Opposition Rights & Powers
There is a growing recognition–in constitutional practice as well as recent scholarship–that protecting the political opposition from the ruling party/coalition and vesting it with constitutionally protected rights and powers is essential for democratic resilience. The difficulty posed by the question is that all governments naturally seek to adopt policies that will make their re-election more likely. The challenge for constitutions, then, is to differentiate between the legitimate space for the rough and tumble of democratic politics and illegitimate moves by the ruling party that breach the rules of fair democratic competition. In this panel, we will explore the concept of opposition rights and powers, both normatively as well as conceptually.