Sujit Choudhry: Threats to Constitutional Democracy

Sujit Choudhry is a well-known Professor of law from the University of California. He has experience of over two decades, where he has been advising governments on constitution affairs. Choudhry is the founder and director of Centre for Constitution Transitions (constitutionaltransitions.org). Some of the dignitaries that he has been advising on building constitutions are from countries such as Yemen, Egypt, Sir Lanka, Nepal, Tunisia, and Libya. It is this experience that has earned him an invite by UNDP and World Bank to advise on matters relating to the World Bank Institute (http://sujitchoudhry.com/advisory-work/).

Sujit Choudhry has recently come up with a publication in which he has shown how constitutional democracy has recently been threatened. Choudhry shows by giving examples of countries such as Poland where autocrats are staying in office beyond their term limits by engaging in activities such dissolving the legislature, declaring states of emergencies, or suspending elections among other activities. Sujit Choudhry says it is activities like this that pushes opposition officials to mobilize citizens to take to the streets and demand their democratic rights.

The publication by Sujit Choudhry shows how democracy had deteriorated in Poland and the presidency has increasingly become autocratic. He focused on the ruling party, Poland’s Law and Justice Party, which has put up measures to make sure it stays in power. The party won the legislative majority in the year 2015 and had continuously eliminated obstacles that would come between it and control of the nation.

Sujit Choudhry elaborates on how Poland’s Law and Justice Party have targeted the Constitutional Courts and other courts tampering with them to ensure that they side with the party during cases. Also, he shows how new rules are being passes on voting, the composition of constitutional bodies, and the introduction of the Interim President has made the Polish Government more aligned with them.

Sujit Choudhry concludes that the courts must be firm in defending constitution democracy and call out autocracy by its name if the people’s power is to be respected. As he comes to the end of the chapter, he says that political mobilization is needed to settle the autocracy issue.

To learn more, visit his Youtube Channel.

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