Sujit Choudhry Sees A Dark Future For Democracy

Sujit Choudhry, a well-known professor at UC Berkeley Law, has spent a lot of time thinking about the state of democracy in the US and abroad. His observations highlight a troubling political reality.

Late last year, when many feared the Trump administration was poised to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted the American people that it was up to them to organize and protest the President should such a thing happen. Choudhry notes that the need to point out a “red line” and mobilize protesters to make sure it isn’t crossed is a sign that constitutional norms are being undermined.

Constitutional Democracies in Crisis? a chapter Choudhry released from his forthcoming book, argues that ignoring constitutional norms is the first step on the road to autocracy. Poland’s Law and Justice Party (PiS), for example, has increased its power by using the existing democratic framework in ways many thought impossible because of constitutional norms.

Choudhry writes that PiS used their initial legitimacy to strategically place judges who would consider them favorably in the event of challenges by other parties and voters. This allowed them to remove the Vice President from power and create the office of Interim President, not subject to the same degree of parliamentary oversight.

For Choudhry, this mirrors the days of Weimar Germany, where democracy was manipulated to allow a dictator to be voted into office before eroding the checks against his power. Given the various ways this strategy can be applied by autocratic parties, it places constitutional crises on a spectrum, which can make it difficult to spot a dictator until they’ve secured power and changed the democratic norms of their respective countries

Choudhry points to the Muslim travel ban as an example of executive overreach. It has been challenged in the courts since the Trump administration tried to implement it, leading it to be rewritten, challenged again, and it is now heading to the Supreme Court for an ultimate decision. If it is decided to be unconstitutional and the Trump administration replies by issuing a different kind of ban, Choudhry writes, it would be a clear indication that constitutional norms in the US have been abandoned in favor of sequestering power.

In that event, Choudhry argues that it will be left up to the courts to act as the true check to the Executive branch’s power. Learn more about Choudhry on blogs.law.nyu.edu.

Keep up with Choudhry’s latest tweets at https://twitter.com/sujit_choudhry,  LinkedIn

Lawyer Bruno Fagali Writes About A Beer Label Ruling

Bruno Fagali also enjoys sharing his knowledge about laws with other people. A recent article Bruno Fagali wrote was about how consumers have a right to know what they are consuming when eating or drinking any product, including beer. In Brazil brewers have always been able to list “unmalted cereal” on their beer labels. They didn’t have to reveal whether this came from soy, oats, corn, rice, or sorghum. However, the public prosecutor’s office in July 2016 decided this wasn’t right that they could hide this information so he filed a public civil action against the four main brewers in Brazil.

Brewers use different unmalted cereals for a number of reasons, Bruno Fagali relates. One might be more inexpensive for a time, or more available among other reasons. If the four brewers had come to an arrangement between them to reveal the exact unmalted cereals on their own the public prosecutor had indicated that was his preferred outcome. However, they all differed in how they wanted to address the issue and so no agreement was ever made between them.

Read more: O cigarro no banco dos réus: no Brasil, os aditivos; nos Estados Unidos, os advertisings

Because of this fact, Bruno Fagali says that the judge made a decision for the brewers. On October 10, 2016, the judge handed down what Bruno Fagali says was a very good argument. He said that consumers have every right to know what exact unmalted cereal it is they are drinking and so this information now has to be displayed in the ingredients list on beer bottles. He says the ruling was 38 pages long and laid out exactly how and when brewers need to be in compliance with his ruling.

Sao Paulo lawyer Bruno Fagali has a number of areas of expertise. He is skilled at compliance, anti-corruption, parliamentary law, public law, elections law, regulatory law, and more. See graduated in University of Sao Paolo.

He owns his own law firm, Fagali Advocacy. He works for Nova/sb, a marketing agency. At this marketing agency he is their corporate integrity manager who makes sure everyone is in compliance with federal anticorruption law. His job also entails reviewing contracts so that he can make sure everything in them is above board.

Search more about Bruno Fagali: http://www.meioemensagem.com.br/home/comunicacao/2016/05/30/acho-saudavel-que-haja-revisao-de-contratos-diz-bob-vieira.html

Sujit Choudhry Talks Repercussions of Mueller Dismissal

Since graduating from Oxford University, Sujit Choudhry has gone on to garner a Master of Laws degree from Harvard University, and today, he is the I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.  Since beginning his professional career, Sujit Choudhry has released a number of well-renowned papers concerning constitutional law and politics. By combining the knowledge gained in the field, with unrivaled research, Sujit Choudhry has helped to assist a variety of countries in the construction of their constitutions, including Syria, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Nepal, South Africa, and Egypt (http://constitutionaltransitions.org/director/#Choudhry).

For over 20 years, Choudhry has acted as a constitutional advisor, and in following his regular release of cutting-edge research and writing, he recently authored a piece to be released in an upcoming publication entitled, “Constitutional Democracies in Crisis?”

In his chapter, Sujit Choudhry talks about a recent tweet that was posted by Eric Holder – the former United States Attorney General during Barack Obama’s presidency. In the tweet, Eric Holder discusses the potential firing of Robert Mueller by President Donald Trump, which, if it does happen, in his estimation, will lead to peaceful protests around the country by the American masses.

In Eric Holder’s recent tweet, he discusses the possibility that President Donald Trump’s exercising of power in regards to Robert Mueller’s future as White House Special Counsel, could be crossing a “red line” that would deserve action from the American people (medium.com). Although Eric Holden states that it is up to the American people to decide if immediate action is necessary, Sujit Choudhry chooses to discuss an issue that post may have actually insinuated. According to Choudhry, Eric Holder is insinuating that the actions of the American people inregards to President Trump’s decision, will change the result of ensuing actions by the government. Throughout the chapter, Choudhry continues to focus on the declining nature of constitutional democracy around the world, as well as the reality that the US Presidency may be descending into an autocratic position. Threats to constitutional democracy have existed in various forms throughout history, but since the end of the Cold War, it has been evolving, and false democracies have become increasingly prevalent.

