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When a Constitutional Amendment Violates the "Substantive Core": The Czech Constitutional Court's September 2009 Early Elections Decision

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For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

In September 2009, the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic blocked the early dissolution of the lower house of the national legislature, as it had not taken place in the set of circumstances envisioned by the 1992 Czech Constitution. Instead, it had taken place by a special ad hoc constitutional amendment to shorten the normal term of office. The Court ruled that this amendment, although enacted in the correct procedure, violated core values of the Constitution. This article provides a full background to the case, analysis of the arguments developed by the petitioner, the court's reasoning, the impact of the decision and comparison with similar rulings by the high courts in other countries.


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