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The Principle of Clarity of the Referendum Question in Europe and in the USA

Biljana Kostadinov ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 599 Kb

str. 55-85

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European constitutional courts and state supreme courts of the USA with their constitutionally envisaged forms of direct democracy, referenda and citizens’ initiative control the unity of form and content of referendum questions in accordance with the principle of clarity of the referendum question, which guarantees unbiased and fair referendum decision-making. Rules or mechanisms of control are either incorporated in constitutions or have been developed by constitutional judges on the basis of the said principle. Direct democracy in the form of a referendum does not offer voters the possibility of political negotiation, political bartering or a compromise solution. The principle of clarity protects voting freedom and spares citizens from having to decide about an entire package of proposals or policies by casting only one vote, i.e. the possibility of adopting legislative proposals or constitutional amendments some parts of which are only supported by a minority.
In an effort to provide a scientific assessment of the constitutionality of the referendum question put forward by the Citizen’s initiative “In the Name of the Family” under the slogan “Choose your Parliament representative by name”, for which the collected signatures of support have been submitted to the Croatian Parliament, the paper presents elements of constitutional adjudication in a number of developed democracies which we believe might be of importance for the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia in this matter of great importance for the development of the Croatian political system.

Ključne riječi

the principle of clarity, single subject rule, logrolling, referendum, constitutional initiative, Constitutional Court

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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