Editorial

We are very pleased to launch the Journal of Constitutional Law in the Middle East and North Africa with the publication of this inaugural issue.

JCL- MENA is dedicated to encourage greater discussion and critical analysis of constitutional and legal developments throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. Featuring articles by scholars and practitioners from the region, it is designed to facilitate access to information on the MENA constitutional issues and debates for the international community of practitioners and scholars in English.

JCL- MENA is edited by the ...

Palestinian Constitutionalism: A Stalled Project

The drafting and the adoption of a Basic Law for the Palestinian Authority was a drawn-out and laborious process. This written constitution was an achievement: Palestinian political representatives had endorsed the pillars of Constitutionalism, reproducing this commitment within a single written document. This was a single instance of a wider global phenomenon that is referenced in the literature as written constitutionalism.
The expectations that had been invested into the Basic Law when it entered into force soon evaporated. This article argues that the enthusiasm for a written constitution should be understood with reference to the symbolic appeal of specific ...

International Human Rights Law within the Palestinian Legal System

The hierarchical status of international treaties within the domestic system of states varies from one to the other depending on each state’s approach and understanding of international law. While most states do not differentiate between the constitutional hierarchical status of international human rights treaties and other types of international law treaties, some states accord human rights treaties a special constitutional status. In Palestine, the legal system does not establish the constitutional hierarchy of international treaties within Palestine. The Palestinian Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) dueled upon the issue recently. This article provides a critical review of the SCC’s decisions ...

Morocco at the Crossroads: Religious Freedom and the Law

Nearly all Moroccans are Muslims, and the King, identified as “commander of the faithful” in the constitution, has ultimate authority over religious affairs. According to the Moroccan Constitution, Islam is the religion of the state, and the state guarantees freedom of thought, expression, and assembly. This article considers the ways in which Morocco regulates religious practice, and seeks to demonstrate how interference with manifestations of religion often leads to restrictions on related rights and freedoms. It draws on a number of related court decisions, relevant legal frameworks, as well as the role played by the Ulama Supreme Council against the ...

Constitutional Courts and Rule of Law in Islamic Law States: A Comparative Study

This article discusses the relationship between the rule of law and constitutional courts in 29 Islamic Law States (ILS), by focusing on constitutional language, and with particular reference to the cases of Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman. We introduce 3 new variables that can be used to measure the presence of constitutional courts in the language of the constitution, and describe the implications of such constitutional language for the rule of law. Our data show that during the 2007-2017 timeframe, constitutional oversight in the Muslim milieu has increased. In 2017, 76 percent of ILS have a constitutional court or equivalent judicial organ. This number has ...

Modest Administrative Decentralization In Lebanon And Its Expansion Plans

The paper starts by explaining the notion of administrative decentralization and setting it apart from other notions. Then, it proceeds to exploring the disadvantages of a narrow version of administrative decentralization and advantages of an expanded one. The paper outlines next the key proposals and projects of administrative decentralization in Lebanon in modern history and in the present. The main features of the administrative decentralization draft law under discussion are then tackled. The paper later presents notes and recommendations about the mentioned draft law. Also, it gives an overview of the housing crisis in Lebanon, indicating the role of the ...