News archive

News archive

  • Mass protests protect Hong Kong's legal autonomy from China

    17 June 2019 (Hong Kong, China)

    In response to massive popular resistance, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced she would suspend a vote on a proposed new law that would allow China to extradite suspects accused of certain crimes and prosecute them in Chinese courts. For over a week, some 1.3 million people had gathered daily outside Hong Kong's legislature to protest the legislation, which protesters say China will abuse to extradite political dissidents. In mid-June consideration of the law was indefinitely postponed. That temporarily protects Hong Kong's judicial system, one of the island territory's few remaining areas of government autonomy from China. Read more…​

  • Restoring the Constitutional Status of Sabah and Sarawak

    29 March 2019 (Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia)

    Recently, the Malaysian government decided to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution regarding the constitutional position of Sabah and Sarawak. Situated on the island of Borneo, across the South China Sea from peninsular or 'West' Malaysia, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak have had a complex – if at times uneasy – relationship with the rest of the federation since September 1963, when Malaysia was formed. Essentially, the government seeks to restore the special status of Sabah and Sarawak corresponding to their original numerous autonomous powers within the Malaysian federation. Read more…​

  • Eurac's Annual Minority Rights Lecture

    13 February 2019 (Bolzano/Bozen, Italy)

    The debate in Australia about self-government and co-government by Aboriginal people is becoming more relevant than ever. Most recently, recommendations have been made by a parliamentary committee in Australia for a "Voice" to be created whereby Aboriginal people can elect representatives to speak on their behalf and to give advice to the national government. Professor De Villiers spoke about the past experiences of Australia with advisory bodies, highlighted some of the challenges that are faced by the current proposals, and reflected on options for self-government that are pursued by Aboriginal communities at a local level. Bertus de Villiers is an Adjunct Professor of the Law School of Curtin University (Australia) and Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Law School of the University of Johannesburg (South Africa).

  • New Caledonia votes to remain part of France

    5 November 2018 (Nouméa​, France)

    Voters in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia have rejected a bid for independence. Final results showed that 56.4% chose to remain part of France while 43.6% voted to leave. New Caledonia is an archipelago in the southwest Pacific Ocean. While some powers have been devolved to the islands, their population are French citizens and vote in the country's elections. While the indigenous Kanak people represent about 40% of the population, people of European descent make up about 27%. New Caledonia has seen deep divisions between its indigenous Kanak population and Europeans, most notably over the thorny question of independence. Read more...

  • Launch of open access e-book: A Bibliography on the Autonomy of South Tyrol

    3 October 2018 (Bolzano/Bozen​, Italy)

    This trilingual bibliography (German, Italian and English) on the self-governance of South Tyrol contains not only general entries on the special autonomy of the province, but also a more specific selection of the most relevant contributions on topics such as history, conflict resolution, minority protection, areas of competence, financial autonomy, electoral system. It is a helpful tool for scholars, students and public officials as well as for general public interested in these topics. Download the e-book here.

  • Spain offers referendum on greater Catalan autonomy

    3 September 2018 (Madrid​, Spain)

    Spain's prime minister has proposed a referendum on whether Catalonia should be given greater autonomy, in a bid to dampen tensions between Madrid and Barcelona. One poll conducted for El Periodico newspaper in July found that 62 per cent of Catalans backed greater self-governance, compared with 22 per cent who supported full independence from Spain. However, the Catalan leader Quim Torra insists on a referendum on full independence from Spain rather than just a referendum on more powers. Read more…

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