to these efforts by Constitutional Courts and the functions and tasks assigned to these constitutional adjudication bodies in further strategies for democratization and protection of human rights. The study on the role played by Central Asian Constitutional Courts is particularly relevant because the outcomes of the research could shed light on problems and obstacles that countries may encounter during the democracy building process not only in the post-Soviet Union sphere but also in other regions that seem hostile to democratization such as Asia and the Middle East. Thus, a successful democratic transition in Central Asia may also serve as a model to nearby countries that face the same challenges.
The experience of Central Asian nations in the past two decades raises important research questions: What are the reasons for the failure of a democracy building process in Central Asian countries? What type of authoritarian regime is emerging in these countries? In which way did the so called "colored revolutions" of the 2000s influence a new wave of democratization in Central Asia? What are the current human rights standards in this region? What is the role of Constitutional Courts (or similar bodies) in these regimes? Are constitutional judges really independent from the political branches of government? Have these recently established Courts played an active role against central governments or are these Courts mere servants of these regimes? Have Central Asian Constitutional Courts a real chance of becoming the guardians of democratic values declared in the Constitution? In deciding politically sensitive cases are these Courts pro-democratic in their orientations or is their pro-democratic performance compromised by the pressure exercised by the executive?
Research Activities in 2013/2014
To understand the reasons of the current weakness of the democratic processes in Central Asian nations and give a coherent answer to the research questions the research activities was structured as follows:
The first results of this research were presented at the:
Next phases of the project
Phase two of the project will involve in the field research regarding the critical role played by Constitutional Courts in Central Asian Republics. Accordingly, one or more field trips to the area are to be scheduled in 2015. On site, Dr. Pištan will visit libraries, research centers and interview local experts.
In fact, the objective to be achieved in the next phases of the research is a detailed report verifying the contribution offered in these matters by Constitutional Courts in assessing the progress made by Central Asian countries in the protection of human rights and in the reform of State institutions. The detailed report will be presented in the context of an internal workshop organized at the Bologna Center involving expert discussants, which will provide an opportunity to discuss the results of the project in house, before implementing a broader dissemination strategy. Indeed, after the internal workshop, the CCSDD plans to organize an international conference involving local and international experts, practitioners and scholars. A final publication gathering all the results of the research will conclude this project.
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