Connect with Choudhry, visit LinkedIn.

 

Constitutional Expert Sujit Choudhry Sounds The Alarm About A “Disintegrating Democracy”

According to constitutional expert Sujit Choudhry, there are a lot of factors that can threaten democracy. He said there are a number of “red lines” that should never be crossed in a constitutional nation. He cites many examples all the current political situation in the United States as just one example.

Sujit Choudhry notes that one area in which the United States would reach the point of no return would be if the current president sought to fire White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He urged peaceful demonstrations if something happened in that regard.

Of course, this idea of a “red line” was first noted in a tweet by former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder. There is no questioning the fact that Holder is not crazy about the potential president Trump has for firing Robert Mueller. However, he does note that whether it is an abuse of power would be best left up to the people (medium.com). Sujit Choudhry would seem to agree with this characterization, and he also mentioned other areas where politicians could possibly go too far.

For example, Sujit Choudhry would also be in agreement with the term limit provisions that many countries have in their constitutions for their presidential leaders. He believes that all world leaders should commit to serving no more than two elected terms. Of course, he can easily see where an autocrat couldn’t exploit a loophole and declare some sort of national emergency in a ploy to serve more than two terms. To put it mildly, that would be very unfortunate, possibly even bordering on a constitutional crisis.

Read more on http://constitutionaltransitions.org/director/#Choudhry

Of course, the most blatant example of a wanton disregard for a country’s Constitution would be a military seizure of power, called a coup d’etat. While this is not actually been done in the United States, many scholars see the devastating consequences when it occurs in other countries. There is no questioning the fact that we live in very polarizing times. That is one of the main reasons why it is a good thing to have a constitutional expert such as Sujit Choudhry.

Connect with Choudhry, visit LinkedIn, Twitter

 

Sujit Choudhry Dissecting Significant Constitutional Matters

Sujit Choudhry is a well-known professor and scholar who does diverse research on comparative issues in constitutional law and politics. His topics revolve on matters of constitutional design as a tool in managing federalism, peaceful democratic politics, constitutional design in different contexts & transitions, official language policy, group rights, constitutional courts & justice, bills of rights, secession & decentralization, constitutional building process, and various matters (http://sujitchoudhry.com/advisory-work/).  He writes broadly on the Canadian constitutional law.

In a recent publication found on a book chapter that he is yet to release, Sujit addressed a tweet by Eric Holder, who was an Attorney General under President Obama that was directed to his followers in 2017 December. In the tweet, Holder was calling any potential for termination of Robert Mueller, White House special counsel, as an absolute red line. Holder added that if that action took place, there could be peaceful demonstrations following. He said that if Robert is removed or tampered with, people would be called out in peaceful support and speak out. Based on this tweet, Sujit Choudhry brings a dissection that the call to action made by the attorney general is based on two focuses. One focus is that of the symbolic use of red line, which would mean that Holder commits the American people to determine any abuse caused by their authorities in any boundaries. Sujit adds that the tweet is an insinuation that causes a reaction to the American people and it will determine the resolution to the issues by either red line crossing or reversing.

Learn more about his works, check works.bepress.com.

Sujit Choudhry believes that the tweet by Holder was created through the idea of constitutional self-enforcement which is based on focal point. He added that any constitution governs the expectations of its citizens and individuals by checking the appropriateness of the behavior towards the focal points or rather the constitutional rules. Some of these focal points as expressed by Sujit include the presidential term limit in the US which he states that it limits the individuals towards two terms only. He adds that some autocrats can break it through selfish desires to stay longer in office by declaring a state of emergency in a country.

Connect with Choudhry, visit Crunchbase, Twitter.

Sujit Choudhry: Establishing the Center for Constitution Transitions

Sujit Choudhry is the founder of the Center for Constitutional Transitions, which is helping nations around the world understand the advantage of shifting to a democratic form of government. The primary idea behind the creation of the Center for Constitutional Transitions is the distribution of knowledge about constitution building and creating an assembly of experts in the field that will be extending their support for the mobilization of information that will be essential for a thriving democratic state (works.bepress.com).  The current number of experts who have signed partnership with the Center for Constitutional Transitions is 50, and these experts came from more than 25 countries around the world.

Sujit Choudhry has been an international expert for years, and he got his degree in international law from different schools across the world. He also had experiences working as a constitutional advisor, and he is being sent to different countries that have the potential to become the next democratic state. He is helping these countries to create and amend their constitutions, and he is one of those who are providing knowledge when the state is reviewing their shift to being a democracy (constitutionaltransitions.org).  Whenever the government would want to change their constitution, and there is a lack of information being circulated with the committee, there would be conflicts and issues that would arise. Sujit Choudhry pointed out the importance of having the Center for Constitutional Transitions to become a bridge for those individuals who lack the information needed for changing the constitution.

One of the most recent projects where Sujit Choudhry has taken a part is the status of Ukraine’s government. He would fly back and forth to Kiev and speak with the remaining officials about their plan of changing their constitution and shifting full gear to a democratic form of government. The Center for Constitutional Transitions has also helped several countries around the world which have chosen to have their constitution changed, like Egypt and Nepal. The next big thing for the center is the continuous funding from their supporters, and the expansion of the number of experts who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise about international issues.

Related Links

http://sujitchoudhry.com/