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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Miral Sabry AlAshry

The purpose of this study is to investigate Libyan journalists’ perspectives regarding the media laws Articles 37,132, 38 and 46, which address media freedom in the new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate Libyan journalists’ perspectives regarding the media laws Articles 37,132, 38 and 46, which address media freedom in the new Libyan Constitution of 2017.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus group discussions were done with 35 Libyan journalists, 12 of them from the Constitution Committee, while 23 of them reported the update of the constitution in the Libyan Parliament.

Findings

The results of the study indicated that there were media laws articles that did not conform to the international laws and United Nations treaties, which the Libyan Parliament committee approved. Another finding from the journalists was the Constitution should provide and guarantee press freedom, while media laws articles approved to put a paragraph about “censorship” in the press and media as a tool to silence government opposition. In addition, journalists indicated future constitution should redraft Article 38 to conform with Article 19 of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” to support the “principles of freedom of expression and information” without control. Moreover, Article 46 needs to be changed and linked to the “provisions of international law on the right of information access” to improve the access and dissemination of information in the media.

Practical implications

Redrafting the constitution articles in the future can be summarised as follows: First, the Libyan Constitution should provide and guarantee press freedom without any censorship and include clear articles to protect journalists in conflict zones. Second, Articles 37,132 and 38, about “freedom of information and publication,” need to be redrafted to link with Article 19 of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” to support the principles of freedom of expression and information, and the use of this right must not be subject to prior control. Third, Article 46 needs to be changed and linked to the provisions of “International law on the Right of Access to Information” to improve access and dissemination of information in the media to protect confidentiality sources. The most important articles should be implemented (freedom of information and personal information act) because after the Arab Spring revolutions, there was a transitional period in societies and a change in the constitutions of Tunisia and Egypt. They developed legal articles about media freedom so that Libya resembles other Arab countries. From that point, the journalists recommended that all information should be protected from government interference to ensure transparency, combat corruption and protect independent journalists. These articles will open the way to add more development articles to media freedom rules in the Journalists’ Syndicate. Fourth, there are also various types of threats encountered by journalists in their work. In pursuit of their right and freedom of expression, they recommended that Libya must establish an independent self-regulatory media that are free from political and economic influence. Fifth, journalists need licenses for them to work through the syndicate. The new syndicate should play an active role to safeguard the rights of journalists, activists and media entities to carry out their work and end the self-censorship. Sixth, the constitution should also add articles to end the impunity and change the articles in the penal code. Overall, the journalists covering the conflict and war are encountering threats, violence and imprisonment. As a result, Libyan journalists must seek new legislation to defend independent journalism and freedom of expression in their deeply divided country. In addition, they need to have a strong central authority to defend journalists and journalism in wartime, where journalists are regularly threatened, abducted and sometimes killed. Also, the Libyan Journalists Syndicate should stress the importance of the media’s self-regulation to guarantee their rights to freedom of expression, grant their readers’ respect and minimise government’s interference. Finally, they need to develop new laws to grant media freedom from regulations and restrictions, as well as defend and promote democracy, the citizens’ right to be informed, as well as their right to discuss and disseminate information. There is also the need to implement articles in the constitution, articles about the protection of political speech, which would be specific enough to differentiate between what is legally permitted and what may be ethically offensive.

Originality/value

This study will help the new Libyan parliament after the legislative elections on 24 December 2021 to amend the media laws articles in the constitution.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Book part
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Zehava Zevit

A longstanding question of American constitutionalism emerges out of the fact that constitutions demand fidelity. By virtue of what is the American Constitution binding…

Abstract

A longstanding question of American constitutionalism emerges out of the fact that constitutions demand fidelity. By virtue of what is the American Constitution binding? Zevit contends that many of the explanations of constitutional fidelity offered today fail to reconcile Americans’ submission to a Constitution written and ratified by generations of long ago with their claim (or aspiration) to be self-governing as a People today. Zevit introduces one type of explanation (the aptness explanation) that does not contain this flaw, and, drawing on an expansive definition of culture as a notion that encompasses the legal-political, offers the concepts of legal-political culture and baseline community as a framework for assessing the Constitution’s aptness while maintaining the People’s self-rule. She argues that constitutional aptness secures the foundations of constitutional legitimacy.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-262-7

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Abstract

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Designing the New European Union
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-863-6

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2010

John W. Wertheimer

This chapter explores the “Constitutional Revolution” of the 1930s, as it played out beyond the walls of the U.S. Supreme Court. It argues that a radically revised…

Abstract

This chapter explores the “Constitutional Revolution” of the 1930s, as it played out beyond the walls of the U.S. Supreme Court. It argues that a radically revised historical memory of the Constitution accompanied the ascent New Deal liberalism. Prior core values associated with the Constitution's history, such as federalism and the sanctity of private property, were dramatically downgraded, while the civil liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights dramatically rose. By so redefining their historical memory of the Constitution, Americans could enjoy the active government that most desired while still celebrating the constitutional traditions of individual freedom and limited government.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-615-8

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2010

M.C. Mirow

This chapter examines ways the Spanish Constitution of 1812, also known as the Constitution of Cádiz, has been viewed in historical and constitutional thought. The…

Abstract

This chapter examines ways the Spanish Constitution of 1812, also known as the Constitution of Cádiz, has been viewed in historical and constitutional thought. The document is a liberal constitution establishing constitutional rights, a representative government, and a parliamentary monarchy. It influenced ideas of American equality within the Spanish Empire, and its traces are observed in the process of Latin American independence. To these accepted views, one must add that the Constitution was a lost moment in Latin American constitutional development. By the immediate politicization of constitutionalism after 1812, the document marks the beginning of constitutional difficulties in the region.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-615-8

