Monday, March 11, 2013

Modest Constitutional Reforms

François Hollande will propose several constitutional reforms, but according to Médiapart they will be modest in scope. The four measures include elimination of the Cour de Justice de la République (currently charged with trying government ministers accused of infractions related to their official function), reform of the Conseil Supérieur de la Magistrature, elimination of ex officio appointments to the Cour Constitutionnel (so that former presidents will no longer become justices automatically), and a ban on ministers holding local or regional executive functions.

Hollande will not attempt to ban all forms of le cumul des mandats, however, nor will he try to grant non-citizens a limited right to vote in local elections, eliminate the word "race" from the Constitution, ratify the European charter on regional languages, or enshrine laïcité as a constitutional principle. And the penal status of the president of the Republic will not be touched.

In short, the reforms that will be proposed are the most limited and least controversial of the proposals floated since Hollande's election. This is a sign that he doesn't feel he has much political capital to expend on controversial constitutional reforms right now.

Kuisel's "The French Way" Reviewed

Dick Kuisel's study of evolving French attitudes toward the United States, The French Way, is reviewed by a roundtable of scholars here. (h/t SM)