Giuseppe Martinico

Comparative law reflections on the referendum in the light of the British case

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Referendum; Representative Democracy; Uk Parliament; Government; Comparative Law.

New lifeblood to the debate on a noble and yet complex instrument of the referendum has been given by the recent British events connected to the vote held on the 23rd of June on the so called Brexit, the consequent request for a new referendum on the Scottish independence and the always burning Catalan scenario. Without analysing all the above-mentioned phenomena, this contribution shall explore some comparative reflections concerning the risks connected to the "inappropriate" use of referendum. This work is divided into three parts. In the first part I shall highlight some reasons for prudence in the use of referenda in contexts of representative democracy. In the second part focusing on the UK, I shall try to show how the institutional chaos triggered after the 23 June vote is the direct offspring of the problematic approach chosen by the May government. Such an approach has been due to the decision to reject any attempt at mediating the result of the referendum in Parliament. Finally, in the last part, some general remarks shall be presented to look again at the insights offered by comparative law.

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