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Book part
Publication date: 6 May 2008

George Thomas

Popular constitutionalists seek to recover the popular sovereignty foundations of American constitutionalism, bringing the people in as active participants in the…

Abstract

Popular constitutionalists seek to recover the popular sovereignty foundations of American constitutionalism, bringing the people in as active participants in the constitutional enterprise as they create and refashion the Constitution by “majoritarian and populist mechanisms” (Amar, 1995, p. 89). The result is to recover an understanding, in FDR's words, of constitution as a “layman's document, not a lawyer's contract” (Kramer, 2004, p. 207). This understanding has deep roots in American constitutionalism, tracing its lineage back to the founding and, as popular constitutionalists insist, finds powerful expression in the likes of The Federalist and Abraham Lincoln (Ackerman, 1991; Tushnet, 1998). In exercising popular sovereignty, the people founded the Constitution, but they did not simply retreat from the trajectory of constitutional development. Rather, as Bruce Ackerman argues, since the Constitution of 1787 the people have spoken in a manner that has re-founded the Constitution giving us a “multiple origins originalism” (Kersch, 2006a, p. 801; see also Amar, 1998 and 2005). In turning to founding era thought and the notion of constitutional foundations, popular constitutionalists like Ackerman and Amar make common cause with conservatives who turn to original intent, but then they seek to synthesize this understanding with democratic expressions of popular will by emphasizing both formal and informal constitutional change, giving us layered “foundings,” and a more complex version of “living constitutionalism.” Such constitutional change, however, can only legitimately come from an authentic expression of “We the People.”

Details

Special Issue Constitutional Politics in a Conservative Era
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1486-7

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Book part
Publication date: 12 June 2018

Julie C. Suk

This chapter examines the relationship between constitutional guarantees of sex equality, understood as prohibiting unequal treatment between men and women, and the…

Abstract

This chapter examines the relationship between constitutional guarantees of sex equality, understood as prohibiting unequal treatment between men and women, and the constitutional protections of maternity. Textual guarantees of sex equality are nearly universal in constitutions around the world, and many constitutions in Europe, Latin America, and Asia also include provisions guaranteeing mothers the special protection of the state. In the United States, by contrast, the special treatment of mothers has long been contested as a threat to gender equality, and the efforts to add a sex equality amendment to the U.S. constitution have failed over the past century because of conflicts about the status of motherhood. This study traces the origins and jurisprudential development of maternity clauses in European constitutions to shed light on the possibility of synthesizing maternity protection with a constitutional commitment to gender equality.

Details

Special Issue: Law and the Imagining of Difference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-030-7

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Book part
Publication date: 1 April 2007

Manoranjan Dutta

Abstract

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European Union and the Euro Revolution
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-827-8

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2020

Aleta Sprague, Amy Raub and Jody Heymann

As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads globally, the economic and health consequences are disproportionately affecting marginalized workers. However, countries'…

Abstract

Purpose

As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads globally, the economic and health consequences are disproportionately affecting marginalized workers. However, countries' existing labor and social security laws often exclude the most vulnerable workers from coverage, exacerbating existing inequalities. Guaranteeing the rights to adequate income even when ill, decent working conditions and nondiscrimination in constitutions may provide a foundation for protecting rights universally, safeguarding against counterproductive austerity measures, and providing a normative foundation for equality and inclusion as economies recover. The purpose of this article is to examine the prevalence of these rights globally and assess some of their early impacts amid the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors created and analyzed a database of constitutional rights for all 193 United Nations member states. All constitutions were double coded by an international multidisciplinary, multilingual team of researchers.

Findings

This study finds that 54% of countries take some approach to guaranteeing income security in their constitutions, including 23% that guarantee income security during illness. Thirty-one percent guarantee the right to safe working conditions. Only 36% of constitutions explicitly guarantee at least some aspect of nondiscrimination at work. With respect to equal rights broadly, constitutional protections are most common on the basis of sex (85%), followed by religion (78%), race/ethnicity (76%), socioeconomic status (59%), disability (27%), citizenship (22%), sexual orientation (5%) and gender identity (3%). Across almost all areas, protections for rights are far more common in constitutions adopted more recently.

Originality/value

This is the first study to systematically examine protections for income security and decent work, together with nondiscrimination, in the constitutions of all 193 UN member states.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 April 2020

Eman Shady Sayed

The purpose of this study is to investigate the position of religion for the three constitutions of Egypt.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the position of religion for the three constitutions of Egypt.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, by tracing religious identity-related studies and seeing whether their existence is attributed to the ruling elites’ attitudes, it examines how factors such as new elites and new in ideology affect change of articles of religion.

Findings

The results demonstrate that the most significant factor was the existence of a new elite having a different ideology, which was obvious in the three constitutions: 1971, 2012 and 2014.

Research implications

The manner in which studies of religion are written is the basis for legislation and the source of public policies that affect the discourse of political systems or results in economic and social rights that affect public policies. Therefore, if people are engaged in the process of drafting identity articles, they would participate in the reformation of their traditions and systems and there would be more integration in the society.

Originality/value

Few studies have attempted to work on the sociology of constitutions and religion in the Egyptian context.

Details

Review of Economics and Political Science, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2356-9980

Keywords

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