Recap: Honduras: Coups, Constitutions, Commissions and the Future of Reform (Prof. Feldman and Prof. Landau)
October 28, 2011 – Amreeta Mathai
The Law and International Development Society hosted a discussion with Professor Noah Feldman and Professor David Landau about their work as consultants on constitutional reform in Honduras after the 2009 military coup ousting President Manuel Zelaya. The Honduran Truth and Conciliation Commission (TRC) asked Feldman, Landau and a team of HLS affiliates to examine the constitutionality of the actions leading up to Zelaya’s removal.
The Honduran constitution has an unclear provision on Presidential term-limits. The provision has largely been understood to prohibit amendments to the existing term-limits. In 2008, Zelaya issued a series of decrees announcing he would hold a mass non-binding vote about amending the constitution. His opponents understood this as a move to increase his time in office. The Honduran Supreme Court issued orders for him to halt the referendum but he went forward. On June 28th, the military arrived at the president’s house with a warrant alleged to be issued by the Supreme Court. The military put him on a plane to Costa Rica that morning.
In analyzing the constitutionality of the President’s removal, Feldman and Landau concluded that all the relevant actors were at fault. They also emphasized that while these decisions were … Read More »